U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz defended himself in a blistering op-ed published by the Washington Examiner on Monday, ripping the “DC swamp” for protecting its “made men” like the “Mafia” and denying sex trafficking allegations leveled against him.
Writing that “scandal cycles” in the nation’s capital “are predictable,” the Florida Republican and staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, said that “sex is especially potent in politics.”
“Let me first remind everyone that I am a representative in Congress, not a monk, and certainly not a criminal,” he added.
Gaetz went on to say that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “once defended” former President Bill Clinton “after he got an intern to fellate him in the Oval Office” while suggesting that the “the allegation” he paid for “an adult girlfriend’s expenses” is simply “a bridge too far for power hungry hypocrites.”
Reports last week said that Gaetz is being investigated by the Justice Department for an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Gaetz has denied the allegations and has said he is the victim of a $25 million extortion plot.
After the allegations surfaced, Gaetz’s father, former Florida state Sen. Don Gaetz, provided a trove of materials to the Washington Examiner that appear to substantiate his claims, including screenshots, text messages, emails, and even typed documents.
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
Gaetz also appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program a week ago where he made similar allegations that he was being extorted in an interview the host would describe immediately afterward as “one of the weirdest interviews” he has ever conducted.
“To this point,” the Florida Republican continued in his op-ed, “there are exactly zero credible (or even non-credible) accusers willing to come forward by name and state on the public record that I behaved improperly toward them, in the manner by which Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ten accusers.”
He added that major media outlets have gone on to repeat “false allegations” about a GOP lawmaker “who loathes the swamp and fights both sides of it on a daily basis.”
“Just as they once falsely attacked President Donald Trump as a Russian asset, Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a gang rapist, and even John McCain as having fathered a child out of wedlock, they now attack me,” Gaetz continued.
The lawmaker suggested he’s being targeted for taking “on the most powerful institutions” in Washington, to include the political “establishment; the FBI, the Biden Justice Department; the Cheney political dynasty; even the Justice Department under Trump.”
“Yes, just like the mafia, the D.C. swamp protects its ‘made men,’” Gaetz continued, going on to write unequivocally: “I have never, ever paid for sex. And second, I, as an adult man, have not slept with a 17-year-old.”
The GOP congressmen then pushed back against those, including, he said, some in his own party, who have called on him to step down.
“I am absolutely not resigning,” he wrote.
Gaetz also did not back away from any insinuations about past sexual activity save for the allegation about an underaged girl.
“My lifestyle of yesteryear may be different from how I live now, but it was not and is not illegal. I defended Rep. Katie Hill’s ‘throuple’ when her own Democratic colleagues wouldn’t. I just didn’t think it was anyone’s business,” he wrote.
“My personal life is and always has been conducted on my own time and my own dime. Consensual adult relationships are not illegal,” he added.
The Florida Republican then blasted the Justice Department for targeting him instead of allegations against Hunter Biden “for his shady business dealings,” while predicting that there would be more “leaks” to the media from the DoJ.
“When you do,” see them, Gaetz wrote, “ask yourself why. They aren’t coming for me — they are coming for you. I’m just in the way.
“As for me? I’m going to fight like hell for my constituents and the country I deeply love. You deserve no less, especially right now,” he concluded.
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