After the news, relying on three anonymous sources, broke Tuesday through the New York Times that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was being investigated by the Department of Justice regarding allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid her to travel with him across state lines, Gaetz appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” vehemently denying the allegation and stating that he was the target of an extortion scheme led by a former federal prosecutor. Gaetz identified that former DOJ employee as David McGee, who is now an attorney in private practice in Pensacola, Florida.
In both the Times story and Gaetz’s interview with Tucker Carlson, Gaetz stated that he and his father, former president of the Florida Senate, went to the FBI about the blackmail/extortion scheme and that his father had agreed to wear a wire to get information for the FBI. Wednesday morning, the elder Gaetz spoke with Politico Florida’s Matt Dixon, confirming his son’s story. Don Gaetz also named a second man, Stephen Alford, as being involved with the plot.
Don Gaetz said in the interview he wore a wire during a meeting earlier this month with McGee and said he was set to meet Wednesday with Stephen Alford, a local developer who he said is also part of the alleged extortion scheme. During that meeting, Don Gaetz said, he was again set to wear a wire and try to get Alford to talk about payments he allegedly was to make to McGee, but the meeting fell apart when news broke that his son was being investigated by the Justice Department. Alford did not respond to text messages seeking comment.
Don Gaetz provided a March 25, 2021 email from David Goldberg, an Assistant US Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, to his attorney, Jeffrey Neiman, to Politico. According to Politico, the email reads in part:
“I can confirm that your client is working with my office as well as the FBI at the government’s request in order to determine if a federal crime has been committed. This has been discussed with, and approved by, the FBI as well as leadership in my office and components of main justice.”
“The government thanks you for working cooperatively with the FBI,” the email concludes.
For his part, McGee vehemently denies being involved in an extortion attempt — which is wise, considering the prison sentence for such crimes.
In an interview with The Daily Beast late Tuesday night, McGee said any reports of extortion involving him or his firm were “completely, totally false.”
“This is a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that Matt Gaetz is apparently about to be indicted for sex trafficking underage girls,” McGee said.
Who’s right? Time will tell.