After interviews with several media outlets, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz confirmed he has been under investigation for sexual misconduct allegations involving a minor. Gaetz denied the claim and contends it involves a plot to extort his family financially.
Florida Congressman and prominent Trump ally Matt Gaetz confirmed with Axios he is under investigation for sexual misconduct, allegations he vehemently denies.
- Anonymous sources told The Associated Press the investigation involves the questions of whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with underage girls and whether federal trafficking laws were violated if Gaetz paid for interstate travel with them.
- Gaetz claims the allegations are part of an extortion campaign orchestrated by a former Department of Justice attorney now in private practice, a scheme Gaetz says he is working with the FBI to investigate.
- The investigation into Gaetz apparently stems from a larger probe into a Florida politician, who has since been indicted for sex trafficking of a minor.
- The New York Times, whose original reporting and interview with Gaetz first broke this story, spent more than half the story discussing the various personal and political improprieties of Joel Greenberg, the Florida county politician who has since resigned after being indicted for sex trafficking of a minor.
- CNN’s reporting is light on details of the allegations and focuses, surprisingly sympathetically, on Gaetz’ denial of the allegations and his own belief that the story was leaked to thwart the FBI’s own probe into the extortion of the Gaetz family.
- Huffington Post’s coverage named the attorney and former DOJ lawyer Gaetz accuses of orchestrating the extortion, and covered an interview Gaetz gave Fox News’ Tucker Carlson last night in which the congressman offered up several previously unknown tidbits about the investigation unprompted.
- OANN’s coverage was brief and led by Gaetz’s denials as well as claims that a former DOJ official is attempting to extort his family out of $25 million, saying Gaetz and his family have been “cooperating with authorities for months” and that no charges have been filed.
- On Fox News, Tucker Carlson called his interview of Gaetz “one of the weirdest interviews” he’s ever conducted as Gaetz referenced many parts of the investigation that have previously not been shared publicly. Fox’s reporting also characterized Gaetz’ references to allegations against Carlson as an effort by Gaetz to deflect attention from the investigation.
- A RedState contributor cast doubt on the veracity of the allegations, despite the author being “no fan of Matt Gaetz”, saying the FBI’s track record into investigations involving politicians has not been stellar lately, referencing the agency’s fraudulent use of FISA warrants and the Russia-Trump collusion farce, and the New York Times’ heavy reliance on “unnamed sources.”
© Dallas Gerber, 2021