U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show on Tuesday to adamantly proclaim his innocence in connection with allegations of sex trafficking and to expose an alleged extortion attempt by a former DOJ official for millions of dollars.
Gaetz steadfastly denied any alleged sexual relations with a 17-year-old girl and stated that the DOJ official in question had attempted to extort his family for $25 million dollars.
The leaked details of the still-murky situation were released by The New York Times. The media outlet based its reporting on three anonymous sources. The inquiry is allegedly part of an investigation into Florida official Joel Greenberg who was charged last year with sex trafficking a minor between the ages of 14 and 17. Gaetz has not been charged.
Gaetz claimed this is an attempt to smear him: “It is a horrible allegation, and it is a lie,” declared the congressman.
“The New York Times is running a story that I have traveled with a 17-year-old woman, and that is verifiably false, 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,” he explained.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
“The allegations against me are as searing as they are false,” Gaetz told Axios while adding, “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.”
Gaetz allegedly also “privately told confidants he’s seriously considering not seeking re-election and possibly leaving Congress early for a job at Newsmax.”
“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,” he told Carlson.
“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,” Gaetz explained in the Fox News interview.
“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,” he proclaimed.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
Over the past several weeks my family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name.
We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter…
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) March 30, 2021
…of the ongoing extortion investigation.
I demand the DOJ immediately release the tapes, made at their direction, which implicate their former colleague in crimes against me based on false allegations.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) March 30, 2021
In the interview, Gaetz referenced debunked sexual harassment claims against the Fox News host. Gaetz also asserted that he went to dinner with Carlson accompanied by a woman who was then threatened and smeared 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,” commented Gaetz.
“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. And so, I do believe that there are people at the Department of Justice who are trying to smear me,” he intoned.
“You know, providing for flights and hotel rooms for people that you’re dating who are of legal age is not a crime,” stated Gaetz. “And I’m just troubled that the lack of any sort of legitimate investigation into me would then permute, would then convert into this extortion attempt.”
“I don’t remember the woman you’re speaking of, or the context at all, honestly,” Carlson said.
Gaetz provided the name of the DOJ official when Carlson asked for it: a former DOJ prosecutor for the Organized Crime Task Force named David McGee. He is an attorney at the Beggs & Lane law firm. McGee is denying the charges by Gaetz.
“His name is David McGee. He was a top official in the leadership in the northern district of Florida as a prosecutor,” alleged Gaetz. “I know that there was a demand for money in exchange for a commitment that he could make this investigation go away along with his co-conspirators. They even claimed to have specific connections inside the Biden White House.”
“You just saw our Matt Gaetz interview. That was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted,” Carlson concluded after the interview. “That story just appeared in the news a couple of hours ago, and on the certainty that there’s always more than you read in the newspaper, we immediately called Matt Gaetz and asked him to come on and tell us more. Which, as you saw, he did. I don’t think that clarified much, but it certainly showed this is a deeply interesting story and we’ll be following it. Don’t quite understand it but we will bring you more when we find out.”