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Matt Gaetz 2021 U.S. Rep. under federal investigation. New York Times .

Matt Gaetz 2021 U.S. Rep.  under federal investigation. New York Times .
Gaetz

Matt Gaetz 2021 U.S. Rep. under federal investigation. New York Times .

Matt Gaetz Matt Gaetz Rep. York U.S. under Times New investigation, federal …

Tue, 30 Mar 2021 15:00:00 -0700

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz is under Justice Department investigation over a possible sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, The New York Times 

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz is under Justice Department investigation over a possible sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, The New York Times reported Tuesday evening.

The newspaper cited “three people briefed on the matter” and reported that the probe began during the final months of the Trump administration.

The sources said investigators are looking into whether the conservative firebrand violated sex trafficking laws.

The sources said the Gaetz inquiry is a sideline to an investigation into one of Gaetz’s political allies, Joel Greenberg, who resigned as Seminole County tax collector following his indictment last summer on charges including sex trafficking.

Gaetz, a Republican whose district includes the far western Panhandle, is closely aligned both with Donald Trump and Gov.

Ron DeSantis.

He is best known for his appearances on Fox News and political stunts including wearing a gas mask in the U.S.

Capitol during the early days of the COVID pandemic.

Gaetz told The Times that the Justice Department has told his lawyers that he is “the subject, not the target,” of the investigation.

“I only know that it has to do with women,” Gaetz told the newspaper.

“I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward.”

The news follows reports, including this one by Axios, that Gaetz was considering leaving Congress to take a broadcasting job with Newsmax, the conservative outlet.

Also rumored is that Gaetz might contemplate a run for the statewide Florida Agriculture Commissioner, according to various news outlets.

Current Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is a Democrat.

Update: Gaetz published a denial of wrongdoing on his Twitter feed.

“Over the past several weeks my family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name.

We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter,” he wrote.

“And my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals.

The planted leak to the FBI tonight was intended to thwart that investigation.

No part of the allegations against me are true, and the people pushing these lies are targets of the ongoing extortion investigation.

“I demand the DOJ immediately release the tapes, made at their direction, which implicate their former colleague in crimes against me based on false allegations.”

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Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz is under Justice Department investigation over a possible sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, The New York Times reported Tuesday evening.

The newspaper cited “three people briefed on the matter” and reported that the probe began during the final months of the Trump administration.

The sources said investigators are looking into whether the conservative firebrand violated sex trafficking laws.

The sources said the Gaetz inquiry is a sideline to an investigation into one of Gaetz’s political allies, Joel Greenberg, who resigned as Seminole County tax collector following his indictment last summer on charges including sex trafficking.

Gaetz, a Republican whose district includes the far western Panhandle, is closely aligned both with Donald Trump and Gov.

Ron DeSantis.

He is best known for his appearances on Fox News and political stunts including wearing a gas mask in the U.S.

Capitol during the early days of the COVID pandemic.

Gaetz told The Times that the Justice Department has told his lawyers that he is “the subject, not the target,” of the investigation.

“I only know that it has to do with women,” Gaetz told the newspaper.

“I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward.”

The news follows reports, including this one by Axios, that Gaetz was considering leaving Congress to take a broadcasting job with Newsmax, the conservative outlet.

Also rumored is that Gaetz might contemplate a run for the statewide Florida Agriculture Commissioner, according to various news outlets.

Current Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is a Democrat.

Update: Gaetz published a denial of wrongdoing on his Twitter feed.

“Over the past several weeks my family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name.

We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter,” he wrote.

“And my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals.

The planted leak to the FBI tonight was intended to thwart that investigation.

No part of the allegations against me are true, and the people pushing these lies are targets of the ongoing extortion investigation.

“I demand the DOJ immediately release the tapes, made at their direction, which implicate their former colleague in crimes against me based on false allegations.”

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Matt Gaetz Matt Gaetz

Tue, 30 Mar 2021 15:00:00 -0700

Rep

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Matt Gaetz on Tuesday denied that he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl amid new reports that the Justice Department was 

The Justice Department probe began last summer, a source told ABC News.

Matt Gaetz: 'We have to marshal a positive populism'

Rep.

Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., on Tuesday denied that he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl amid new reports that the Justice Department was investigating the alleged relationship — claiming the probe was part of an elaborate extortion scheme.

The investigation, first reported by The New York Times, began last summer and focuses on whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with an underage girl and paid for her to travel with him, and whether he violated federal sex trafficking laws, a source aware of the investigation confirmed to ABC News.

Gaetz told the Times that his lawyers were informed that he was the subject, not the target, of an investigation.

“I have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old.

That is totally false,” Gaetz told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in an interview Tuesday night.

“That is false and records will bear that out to be false.”

The New York Times reported that the inquiry into Gaetz is part of a larger inquiry into Joel Greenberg, a former Florida official indicted last summer on charges that included sex trafficking of a child and financially supporting people in exchange for sex.

Greenberg has pleaded not guilty.

On Fox News, Gaetz — who, according to an Axios report earlier on Tuesday, had been telling confidants he was considering retiring from Congress and possibly joining the right-wing media outlet Newsmax — appeared to confirm the investigation when he said he was approached by someone who claimed he could “make this investigation go away.”

“There was a demand for money in exchange for a commitment that he could make this investigation go away along with his co-conspirators,” Gaetz said, identifying the alleged extortionist as former DOJ official David McGee.

McGee did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

In an interview with the Washington Post, McGee denied Gaetz’s claim that he was part of an extortion effort targeting the Florida congressman.

“It is completely false.

It’s a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that he’s under investigation for sex trafficking of minors,” McGee told the Post.

“I have no connection with that case at all, other than, one of a thousand people who have heard the rumors.”

“I do believe that there are people at the Department of Justice who are trying to smear me,” Gaetz said on Fox News.

In a statement from his office, Gaetz said he had been cooperating with authorities and that his father “has even been wearing a wire” at the FBI’s direction “to catch these criminals” seeking to extort him for $25 million.

Asked in the Fox News interview how long the investigation had been going on, Gaetz said “I don’t know,” and went on to suggest that someone is alleging there are “pictures of me with child prostitutes,” which he claimed was “obviously false.”

At one point during the interview, Gaetz claimed that two years ago he had dinner with Carlson and took along a “friend” who 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.” But Carlson promptly denied knowing what Gaetz was talking about, responding: “I don’t remember the woman you’re speaking of or the context at all, honestly.”

After returning from a commercial break, Carlson called the segment “one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.”

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– March 31, 2021
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