As our Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar reported:
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has been the subject of an inquiry by the US Department of Justice into whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel with him. Three people who had been briefed on the matter told the New York Times that investigators are examining whether Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws, the people said.
Thanks to the New York Times spilling the tea, it looks like Gaetz-Gate is underway. Expect the minuscule Biden Border coverage to drop underneath the Rio Grande.
EXCLUSIVE: Matt Gaetz, Trump's close ally, is being investigated by DOJ over whether he had a sexual relationship w/17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel with him. Investigation was opened in the final months of Trump admin under Barr. w/@ktbenner https://t.co/JM7po1iXoS
— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) March 30, 2021
I am no fan of Matt Gaetz, and anyone who is a Democrat or Never Trumper despises him. But while this investigation is not a good look, I am even less enthused about the FBI and the Department of Justice of late. It seems to me that a majority of Americans are not.
Between obtaining fraudulent FISA warrants to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign, Russia Collusion and the Mueller investigation, and the witch hunt against some law-abiding citizens who were peacefully expressing their First Amendment rights at the Capitol in January (as distinguished from those who broke the law that day and should rightly be prosecuted), the partisan dragoonery, and agenda-oriented investigations are now their modus operandi. In my opinion, the branches are corrupt, and until Christopher Wray is run out on a rail, and upper management is flushed clean, the whole system cannot be trusted. It will be a long time before it can be.
As my colleague Bonchie pointed out regarding the inflated charges of the so-called Capitol insurrectionists:
The overcharging of so many from January 6th makes our government look dumb, unprofessional, and incapable. It may help advance a short-term political narrative on CNN, but it is harmful to trust in our institutions over the long-term. The DOJ should be better than this.
It’s all clown world now, and so is the New York Times. The fish-wrap-of-record is outmatched only by WaPo and the Atlantic for its “anonymous sources” — the entire Russia Collusion was based on them, and we see how well that turned out. So, until the 17-year-old alleged victim (who is probably of age by now) or someone credible comes forward, I plan to watch casually while nibbling, rather than devouring my popcorn.
However, it doesn’t mean that Gaetz should be out there defending himself, as he is doing mightily on Twitter, like in this lengthy thread:
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…
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) 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.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) March 30, 2021
Gaetz also decided to do a spin on Tucker Carlson tonight.
Matt Gaetz on Fox right now addressing the NYT article and the accusations in it, for those interested.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 31, 2021
My colleague Joe Cunningham reported on that:
Asked about the story by Tucker Carlson, Gaetz says “It is a horrible allegation, and it is a lie.”
Gaetz reiterated claims made on Twitter and elsewhere that the allegations stem from a former Justice Department official who was attempting to blackmail him. That official, who Gaetz named as “David McGee,” contacted Gaetz’s father, according to the Republican House member.
Gaetz says his family went to the local FBI in Florida, who then asked his father to wear a wire in his next meeting with the extortionist, who wanted millions of dollars in a “down payment” for the ransom.
The original reporting by the New York Times was confirmed by three unnamed sources. RedState has confirmed that Gaetz’s father did indeed wear a wire during the course of an investigation.
What did I say about unnamed sources? Anyways…
No lawyer wants to plead a case that is being played out in the media — just ask Marcia Clark, Christopher Darden, or currently, Eric Nelson. Why give fodder to the DOJ to either cover up or use against you? I suspected Gaetz was not the brightest bulb in the box and these moves kind of confirm it.
For those inclined, I would send his attorneys bourbon on the regular as this plays out; it has all the makings of a circus. To Gaetz’s attorneys: find a doctor who will prescribe Gaetz something to help him keep his mouth shut. The less he says, the better.