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GOP Media Star Rep. Matt Gaetz Now Says He and His Father were WORKING WITH the FBI to help Bust a Sex Ring! Says His Father is Wearing an FBI Wire; Says Former DOJ Guy is Extorting him for $25 million; Tries to get Tucker Carlson to come to his Defense!


CoffeeTiger
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This is a developing story that is getting weirder by the moment! Stay Tuned:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/03/31/matt-gaetz-allegation-explained/

There aren’t many members of Congress whose personal lives are the subject of broad speculation. But for a variety of reasons, Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-Fla.) has been for some time.

One is that he’s a young and handsome bachelor, part of a handful of House members whose constant appearances on conservative cable television have earned him national attention. Another is that Gaetz has both intentionally and unintentionally stoked that interest, first with rumored love interests, then an announced engagement and most unusually, the revelation last year that he has a teenage son (who is his son neither biologically nor legally).

 

So when the New York Times reported Tuesday evening that the Justice Department was investigating Gaetz in relation to what he describes as a past relationship, the story quickly blew up. Then things got weird … er.

Let us explain.

What is alleged?

“The Justice Department is investigating Rep. Matt Gaetz — a Florida Republican considered a close political ally of former president Donald Trump — over an alleged sexual relationship with an underage girl,” The Washington Post’s Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett explain. That relationship allegedly included paying for the girl to travel, potentially across state lines, adding the complexity of potential federal charges related to sex trafficking, according to the Times. Both the Post and Times stories are constrained for fairly obvious reasons, including the limits of available information and the need to accurately convey the potential risk Gaetz faces.

 

The investigation apparently spun out of another sex-trafficking probe in Florida. That one focused on a former county official named Joel Greenberg, who was charged in the summer with a number of federal offenses, including sex trafficking of a minor.

“According to an indictment in the case, Greenberg abused his access to a statewide database, using it to look up the personal information of people with whom he was in 'sugar daddy' relationships, including the minor, and to help produce fake identification documents to 'facilitate his efforts to engage in commercial sex acts,' " Zapotosky and Barrett report. “He was also accused of seeking to undermine a political opponent by surfacing fabricated evidence of racism and misconduct.”

It's worth noting that questions about Gaetz's relationships have emerged in the past. A Mother Jones article from 2019 documents concerns raised by a former member of Gaetz's staff about a 21-year-old he was then dating and who was apparently posting photos of the two of them on Instagram alongside other photos showing not-conservative-politician-friendly activities.

What does Gaetz say happened?

 

Gaetz’s initial response to the Times focused on the travel aspect of the allegation, telling the paper that while he only knew that the investigation “has to do with women,” his suspicion was that “someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward.” He later told the paper that it was “verifiably false” that he had traveled with a minor.

Over the next few hours, though, his claims got much more complicated. He appeared on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show to explain his side of the story.

Here's what he said, in full.

“What is happening is an extortion of me and my family involving a former Department of Justice official. On March 16th, my father got a text message demanding a meeting, wherein a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex-trafficking allegations against me go away. Our family was so troubled by that, we went to the local FBI, and the FBI and the Department of Justice were so concerned about this attempted extortion of a member of Congress that they asked my dad to wear a wire, which he did with the former Department of Justice official.
“Tonight, I am demanding that the Department of Justice and the FBI release the audio recordings that were made under their supervision and at their direction, which will prove my innocence and that will show that these allegations aren’t true. They’re merely intended to try to bleed my family out of money.
“This former Department of Justice official tomorrow was supposed to be contacted by my father so that specific instructions could be given regarding the wiring of $4.5 million as a down payment on this bribe. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that tonight, somehow, the New York Times is leaking this information, smearing me and ruining the investigation that would likely result in one of the former colleagues of the current DOJ being brought to justice for trying to extort me and my family.”

Gaetz later looped Carlson into the allegations.

“You and I went to dinner about two years ago,” Gaetz said. “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.”

Carlson said he didn’t remember that dinner. He also asked Gaetz when the congressman first learned of the investigation, without receiving a specific answer.

Does Gaetz's story hold up?

