Ex-official calls Gaetz extortion claim ‘a blatant attempt to distract’ from likely indictment

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is facing serious criminal allegations related to child sex trafficking, though he has fervently denied the claims and suggested the ordeal is merely an attempt to extort his family for $25 million.

The congressman named former Justice Department official David McGee as the individual behind the alleged extortion attempt, but the ex-DOJ official has now responded by insisting that Gaetz is lying in order to divert attention away from the ongoing federal investigation and an expected indictment, according to the Daily Wire.

All the details

Allegations against Gaetz first surfaced publicly in a recent article by The New York Times, which described a probe into claims that the congressman paid for travel expenses for a 17-year-old girl with whom he was purportedly involved in a romantic relationship in potential violation of sex trafficking laws.

Gaetz has since denied the charge multiple times, including in a thread of tweets, a statement to Axios, and an on-air interview with Fox News personality Tucker Carlson.

Outlining the supposed extortion scheme against him and his father, the Florida Republican said he had been working alongside federal officials in a counterinvestigation of the plot. Gaetz went on to name McGee during his conversation with Carlson.

He said the former federal official was a central figure in an effort to obtain a $25 million bribe from his family in order to make the allegations and related investigation go away.

As the Daily Beast reported, McGee has since issued his response to the lawmaker’s claims.

The official repsonse

Calling the notion of an extortion attempt “completely, totally false,” the former DOJ official said that the allegation “is a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that Matt Gaetz is apparently about to be indicted for sex trafficking underage girls.”

Of course, the facts of the case are still unconfirmed and under investigation. Some early evidence, however, appears to support Gaetz’s claims.

The Washington Examiner reported Wednesday that its reporters had obtained screenshots of text messages, emails, and other communications that it suggested may indicate the congressman and his father were being blackmailed by McGee and other unnamed accomplices to the tune of $25 million.

Notably, the scheme also appears to revolve around a non-governmental effort to recover former FBI agent Robert Levinson from captivity in Iran — a clandestine operation that would require at least $25 million to conduct. Those behind the alleged plot to extort Gaetz reportedly promised that, if he provided the funds, he would receive credit for Levinson’s return and President Joe Biden would intervene to either halt the investigation or issue a pardon to Gaetz.

This case is clearly unusual and has captured the attention of politicos on both sides of the aisle. At this point, it would be wise for everyone to withhold judgment until more tangible evidence becomes available.

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