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Rep. Matt Gaetz accuses former DOJ official of extortion

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 3/31/21, 06:59 pm

A Republican congressman from Florida acknowledged he was the subject of a federal investigation but said a former official with the Justice Department was extorting him. “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,” Rep. Matt Gaetz said in a statement. The allegations against him, which he denies, involve a possible inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl, The New York Times reported. House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Wednesday the accusations were serious and he planned to speak with Gaetz about them.

Who is Gaetz? A staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, he won election to the House in 2016 at age 34. During the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Gaetz frequently accused the FBI of partisan bias against the president. He also led about two dozen other representatives in interrupting a secure hearing during Trump’s first House impeachment inquiry, which he said was unfair and overly partisan.

Dig deeper: Read Harvest Prude’s report about the time Gaetz accused Trump lawyer Michael Cohen of adultery on Twitter.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital's managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kansas. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Thu, 04/01/2021 10:57 am

    For all I know, Congressman Gaetz may be the most honest person in Congress.  But he sure does need to hire an image consultant. In the photo he looks to me like a slippery used car salesman!  And btw, I have known  some very honest and honorable used car salesmen!  

  • Big Jim
    Posted: Fri, 04/02/2021 01:10 am

    HaHa, I was thinking the same thing OldMike! You will notice in the picture that "CPAC", "2021" and Mr. Gaetz (looking like a used car salesman) are all featured in the photo, which, not surprisingly, is credited to the AP. I wonder how many other photos of Mr. Gaetz were rejected in favor of this one? Nothing like a story combined with an unflattering picture to tie together conservatives, current year and the "used car salesman" with an investigation into unseemly behavior.

    And that's not to say he is innocent or that the behavior alleged is OK. I guess we'll have to wait for things to play out.