In the wake of revelations from the New York Times and other outlets that Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is under federal investigation for a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, Gaetz told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Tuesday that it was a “lie.”
Gaetz claimed that the allegations arose from an “extortion” scheme and even named Pensacola, Florida lawyer David McGee, a former U.S. Attorney, as the culprit.
The original story in the New York Times is apparently another leak from the Department of Justice.
DOJ is allegedly investigating Gaetz for violating sex trafficking laws, for traveling with an unnamed 17 year-old.
Watch Gaetz’ interview with Tucker below.
NEW: DOJ is investigating Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) for trafficking, related to his conduct with a 17-yr-old girl. The investigation was opened under AG Bill Barr and briefed to senior Trump DOJ officials.@nytmike & mehttps://t.co/PYqIoLFMqZ
— Katie Benner (@ktbenner) March 30, 2021
Gaetz Claims Issue Is An Extortion Attempt
In his interview with Tucker, Gaetz told an incredible story.
“It is a horrible allegation, and it is a lie,” Gaetz told Carlson. “The New York Times is running a story that I have traveled with a 17-year-old woman, and that is verifiably false.”
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Gaetz continued, “People can look at my travel records and see that that is not the case. What is happening is an extortion of me and my family involving a former Department of Justice official.”
Rep. Gaetz then gave his version of the details.
“On March 16, 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” Gaetz claimed.
According to the NYT, this investigation began under the Trump administration.
“Our family was so troubled by that, we went to the local FBI,” Gaetz continued. “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.”
The congressman then made a specific demand.
“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,” he said.
Gaetz added, “They are merely intended to try to bleed my family out of money.”
“And 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,” the Republican added.
Breaking News: The Justice Department is said to be investigating Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida over a possible sexual relationship he had with a 17-year-old girl. https://t.co/ULK13EREez
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 30, 2021
Gaetz: ‘His Name Is David McGee’
Gaetz then made a major claim, naming names.
“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 a one of the former colleagues of the current DOJ being brought to justice for trying to extort me and my family,” he said.
Carlson asked the congressman who was attempting the to extort him.
“His name is David McGee,” Gaetz replied.
“He was a top official in the leadership in the Northern District of Florida as a prosecutor,” Gaetz added. “He currently works at the Beggs & Lane law firm.”
Gaetz insists obtaining the recordings was key to exonerating him.
“As a matter of fact, one of the recordings that was made at the FBI and Department of Justice request occurred at that law firm, and the money that was supposed to be paid today that would have shown even more evidence of David McGee’s work in this extortion scheme, that was foiled by The New York Times story, and I believe that why this horrible information and terrible allegations have been used this evening,” he insisted.
Gaetz speculated the story was leaked to the Times as a way to tamp down on the investigation.
“What was supposed to happen was the transfer of this money that would have implicated the former colleague of these current DOJ officials,” Gaetz said.
He added, “But that’s obviously not going to happen tomorrow because The New York Times story was leaked in order to quell that investigative effort.”
Gaetz: ‘Those Tapes Will Show That I Am Innocent’
Gaetz then made his demand again: “So here is what needs to happen next.”
“The FBI and the Department of Justice must release the tapes that are in their possession that were done at their direction,” Gaetz insisted.
“Those tapes will show that I am innocent and that the whole concept of sex charges against me was really just a way to try to bleed my family out of money and probably smear my name because I am a well-known outspoken conservative, and I guess that’s out of style in a lot of part of the country right now,” he finished.
In the NYT piece, Gaetz told a similar story.
There are apparently no charges against Gaetz currently.
After the interview, Tucker described the Gaetz interview as one of the “weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.”
Gaetz also sent screenshots of text messages and emails to Axios, which he says prove there is an extortion scheme against him.
For his part, McGee, who was accused by Gaetz, told the Washington Post that he has “no connection with that case at all,” but also that he has “spoken with Gaetz’ father.”
Watch the interview here:
WATCH: Rep. Matt Gaetz responds on Tucker Carlson Tonight to allegations of sexual misconduct:
He says a former DOJ official named David McGee is trying to extort is family for money
He says that the FBI and DOJ have audio recordings that will prove his innocence. pic.twitter.com/J95AEFtxsr
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 31, 2021
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