Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is being investigated by the Justice Department over whether he paid for sex, engaged in sex trafficking and had sex with an underage girl. , said Wednesday on Fox News that he feels “vindicated” because he has yet to be charged with anything.
The investigation into Florida Republicans began in the final months of the Trump administration, New York Times reported, and still works. It stems from an investigation into Joel Greenberg, a friend of Gaetz’s, who pleaded guilty last year to six counts of sex trafficking, among others. Greenberg is cooperating with the authorities, as well as the congressman’s ex-girlfriend.
“This is an operation that destroys me, harms my family, and hinders my ability to serve my district and the movement I represent in Congress,” Gaetz told Tucker Carlson Wednesday night. “The most important thing that has happened since our last online discussion [is that] someone has been prosecuted and has pleaded guilty to trying to sway my family based on this pile of lies.”
Gaetz was referring to Florida businessman Stephen Alford pleading guilty to fraud in connection with an attempt to extort $25 million from Gaetz’s father in exchange for the presidential pardon for Gaetz the congressman sought.
Gaetz did not appear on Carlson’s show for a year. Fox News, The Daily Beast reports, blacklisted him unofficially and kept sympathy for him to a minimum since news of the sex trafficking investigation broke. Part of the reason was that Gaetz, in his last televised conversation with Carlson, appeared to be trying to get the Fox host to vindicate him. At the time, Carlson was “dumbfounded” by the apparent effort.
Carlson asked Gaetz if he expected to be charged.
“No, that would be a farce. I’m innocent. I have maintained my chastity. I am completely consistent about this fact,” he replied. “Every day, lies about me are unraveled and exposed… I feel vindicated every day when the truth is revealed.”
The Daily Beast reported in January that another friend of Greenberg, Joseph Ellicott, witnessed Greenberg telling Gaetz over the phone that he had had sex with a 17-year-old. The Daily Beast also reported last April that Gaetz paid $900 to Greenberg, who then paid Venmo to three young women for that sum.
In 2017, Gaetz was the only member of Congress to vote against a bill that would enhance the federal government’s power to investigate human trafficking.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/matt-gaetz-somehow-feels-vindicated-despite-being-under-investigation?source=articles&via=rss Matt Gaetz somehow feels ‘vindicated’ despite being investigated