Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is under federal investigation over an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and allegedly paying for her travel, can’t seem to stop talking as the scandal continues to unfold.
“My family would never pay a bribe,” Gaetz tweeted on Wednesday night with a link to the Washington Post’s report that two unidentified men with knowledge of the Justice Department’s probe into the congressman before the New York Times made it public requested a large sum of money from his father, former Florida Sen. Don Gaetz (R), to help them find an American hostage in Iran named Robert Levinson. The two men reportedly told Don Gaetz that his son’s image would be improved if the search were successful.
However, the Post noted that even though Matt Gaetz claims to be a victim of a massive extortion plot involving a demanded payment of $25 million, the men did not threaten to leak the investigation if his family did not pay them.
Gaetz repeated his claim in his tweet on Wednesday night that his father “was working at the direction of the FBI,” which the congressman says is investigating the possible extortion scheme. The Post reported that the agency is probing whether the two men’s proposal was extortion.
Ever since the Times dropped its report on the DOJ’s investigation on Tuesday, Gaetz, who denies the allegations, has been scrambling to do some clumsy damage control by repeatedly talking about his father wearing a wire and floating baseless deep state-adjacent conspiracy theories about how the probe got leaked to the Times.
No charges have been issued against the Republican.