“While Mr Gaetz has denied wrongdoing, he also has insisted that a former Justice Department attorney has sought to ‘bleed’ money from his family by promising to make the case disappear.”
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz was the subject of an explosive report in the New York Times yesterday. The newspaper alleged Gaetz was involved with a 17-year-old girl. There are also claims of sex trafficking. The whole thing is very bizarre.
Gaetz responded in an appearance on the Tucker Carlson show.
Rudy Takala of Mediaite outlines the NY Times report:
BREAKING: DOJ Reportedly Investigating Matt Gaetz Over a Possible Sexual Relationship With 17-Year-Old
The Department of Justice is investigating Rep. Matt Gaetz(R-FL), who is 38, over a possible relationship with a 17-year-old girl, The New York Times claimed in a bombshell report.
The investigation involves “whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him,” Times reporters Michael Schmidt and Katie Benner wrote in a Tuesday story on the matter, citing three sources briefed on the investigation. They said investigators were “examining whether Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws” by paying the girl to travel with him during an unspecified number of encounters two years ago.
Professor Jacobson notes that there’s something familiar about this:
"under investigation" – "No charges have been brought against Mr. Gaetz, and the extent of his criminal exposure is unclear" — eventually facts will come out, but this is same "under investigation" tactic NYT used for years to keep Russia collusion hoax alive https://t.co/RRmN3eSbwp
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) March 30, 2021
Gaetz offered his first response on Twitter:
Gaetz responds… pic.twitter.com/51RYAMA1u5
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) March 30, 2021
Tucker brought on Gaetz seemingly at the last minute to discuss the allegations. He painted a confusing picture involving extortion and blackmail. Here is what Gaetz said concerning the woman:
GAETZ: Yeah again I only know what I’ve read in The New York Times, I can say that actually you and I went to dinner about two years ago. Your wife was there and I brought a friend of mine, you’ll remember her, and she was actually threatened by the FBI told that if she wouldn’t cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay for play scheme, that she could face trouble. And so I do believe that there are people at the Department of Justice who are trying to smear me, you know, providing for flights and hotel rooms for people that you’re dating who are of legal age is not a crime. And I’m just troubled that the lack of any sort of legitimate investigation into me, would then permute would then convert into this extortion attempt.
CARLSON: I don’t remember that the woman you’re speaking of or the context at all, honestly, but I would like to know who so they’re saying there is a 17-year-old girl who you had a relationship with? Is that true? And who are they? Who is this girl? What are they talking about, The New York Times?
GAETZ: The person doesn’t exist. I have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old, that is totally false. The allegation as I read it in the New York Times is that I’ve traveled with some 17-year-old in some relationship. That is false, and records will bear that out to be false.
Gaetz also explained the extortion:
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): It is a horrible allegation and it is a lie. The New York Times is running a story that I have traveled with a 17-year-old woman and that is verifiably false. People can look at my travel records and see that that is not the case. What is happening is an extortion of me and my family involving a former department of justice official. On March 16, my father got a text message demanding a meeting wherein a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away. Our family was so troubled by that we went to the local FBI and the FBI and the Department of Justice were so concerned about this attempted extortion of a member of Congress that they asked my dad to wear a wire, which he did with the former Department of Justice official. Tonight, I am demanding that the Department of Justice and the FBI release the audio recordings that were made under their supervision and at their direction which will prove my innocence and that will show that these allegations aren’t true, they’re merely intended to try to bleed my family out of money. And this former Department of Justice official tomorrow was supposed to be contacted by my father so that specific instructions could be given regarding the wiring of $4.5 million as a down payment on this bribe. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that tonight somehow The New York Times is leaking this information, smearing me, and ruining the investigation that would likely result in a one of the former colleagues of the current DOJ being brought to justice for trying to extort me and my family.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: So, a couple of obvious questions that come to mind and again just to restate, this just happened, don’t have any other information beyond what we’ve already said and what you have said. Who, first of all, who is this Department of Justice former employee who’s trying to extort the money from you, you say?
GAETZ: His David McGee. He was a top official in the leadership in the Northern District of Florida as a prosecutor. He currently works at the Beggs & Lane law firm. As a matter of fact, one of the recordings that was made at the FBI and Department of Justice request, occurred at that law firm and the money that was supposed to be paid today that would have shown even more evidence of David McGee’s work in this extortion scheme that was foiled by The New York Times story, and I believe that’s why this this horrible information and these terrible allegations have been used this evening.
CARLSON: So, you’re and I’ll get to the investigation in just a sec, but you’re saying that David McGee was motivated by greed, he was trying to extort money from your family, that’s his motivation, you’re saying?
GAETZ: I know that there was a demand for money in exchange for a commitment that he could make this investigation go away along with his co-conspirators. They even claimed to have specific connections inside the Biden White House. Now I don’t know if that’s true, they were promising that Joe Biden would pardon me, obviously I don’t need a pardon, I’m not seeking a pardon, I have not done anything improper or wrong, but what I am troubled by is the real motivation for all of this. You know, just tonight Ted Lieu, a Democrat, is calling on me to be removed from the House Judiciary Committee and I believe we are in an era of our politics now Tucker where people are smeared to try to take them out of the conversation. I’m not the only person on screen right now who has been falsely accused of a terrible sex act. You were accused of something that you did not do and so you know what this feels like, you know the pain it can bring to your family and you know how it just puts people on defense when you’re accused of something so salacious and awful, but it did not happen, it is not true and the fact that it is the basis of this attempt to extort my family tells a lot. And if the FBI and Department of Justice will release the tapes that they are in possession of, the American people will see what is really going on.
Watch the video below:
Two things to keep in mind here. Gaetz deserves the presumption of innocence and due process. Also, Gaetz is a vocal supporter of Trump, which puts a target on his back.
Think back over the last four years. Do you have the same level of trust in the DOJ that you did before then?
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