Republican U.S. Representative for Florida’s 1st congressional district, Matt Gaetz, told Axios that he is under investigation by the Justice Department over a former relationship. The Congressman denies any criminal wrongdoing.
“The allegations against me are as searing as they are false,” Gaetz said in a phone interview with Axios. “I believe that there are people at the Department of Justice who are trying to criminalize my sexual conduct, you know when I was a single guy.”
The New York Times reported that the Justice Department is investigating Gaetz over whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and if he paid for her to travel with him. Congressman Gaetz says this is all a plot to extort money from his family.
“The allegations of sexual misconduct against me are false,” Gaetz said. “They are rooted in an extortion effort against my family for $25 million… in exchange for making this case go away.”
Gaetz showed evidence of the alleged extortion scheme that he claims is being run by a former Department of Justice employee.
“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. I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.”
Gaetz further responded to the allegations in an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News.
Matt Gaetz vows to Tucker Carlson he didn't "travel" with a 17-year-old, but his denial seems pretty specific and carefully worded pic.twitter.com/emGePJeVfV
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 31, 2021