Leading Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz investigated over sexual relationship



The Justice Department is investigating Gaetz, a noted ally of former president Donald Trump, over his alleged relationship with a teenage girl, The Washington Post reported, in a probe that began while Trump was still in office.

"Using the phrase "17 year old woman" should tell you everything you need to know about Matt Gaetz", tweeted Zara Rahim, former Director of Communications at Vogue. No charges had been filed as of the time of the report, but Gaetz told Axios on Tuesday that he fears charges against him may be coming. 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".

In 2017, Gaetz was the only member of Congress to vote against increasing federal funds to fight human trafficking.

'It is a disgusting allegation and it is a lie, ' he told Carlson.

Attorney General William Barr opened the investigation in the waning days of the Trump administration and notified senior officials in the Justice Department due to Gaetz's national profile, according to the report, which stressed no charges have been brought against the congressman. Gaetz said at the time the proposal constituted "mission creep" by the federal government, and that "existing agencies in the federal government" already existed to handle the issue. "I don't think that clarified much, but it certainly showed this is a deeply interesting story".

The Justice Department has also been looking into whether Gaetz, 38, may have also been involved in relationships with other underage girls, the person said.

In an interview with Axios, he added that the specifics of the allegations are "unclear" and he's been told "very little" about the investigation and that his lawyers were informed he was "not a target but a subject of an investigation regarding sexual conduct with women".

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Gaetz told Newsy that he is being extorted by a "former DOJ official" for $25 million.

The Florida congressman told The Times, "I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward". The sources said the Gaetz investigation was connected to the investigation of Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector in Florida who was indicted past year on charges including sex trafficking of a child.

"I believe that there are people at the Department of Justice who are trying to criminalize my sexual conduct, you know when I was a single guy", he reportedly said.

He alleged that the woman had been "threatened" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and told "she could face trouble" if she didn't confess to authorities that Gaetz was involved in a "pay-for-play scheme".

"No part of the allegations against me are true, and the people pushing these lies are targets of the ongoing extortion investigation", the statement said.

With a puzzled look on his face, Carlson responded, "You just referred to a mentally ill viewer who accused me of a sex crime 20 years ago". "You know, I've paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not". The Justice Department did not immediately comment.

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