It's hard to say, given the, shall we say, complexity of Gaetz's allegation. (Carlson himself described the interaction as “one of the weirdest interviews I've ever conducted.”) Gaetz apparently shared messages and documents supporting his claims with Axios's Jonathan Swan, though Swan didn't offer details on what that material indicated.

During the Fox News interview, Gaetz identified the former official as David McGee. McGee spoke with The Post about the charge, saying that Gaetz’s father, Don Gaetz, had reached out to him. (The elder Gaetz is a former Florida politician who became rich after selling a hospice company he had co-founded.)

“It is completely false. It’s a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that he’s under investigation for sex trafficking of minors,” McGee told The Post. He said he had no connection to the case other than being “one of a thousand people who have heard the rumors.”

Weren't there just reports about Gaetz leaving Congress?

Yep. Earlier Tuesday, news broke that Gaetz was thinking of resigning from the House to take a job in conservative media. Outside of the context that emerged with the reported investigation, the story made some sense. Gaetz has been on Fox News an average of 87 minutes a month over the past 12 months; for a low-ranking member of the minority party with an affection for the spotlight to make such a transition wouldn’t be a shock.

 

With the new revelation, though, that story takes on a different color: Was that rumor floated simply as cover for Gaetz to resign for other reasons? (It’s worth noting that resignations from positions of power can be part of plea agreements.) Once we’re reconsidering Gaetz’s willingness to walk away from Congress, we might reconsider his offer in early February to resign from Congress to aid Trump’s impeachment defense. Was the impetus for that attention or, even then, some form of self-preservation?

Did Gaetz have any very specific tweets or actions that now take on another, unflattering light?

Why, yes! Gaetz is a prolific user of social media and the kind of social media user who alternately deploys it for jokes or as a cudgel.

 

So we get jokes like this one from 2019, which age particularly poorly.

More curious was this one, which came after Gaetz himself acknowledges being familiar with the reported investigation.

Then there was his unusual vote on a bill focused on combating sex trafficking during his first year in Congress. The bill passed by a 418-to-1 vote — with Gaetz offering the only “nay.”

“Unless there is an overwhelming, compelling reason that our existing agencies in the federal government can’t handle that problem,” he later explained, “I vote no because voters in Northwest Florida did not send me to Washington to go and create more federal government.”

What’s the political fallout?

 

If Gaetz does resign, there’s no real risk that the GOP would lose his seat. Gaetz has won by at least 30 points in each of his reelection bids, and Trump won the district by more than 30 points last year.

But Gaetz’s position is shaky. The allegations are of a sort that makes it very difficult for his colleagues to come to his defense. Perhaps they believe his claims that he’s a target of extortion — a sort of countercharge that in the past has often turned out to be untrue. But there’s an obvious political risk to vocally defending someone who might face sex-trafficking charges, so expect his political allies (including the former president) to remain fairly muted.

That’s particularly true, Insider reports, because Gaetz isn’t particularly well-liked by his colleagues. One called him “the meanest person in politics.”

Perhaps Gaetz can turn that to his defense. After all, if no one likes him much, wouldn’t that make it more possible that they might try to extort him?

 
Edited by CoffeeTiger
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  • CoffeeTiger changed the title to GOP Media Star Rep. Matt Gaetz Now Says He and His Father were WORKING WITH the FBI to help Bust a Sex Ring! Publicly Admits His Father is Wearing an FBI Wire; Tries to get Tucker Carlson to come to his Defense. More to Come!




  • CoffeeTiger changed the title to GOP Media Star Rep. Matt Gaetz Now Says He and His Father were WORKING WITH the FBI to help Bust a Sex Ring! Says His Father is Wearing an FBI Wire; Says Former DOJ Guy is Extorting him for $25 million; Tries to get Tucker Carlson to come to his Defense!
Just now, DKW 86 said:

This doesnt even come close to passing the smell test....

In what regard?

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13 hours ago, AUDub said:

In what regard?

Gaetz's whole storyline is insane. Prediction: Gaetz is hiding something else here. He is disliked by both sides and has no friends to turn to.

