Matt Gaetz under federal investigation over possible sexual relationship with minor

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said Tuesday he is under investigation for alleged sex trafficking of an underage girl claiming the allegations are part of an extortion attempt involving a former Justice Department employee. File

Gaetz had on Tuesday claimed he is the victim of a $25million extortion plot after the New York Times revealed he is under investigation for sex trafficking over allegations he had a sexual relationship with a teenage girl, 17, and paid to have her travel with him. "And the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice were so concerned about this attempted extortion of a member of Congress that they asked my dad to wear a wire, which he did, with the former Department of Justice official", Gaetz continued.

Aside from current calls for Gaetz to be relieved of his House Judiciary duties during the investigation, the Times also notes that Gaetz "has recently mused with confidants about quitting elected politics and taking a full-time job with the conservative television channel Newsmax or another network, according to a person familiar with the conversations".

"The planted leak to the FBI tonight was meant to thwart that investigation", Gaetz said.

The 38-year-old laid out more details on Twitter yesterday on his allegations of a smear campaign.

In 2017, Gaetz was the only member of Congress to vote against increasing federal funds to fight human trafficking. Last night, the much-maligned congressman lowkey tried to implicate Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson (and his wife) into his sex abuse allegations during an unusual interview on live television. The investigation was launched by the DOJ under former Attorney General Bill Barr in the final months of the Trump administration, the Times reported.

"It is a disgusting allegation, and it is a lie", said Gaetz.

He denied that he ever had a relationship with any underage girls and said the allegations against him were "as searing as they are false".

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Gaetz confirmed toAxios that he is the subject, not the target, of "an investigation regarding sexual conduct with women". "I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward", Gaetz said in a statement.

Representatives for Gaetz and the Justice Department did not immediately reply to the Washington Examiner's requests for comment.

He also gave the name of a former Justice official, David McGee, as the person extorting him.

Gaetz said his family has been cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and said his father was wearing a recording device, at the FBI's direction, "to catch these criminals".

"I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I've dated", he told Axios.

The investigation is part of a larger inquiry into former Seminole County tax collector and friend Joel Greenberg, who was charged past year with 14 felony counts accusing him of stalking a political opponent, using a state database to create fake IDs, and sex trafficking a minor between the ages of 14 and 17, reports the Times. "I can say that you and I went to dinner about two years ago". "I've been traveling. We've going to a vaccination facility here just shortly, but later this afternoon, I hope to be able to speak with Mr. Gaetz". "He should not be sitting on a Congressional Committee with oversight over the DOJ while the Department is investigating him", Lieu tweeted immediately following the story. Providing for flights and hotel rooms for people you are dating, who are of legal age, is not a crime.

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