Rep. Matt Gaetz possesses text message screenshots, an email, and a typed document that purportedly support his claims that a federal investigation into his relationship with a 17-year-old is related to an extortion scheme against him.
On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that the Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid her to travel with him. Gaetz has called the report “totally false.” Gaetz told Axios that his lawyers told him that he “was not a target but a subject of an investigation regarding sexual conduct with women.”
The Florida Republican countered the report on Twitter and in statements to Axios and Fox News with a claim that his family is being extorted for $25 million and that the people pushing stories about an investigation into his relationships with women are the people extorting him and the subjects of an FBI extortion investigation over the last few weeks.
The documents in Gaetz’s possession detail an alleged scheme that revolves around attempts by former Air Force intelligence officer Bob Kent and Beggs & Lane attorney David McGee, a former federal prosecutor, to free ex-FBI agent-turned-private investigator Robert Levinson from imprisonment in Iran.
Levinson went missing in Iran in March 2007. McGee is the attorney for the Levinson family. Kent in December 2018 had planned a secret mission to try to rescue Levinson, but he was reportedly thwarted by the federal government.
Screenshots provided to the Washington Examiner show a message that his father, Don Gaetz, a former Florida state Senate president, said he received from Kent on March 16. The message proposes “a plan that can make [Matt Gaetz’s] future legal and political problems go away.” Gaetz has denied any relationship with a minor.
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