Florida Representative Matt Gaetz Being Investigated
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Matt Gaetz, the U.S. representative of Florida’s 1st congressional district since 2017 and a member of the Republican Party, was investigated by the Department of Justice for allegations of a sexual relationship with a 17-year old minor girl in 2019, with possible violation of federal sex trafficking laws and campaign finance law by allegedly paying the 17 year old to travel with him, according to a report by The New York Times. For details of this allegation, please refer to the excerpt from wikipedia, in italics, below:
In March 2021, The New York Times reported that the Department of Justice was investigating Gaetz on allegations of a sexual relationship with a 17 year-old girl in 2019, and that investigators were examining whether he had violated federal sex trafficking laws by allegedly paying her to travel with him. The investigation was initiated by the Trump administration, reported The New York Times. CNN reported investigators were also examining whether Gaetz used campaign money for travel and expenses, and whether drugs were involved. Gaetz denied any wrongdoing, asserting that travel records would refute the allegation and that he and his family were “victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million.” No charges have been brought against Gaetz, who has said that he will not resign his House seat and has denied that he had romantic relationships with minors.
Former U.S. attorney Joyce Vance, Katie Benner of the New York Times, and former chief spokesman at the Department of Justice Matt Miller, react to Congressman Matt Gaetz’s attempt to defend himself following reports that the DOJ is investigating him for possibly violating sex trafficking laws, in the video published on March 31, 2021, “Joyce Vance: Gaetz Looked Like Someone Who Desperately Needs A Lawyer On Fox News, Deadline, MSNBC“, below:
In the video published on April 2, 2021, “NYT: DOJ’s Gaetz Inquiry Looking At Cash Paid To Women, The 11th Hour, MSNBC“, below:
It is a federal offense to cross U.S. state lines to engage in sex in exchange for money or something of value with a minor. The investigation is purported to be part of a “broader investigation” into a political ally of his, former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, who was indicted in 2020 on an array of charges related to sex trafficking. The Times subsequently reported Greenberg would hire women for sex from a website and introduced some of them to Gaetz. Greenberg was charged with sex trafficking involving the same 17 year-old girl involved in the Gaetz investigation, according to the Times.
Rachel Maddow revisits local reporting, including by the Orlando Sentinel, of the peculiar reign of Joel Greenberg as Seminole County, Florida tax collector, and the federal investigation into Greenberg that, according to the New York Times, led to a DOJ investigation of close Donald Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz for sex trafficking, in the video published on March 31, 2021, “The Even Weirder Backstory Behind Bizarre Gaetz Sex Trafficking Investigation Story, Rachel Maddow“, below:
Gaetz asserted the alleged extortion began in March 2021 with a text message to his father, Don Gaetz, demanding money in exchange for making sex trafficking allegations “go away”. He said his attorneys contacted the FBI, which he said told them he was a subject, rather than a target, of an investigation. He claimed his father agreed to wear a “wire” to record the alleged extortionists. Gaetz sent Axios screenshots of text messages, emails and documents outlining the alleged extortion scheme, which he claimed was being run by David McGee, a former federal prosecutor who had been a private attorney since 2005. McGee’s law firm called Gaetz’s allegation false and defamatory. McGee told The Daily Beast the reports of extortion were “completely, totally false” and designed to distract from the investigation into whether Gaetz violated sex trafficking laws.
In the video published on April 1, 2021, “Why Republicans Cannot Wait To Turn On Matt Gaetz, All In, MSNBC“, below:
Additionally, in an interview, Gaetz said that someone had alleged that there were photographs of him “with child prostitutes”, which Gaetz said was a false allegation. This allegation had not been made public before Gaetz brought it up. Gaetz’s father released a letter purportedly part of the extortion scheme, which alleged that the FBI had photographs of Gaetz engaged in a “sexual orgy with underage prostitutes”, leading to a demand for money to help secure the release of Robert Levinson (who disappeared in Iran in 2007), which would supposedly spur a pardon for Gaetz from President Joe Biden.
On March 31, 2021, it was reported that Gaetz would keep his role on the United States House Committee on the Judiciary and the United States House Committee on Armed Services while the investigation was ongoing. House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said that Gaetz would be removed from the committees if the charges against him were proven, though he also said Gaetz would be removed if he were indicted.
The next day it was reported that Gaetz had shown off naked pictures of women he claimed to have slept with, including showing them to colleagues on the House floor.
It is worth noting that, according to wikipedia, in bold italics, below:
“Gaetz was the lone no vote on the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act, a bill allocating additional government resources to help combat human trafficking. Gaetz later explained that his vote was due to his small government principles, believing that existing federal agencies could adequately combat human trafficking and stating that “voters in Northwest Florida did not send me to Washington to go and create more federal government.”
In the video published on April 1, 2021, “Gaetz showed nude photos of women to lawmakers, source say“, below:
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