On Tuesday afternoon, a bombshell report from the New York Times revealed that Rep. Matt Gaetz was the subject of a federal investigation — launched under former AG Bill Barr’s tenure — over reports of the congressman’s alleged inappropriate involvement with a 17-year-old girl.
According to the Washington Examiner, the story took an immediate and bizarre turn when Gaetz got in front of the story, claiming that his family was being extorted by a former U.S. Department of Justice official who is allegedly trying to squeeze them for $25 million, at the threat of smearing Gaetz’s otherwise good name.
The federal investigation into Gaetz is apparently one part of a broader investigation into one of his allies in Florida, local Florida official Joel Greenberg, who was indicted over the summer of 2020 on charges of sex trafficking of a minor and for financially supporting people in exchange for sex, including an underage girl.
Greenberg pleaded not guilty to all of the charges he faces, but ended up in jail after violating an agreement with regard to his parole.
Meanwhile, Gaetz immediately went on Tucker Carlson’s show on Tuesday night in what appeared to be an effort to get in front of the story, naming the official who he claims is trying to extort him as Beggs & Lane attorney David McGee, a former lead attorney for the U.S. Justice Department’s Organized Crime Task Force.
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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
In an interview with the Daily Beast, McGee issued a response to the extortion claims, saying they were completely untrue and suggesting that it was nothing more than a distraction tactic deployed by Gaetz and his team to cover the fact that the congressman is on the verge of facing child sex trafficking charges.
“This is a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that Matt Gaetz is apparently about to be indicted for sex trafficking underage girls,” McGee said.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) on Fox News just accused David McGee, former DOJ official now with the Florida law firm Beggs & Lane, of attempting to extort him. McGee did not immediately responded to requests for comment via email/phone pic.twitter.com/J05P0cGseP
— John Kruzel (@johnkruzel) March 31, 2021
At the crux of the investigation into Gaetz is determining whether or not he paid a 17-year-old girl to travel with him two years ago and, if so, whether she traveled with him across state lines. If that’s the case, it means a whole new world of charges against the Florida congressman, including federal sex-trafficking charges.
As was pointed out across most media networks, both men are obviously innocent until proven guilty and, as some legal experts have already said, the investigation into Gaetz and the extortion investigation — which Gaetz claims he’s working with federal law enforcement on — are potentially two separate cases altogether and not necessarily related.
Of course, only time will tell where this insane story goes, but given Gaetz’s close relationship with former President Donald Trump, much of the mainstream media and likely House Democrats will seize the opportunity to muddy his name if the opportunity presents itself.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org