Serving as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida’s 1st district since January 3, 2017, Rep. Matt Gaetz has never shied away from controversies.
As a stalwart supporter of former President Donald Trump and a torchbearer for the election fraud conspiracy, Gaetz could be looking at some of the same accusations that have been leveled at his previous employer, allegations of sexual misconduct.
The New York Times reported on March 30, that the Justice Department was investigating the Florida representative not just for allegations of sexual misconduct but child sex trafficking. This investigation all stems from an alleged sexual relationship the 38-year-old had with a 17-year-old girl in 2019.
Investigators are looking into whether he violated federal sex trafficking laws by allegedly paying her to travel with him.
Gaetz was quick to meet these allegations head on with a swift denial of any wrongdoing by saying, “The allegations against me are as searing as they are false,” he said in a 13-minute phone interview with Axios.
“I believe that there are people at the Department of Justice who are trying to criminalize my sexual conduct, you know when I was a single guy.” His accusations against the DOJ wouldn’t stop there.
He would go on to allege that this whole ugly situation, despite admitting earlier the specifics of the allegations are “unclear,” and he had been told “very little,” was rooted in a criminal campaign launched by a corrupt former DOJ official looking to smear his name and extort millions of dollars from him. He claims to have evidence to support this counter-accusation.
In the same interview, he stated, “We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals,” and added that he had screenshots of text messages, emails and documents outlining the alleged extortion scheme.
The former DOJ employee, Gaetz alleges, is seeking to blackmail him for $25 million to keep the story out of the media, a feat the perpetrator of this alleged extortion has spectacularly failed to accomplish.
The former DOJ employee, directly named by Gaetz in an interview with Tucker Carslon, is David McGee, now a lawyer at Beggs & Lane, a law firm in Pensacola, Florida.
However, McGee was quick to release a statement calling the reports of extortion “completely, totally false.” Adding that, “This is a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that Matt Gaetz is apparently about to indicted for sex trafficking underage girls.”
When asked if the allegations could be true, Gaetz mused, “I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I’ve dated. You know, I’ve paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner.
I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.” and that the 17-year-old in question was definitely not underage. However, despite denying reports that he ever traveled with the girl, he would admit that he gave the girl money, calling her an “ex-girlfriend,”
Despite all his bluster and bravado, rumors have recently circulated that Gaetz had privately told confidants he’s seriously considering not seeking re-election and possibly leaving Congress early for a job at Newsmax.
Behind his veil of confidence, the up and coming conservative firebrand really appears shaken by these events. Whether that is due to a blackmail and extortion campaign looking to destroy his career, or that he has destroyed his career already and has shifted into damage control mode.
Although the outcome of the investigation has yet to be publicly reported, the post- Epstein environment in which these accusations have arisen have left just as many eyebrows aloft with a side of ‘no smoke without fire.’
And as much as Gaetz wants to claim a Democrat-lead smear campaign or an extortion case, the fact is that he is conveniently leaving out that this case was brought up by AG Bill Barr while Trump still held the presidency.