Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla) claims a report he’s under investigation for sexual misconduct is part of an extortion campaign against him. The Republican defended himself on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight.
The New York Times reported that the Justice Department is investigating him over a possible sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and that he paid for her to travel with him two years ago.
However, on Twitter, Gaetz said for the past several weeks he’s been the victim of “an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official.”
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…
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) March 30, 2021
He says the allegations are completely false and that he’s been working with the feds, with his father even wearing a wire to catch those responsible.
Congressman Matt Gaetz even named the former DOJ official he says is behind the extortion effort, David McGee, who has denied it.
The accusation, which has not resulted in any charges, emerged from the prosecution of former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, who faces a slew of charges including sex trafficking of a child. Greenberg resigned as tax collector in June, after he was arrested at his home by federal agents. He faces 14 charges, including allegations that he stalked a political opponent, illegally used a state database to create fake IDs and sex trafficked a minor. He is currently slated to stand trial in June.
In response to the allegations, some lawmakers are calling for 38-year-old Gaetz to be removed from the House Judiciary Committee.