Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is scrambling after the New York Times dropped a bombshell report revealing that the Justice Department is currently investigating the congressman for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paying for her travel expenses two years ago.
No charges have been brought against Gaetz, who denies the allegations, but his attempts at damage control have been nothing short of a hot mess.
Peddling A Deep State-esque Conspiracy Theory
Gaetz baselessly claims that the Times’ report was part of a plot to thwart an investigation he claims the Justice Department has been conducting into a massive alleged extortion plot against him by a former DOJ employee named David McGee that began on March 16. Without providing evidence, the Republican accuses McGee, who now works at a private law firm, of trying to extort $25 million dollars from him to make the “horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away.”
According to Gaetz, the Times report came the day before his father was supposed to meet with McGee in coordination with investigators.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that somehow, tonight, the New York Times is smearing me and ruining the investigation that would likely result in one of the former colleagues of the DOJ being brought to justice,” the GOP lawmaker told Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
McGee told the Daily Beast on Tuesday that the congressman’s accusation is “completely, totally false” and “a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that Matt Gaetz is apparently about to be indicted for sex trafficking underage girls.”
Blabbing About His Dad Wearing A Wire
Gaetz told the New York Times, Axios, and Carlson on Tuesday that the FBI had his father wear a wire as part of the feds’ alleged investigation into the alleged extortion scheme.
“We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals,” the congressman said in an interview with Axios.
Claiming He Was Offered A Pardon From Biden
The alleged extortionists “were promising that Joe Biden would pardon me,” Gaetz told Carlson, again without providing evidence.
“Obviously I don’t need a pardon. I’m not seeking a pardon. I have not done anything improper or wrong,” he insisted.
Well Excuse Me For Being A Good Boyfriend!
In one particularly eyebrow-raising defense, Gaetz tried to paint the investigators in the sex trafficking probe as enemies of romance.
“I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward,” he told the New York Times.
It didn’t stop there.
“I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I’ve dated. You know, I’ve paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner,” he told Axios. “I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.”
He offered a similar defense during his interview with Carlson, arguing “people at the Department of Justice are trying to smear me” for his TLC.
“Providing for flights and hotel rooms for people that you’re dating who are of legal age is not a crime.”
Mentioning Alleged Pics With Child Prostitutes Without Any Prompting
What’s he trying to get ahead of here?
“I really saw this as a deeply troubling challenge for my family on March 16 when people were talking about a minor and that there were pictures of me with child prostitutes. That’s obviously false,” Gaetz told Carlson. “There will be no such pictures because no such thing happened.”
The New York Times’ report made no mention of photos with child prostitutes, nor have there been any public allegations of such photos of Gaetz existing.
Dragging Tucker Carlson Into The Disaster
The Fox News host probably wasn’t expecting the drive-by when Gaetz declared, “I’m not the only person on screen right now who’s been falsely accused of a terrible sex act.”
“You were accused of something that you did not do, and so you know what this feels like,” the congressman continued.
Carlson said Gaetz was referring to a “mentally ill viewer” who “accused me of a sex crime 20 years ago.”
“Of course it was not true,” the Fox host said. “I never met the person.”
Then Gaetz roped Carlson into his narrative again by bringing up some sort of double date the two of them apparently had had a while back in which the congressman had brought a “friend” whom he claims was threatened by the FBI.
“I can say that actually you and I went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there, and I brought a friend of mine — you’ll remember her — and she 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,” the Republican said.
“I don’t remember the woman you’re speaking of or the context at all, honestly,” Carlson said before immediately redirecting the conversation back to Gaetz’s alleged sexual affair with a 17-year-old.