- Rep. Matt Gaetz has secured help in fighting a federal sexual misconduct probe, hiring two high-profile lawyers, Mark Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner, to defend him.
- Officials are trying to determine whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl or violated sex-trafficking laws.
- Mukasey is a longtime associate of Rudy Giuliani’s who also has close ties to former President Donald Trump.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Embroiled in a federal sex-trafficking investigation, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida has hired two topdog defense attorneys to represent him.
The lawyers, Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner, come as a probe into Gaetz intensifies.
The House Ethics Committee on Friday announced an investigation into Gaetz over allegations of sexual misconduct. A bombshell New York Times report released last week revealed that Gaetz is facing a federal sex crimes investigation, a probe designed to determine whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Officials are also seeking to learn whether he had violated sex-trafficking laws.
The Florida Republican has not been charged, and he’s repeatedly denied all allegations. Instead, he’s pushed a narrative that says the federal investigation and these allegations make up an elaborate and convoluted scheme to extort him and his family for $25 million.
“Once again, the office will reiterate, these allegations are blatantly false and have not been validated by a single human being willing to put their name behind them,” Gaetz’s office said in a statement Friday.
The probe, nevertheless, is heating up. And Gaetz hired well-connected powerhouse attorneys to help him navigate through the mess.
The attorneys “will take the fight to those trying to smear his name with falsehoods,” a statement from his office said.
Mukasey is a high-profile attorney with close ties to former President Donald Trump and his ex-personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Mukasey and Giuliani used to be law partners. After they split ways, one of Mukasey’s first clients was Trump himself. He currently represents the Trump Organization in an ongoing criminal probe into the former president’s tax returns conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
One of Mukasey’s most controversial cases involved Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, accused and acquitted of charges related to war crimes.
Mukasey’s career and that of his father have for years closely intertwined with the needs of top GOP leaders.
His father, Michael, was a district judge appointed by Ronald Reagan, Law&Crime reported. He also served as the US attorney general under the George W. Bush administration.
Kirshner is an outspoken critic of Trump, constantly blasting him in public. She’s previously referred to the former president as a “scourge” and an “existential threat,” according to Law&Crime.
As an attorney, her record is marked in part by male clients who’ve faced serious sexual abuse and misconduct allegations.
She is a former Manhattan assistant district attorney who represented former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after allegations of sexual assault and violence against him came out. Schneiderman denied all allegations but resigned from his position.
Kirshner’s also represented Dr. Robert Hadden, the New York gynecologist accused of sexual assault. Among his accusers was Evelyn Wang, the wife of now New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang. Evelyn said Hadden had sexually assaulted her multiple times during an OB-GYN visit while she was pregnant with her first child.
Hadden was charged last September with a pattern of sexual assault and abuse spanning decades, from 1993 to 2012.
Neither Mukasey nor Kirshner immediately returned requests for comment from Insider.