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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