No charges have been brought against Gaetz, and he has denied all allegations against him. Staring down those allegations, the Florida Republican has been reaching for a familiar, in-your-face strategy perfected over the last four years by Trump, who fueled his unconventional rise.
Few GOP allies are speaking out on his behalf, and most Republicans have been keeping quiet, as the federal investigation hangs over his head.
The investigation includes scrutiny of a trip to the Bahamas and whether women were paid to travel for sex with the Florida Republican congressman and others, a potential federal crime, according to the sources.
CNN has previously reported that investigators also have been examining allegations that Gaetz had sex with an underage girl who was 17 at the time and with other women who were provided drugs and money in violation of sex trafficking and prostitution laws.
Lawyers for Gaetz declined to comment.
Investigators are considering Gaetz’s connections to several associates in Florida who may have benefited politically in return for providing the congressman with benefits including escorts, travel and campaign donations, according to the sources.
The investigation includes allegations from witnesses and other evidence that Gaetz may have used cash and drugs in his dealings with young women, CNN previously reported.
This story has been updated with additional background.
Annie Grayer and Sunlen Serfaty contributed to this story.