Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz has been the talk of the town this week. His fifteen minutes of fame started from an Axios report stating that the GOP Rep. was considering an early departure from Congress to jump-start his career in the Conservative media — something Gaetz himself has since confirmed. But Gaetz’s fame has gone from interesting to disgusting after it was reported that the Florida Congressman is actually the center of two federal investigations alleging an improper relationship with a 17-year-old girl that could have broken sex trafficking laws.
Now, a new report from POLITICO’s Matt Dixon and Betsy Woodruff Swan, published this week, has taken a deep dive into the reasons why former U.S. Attorney General William Barr spent a portion of 2020 avoiding being seen in public with Rep. Matt Gaetz.
Gaetz is, of course, under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice in connection to a far-reaching probe into sex trafficking, including allegations that the Congressman paid a 17-year-old girl to travel with him across state lines, which would be a direct violation of sex trafficking laws. Gaetz has unsurprisingly denied these claims and gone on to claim that the FBI is currently investigating an extortion plot against himself and his father former Florida State Senate President Don Gaetz, claiming that the plot was organized by former federal prosecutor David McGee.
The POLITICO report is quick to make note that the investigations in question were born under the Trump administration, ruining the allegations from Gaetz that the investigations have bipartisan roots.
The report adds that, in 2020, “Then-U.S. Attorney General William Barr was briefed on the Gaetz probe and did not take issue with it, a source familiar with the matter told Politico. Barr and the Office of the Attorney General received multiple briefings on the Gaetz probe, beginning in the summer of 2020, a second person familiar with the probe said. They encouraged Florida prosecutors to move as quickly as they needed to and take whatever steps were appropriate.”
Dixon and Swan note in their report that Barr even avoided attending a GOP event because Gaetz would be there.
“The briefings were consistent with Barr’s memo requiring notification to department leadership on probes of candidates,” the report explains. “The briefing was important because — among other reasons — Barr didn’t want to accidentally appear anywhere with Gaetz, the person said. At one point, Barr was scheduled for a meet-and-greet with Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee. But DOJ canceled his appearance at the event when they saw that Gaetz, a member of that committee, had RSVP’d for it.”
Don Gaetz spoke with POLITICO about the alleged extortion plot, telling the publication, “The FBI asked me to try and get that information for Matt and an indication we would transfer money to Mr. David McGee.”
The authors of the report note that the older Gaetz did not specify “what information he was referring to.” He also said that he was cooperating with the FBI throughout the investigation.
POLITICO quotes Matt’s father as saying, “I said to the FBI, ‘I’m willing to wear a wire and be cooperative,’ but I was asked to say things that are not true to draw out an admission. I wanted there to be an understanding committed in writing that I’m working for the FBI and at their request, not operating on my own.”
McGee spoke with the Daily Beast and said the Gaetz’s claims that he was somehow behind an extortion plot involving their family is “completely, totally false.”
As more and more dirt on Gaetz makes its way into the light, it’s becoming clear that the GOP never had much love for their Florida Congressman.
Featured image via screen capture