My gut tells me he is going to Newsmax, just like he said twice about 2-3 days ago. He is likely finished in Congress.

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1 hour ago, DKW 86 said:

Gaetz's whole storyline is insane. Prediction: Gaetz is hiding something else here. He is disliked by both sides and has no friends to turn to.

My gut tells me he is going to Newsmax, just like he said twice about 2-3 days ago. He is likely finished in Congress.

Ok good. Yeah he's twisting in the wind right now. He needs to retain and attorney and do the first thing that attorney tells him, which will be to shut the hell up. His meandering bull**** is only digging the hole deeper on possible charges.

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33 minutes ago, TitanTiger said:

Is this the child trafficking ring QAnon was prophesying about?  

They're always going to go full "but what if the child consents?" if it's one of their own. Hypocrites. 

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31 minutes ago, TitanTiger said:

Gaetz showed nude photos of women he said he'd slept with to lawmakers, sources tell CNN

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2021/04/01/politics/matt-gaetz-photos-women/index.html

 

This is what happens when Matt Judge's Butthead is born in privilege and somehow gets kicked upstairs to Congress.

Bonus points for the resemblance. 

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"Uh huh huh huh huh huh huh"

EoLe2-sXUAYnDVB.png

"Come to Butthead"

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The truly funny thing here is that if his last name were Kennedy, Clinton, Cuomo, or Biden most of the people making posts here would never visit this thread. 

I, for the record, criticized the Republican Dirtbags AND the Democrat Dirtbags.

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2 hours ago, DKW 86 said:

The truly funny thing here is that if his last name were Kennedy, Clinton, Cuomo, or Biden most of the people making posts here would never visit this thread. 

I, for the record, criticized the Republican Dirtbags AND the Democrat Dirtbags.

If it was a Dem with this level of allegation they'd probably already have been forced out. 

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12 hours ago, AUDub said:

"Uh huh huh huh huh huh huh"

EoLe2-sXUAYnDVB.png

"Come to Butthead"

And the parade of literal cartoon villains continues. 

Every male Trump and male Trump in-law, McConnell, Graham, Bannon, Miller, this ******* clown... just the most consistently and supremely punchable faces one could imagine. Even the psycho chick from GA put out a video of herself working out and looking completely bizarre and, well, psycho in the process. 

It's not even just a Mike Judge thing, although his is the most prescient work. The current GOP is truly a caricature of bad people behaving badly. 

 

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Even got his own personal Beavis. 

jordan-gaetz-beavis-butt-head.jpg?fm=pjp

(Gym Jordan)

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1 hour ago, AUDub said:

If it was a Dem with this level of allegation they'd probably already have been forced out. 

Like Kennedy, Clinton, Cuomo, or Biden?

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5 minutes ago, DKW 86 said:

Like 

Kennedy, Clinton, Cuomo, or Biden?

Kennedy and Clinton came from a different era where harassment was taken much less seriously. Cuomo has a bit more power than a Congressman is being stubborn and the calls for his resignation for the revelation of his behavior toward women and his handling of COVID19 are mounting everyday.

You throwing Biden into this is just you being you. 

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14 minutes ago, AUDub said:

Kennedy and Clinton came from a different era where harassment was taken much less seriously

It was not brushed off as a “different era” when discussing allegations about Trump. “Miss Piggy” 1996...brought up by Hillary in a debate.

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1 minute ago, SaltyTiger said:

It was not brushed off as a “different era” when discussing allegations about Trump. “Miss Piggy” 1996...brought up by Hillary in a debate.

He was technically still in power. Kennedy is dead and Clinton hasn't been in power in 20ish years. 

Things are different these days and for good reason. 

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5 minutes ago, AUDub said:

He was technically still in power. Kennedy is dead and Clinton hasn't been in power in 20ish years. 

Things are different these days and for good reason. 

I mean, if it makes you feel any better, Salty, I'll call for the corpse and the erstwhile president's resignation forthwith like I have Cuomo's. 

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19 minutes ago, AUDub said:

 

How long did it take for the NY Dems to call for Cuomo to resign?  Give it time as more facts come out.

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