Gaetz: DOJ probe into possible relationship with teen girl is part of extortion plot

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., accused an unnamed former Justice Division authentic of a multimillion-dollar extortion plot on Tuesday, hours after a information record mentioned the lawmaker was once being investigated by means of the Justice Division over whether or not he had a sexual dating with a minor and paid for her to shuttle with him.

Gaetz, in a tweeted observation, vehemently denied the allegations reported by means of The New York Occasions, which cited 3 other people briefed at the subject. He claimed he and his circle of relatives had been the sufferers of a $25 million extortion plot and that he was once cooperating with federal government within the subject.

He added that his father, a former Florida political determine and an established energy dealer within the state, had labored with the FBI to put on a twine.

Gaetz, 38, referred to as a record in The Occasions detailing the probe a “planted leak.”

“During the last a number of weeks my circle of relatives and I’ve been sufferers of an arranged felony extortion involving a former DOJ authentic searching for $25 million whilst threatening to smear my identify,” Gaetz mentioned.

“We’ve been cooperating with federal government on this subject and my father has even been dressed in a twine on the FBI’s course to catch those criminals,” he mentioned. “The planted leak to the FBI this night was once meant to thwart that investigation.”

“No a part of the allegations in opposition to me are true, and the folks pushing those lies are objectives of the continued extortion investigation,” he added. “I call for the DOJ right away free up the tapes, made at their course, which implicate their former colleague in crimes in opposition to me in accordance with false allegations.”

The Justice Division declined to remark.

In line with The Occasions, it was once unclear how Gaetz and the unnamed lady met. The Occasions reported that the come upon came about two years in the past when the lady was once 17, and that investigators are inspecting if Gaetz broke federal intercourse trafficking regulations. Such regulations make it against the law to urge anyone beneath the age of 18 to shuttle for intercourse in change for one thing of worth.

The inquiry into Gaetz, a emerging big name within the GOP and a staunch best friend of former President Donald Trump, was once opened within the ultimate months of the Trump management beneath then-Lawyer Normal Invoice Barr, consistent with The Occasions.

Gaetz advised The Occasions in an interview that he was once advised he’s the topic, now not the objective, of the investigation. “I’ve a suspicion that anyone is making an attempt to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as one thing extra untoward,” he advised the paper.

The Occasions, bringing up the 3 assets, reported that the probe of Gaetz is tied to a investigation of Joel Greenberg, a Gaetz political best friend who was once indicted remaining yr on federal stalking fees, together with annoyed identification robbery and intercourse trafficking of a kid, amongst different fees. Gaetz was once noticed in a photograph with Greenberg posted on Twitter in 2019 all through a consult with to the White Area.

A legal professional for Greenberg didn’t reply to a request for remark.

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