Gaetz was being extorted over 'sex orgy with underage prostitutes to rescue US hostage from Iran'


This is the text Matt Gaetz's father Don says he received from Bob Kent, an Air Force intelligence officer, on March 16, detailing an extortion plot that would involve the Gaetz family giving up $25million

This is the text Matt Gaetz’s father Don says he received from Bob Kent, an Air Force intelligence officer, on March 16, detailing an extortion plot that would involve the Gaetz family giving up $25million 

New texts and documents released by Rep. Matt Gaetz seem to support his claim that he was being extorted over a Department of Justice sex trafficking investigation, and suggest that the ‘plot’ was part of a ploy to rescue American hostage Robert Levinson in Iran. 

The complex saga began earlier this week when The New York Times published a report citing three anonymous sources that Gaetz was under investigation for his relationship with a 17-year-old girl. 

He hit back denying that he’d had sex with the underage girl or trafficked her across state lines, as the Times story claimed, and instead claimed he was being targeted by extortionists. 

He said that a former DoJ official – David McGee – was trying to get $25million out of his family and was using the sex trafficking probe as leverage. McGee has denied it. 

Gaetz’s father Don, a former Senator, has even backed up his claim and said that the pair were both working with the FBI on a simultaneous investigation into the alleged extortion attempt. 

On Wednesday, Gaetz produced text message screenshots and emails to The Washington Examiner to support his case.  

They shed more light on the allegations. According to the documents, Gaetz had been seen in compromising photos having sex with underage prostitutes. 

McGee and another man, Air Force intelligence officer Bob Kent, claimed in the messages to have knowledge of the investigation. They said that he was about to be indicted but that they could stop it if the Gaetz family put up $25million which would help secure Levinson’s release. 

Levinson worked for the FBI for 22 years then vanished in 2007 while in Iran.  Nothing was known as to whether he was alive or dead until 2011 when Levinson’s family shared images and a video of him being held captive and pleading for help. 

Levinson’s family said in March 2020 that they had been informed by US officials that he had died in Iranian custody, while being held in Iran as the longest-held hostage in American history.

But Kent claimed he was very much alive and that if Gaetz provided the money to release him, he would be given public credit for the operation and the ‘team’ would tell President Biden to give him a pardon in the sex trafficking case. 

McGee used to work for the Department of Justice but now works in private practice and is the Levinson family’s lawyer. Kent has claimed in the past that he has worked on plans to secure Levinson’s release.  

This document was given to Gaetz's father Don on March 17, allegedly by Air Force intelligence officer Bob Kent. The plan involved the Gaetz family putting up $25million to secure Levinson's release but it doesn't say how the money would secure that

This document was given to Gaetz’s father Don on March 17, allegedly by Air Force intelligence officer Bob Kent. The plan involved the Gaetz family putting up $25million to secure Levinson’s release but it doesn’t say how the money would secure that 

Another document that Gaetz has produced is an email from the Assistant US Attorney for the Northern District of Florida which confirms that the family was working with the FBI

Another document that Gaetz has produced is an email from the Assistant US Attorney for the Northern District of Florida which confirms that the family was working with the FBI 

Rep. Matt Gaetz (pictured) was allegedly being extorted over the investigation into 'compromising pictures' showing him in a sex orgy with underage prostitutes to help rescue American hostage Robert Levinson from Iran, according to newly-obtained documents

Rep. Matt Gaetz (pictured) was allegedly being extorted over the investigation into ‘compromising pictures’ showing him in a sex orgy with underage prostitutes to help rescue American hostage Robert Levinson from Iran, according to newly-obtained documents

Bombshell texts, an email and a printout with the heading 'Project Homecoming' detail the alleged scheme involving former DOJ official David McGee (above) and former Air Force intelligence officer Bob Kent

The alleged plot tries to enlist Gaetz's financial backing - to the sum of $25 million - to pay to free Robert Levinson (above), who was captured 14 years ago in Iran and whose family said they were told he was dead

Bombshell texts, an email and a printout with the heading ‘Project Homecoming’ detail the alleged scheme involving former DOJ official David McGee (left) and former Air Force intelligence officer Bob Kent to free US hostage Robert Levinson (right)

The texts are purportedly from him to Gaetz’s father, former Senator Don Gaetz. They were sent on March 16 and 17. 

TIMELINE OF THE GAETZ SAGA

MARCH 30: The New York Times reports that Gaetz is under investigation for a sexual relationship with an underage girl. 

Details are sparse but the relationship is said to have happened two years ago.

Gaetz went on Tucker Carlson’s FOX News show that night to deny the allegations and claim he was the victim of an extortion plot. 

He names David McGee as a DoJ official who is extorting him. 

McGee denies it. 

MARCH 31: Gaetz’s father Don tells Politico that the extortion plot is real and that he was working with his son and the FBI to expose it 

APRIL 1: Texts emerge to support Gaetz’s claim that he was being extorted and they introduce a new element to the saga – that the extortion plot was part of a ruse to rescue American hostage Robert Levinson from Iran. 

WHO’S WHO 

Rep Matt Gaetz 

Gaetz, 38, is the representative for Florida’s 1st congressional district. 

He is a Trump ally who has ties to Roger Stone and he’s been known to fan the flames of controversy in the past. 

He has DUI convictions, has been accused of inciting violence on Twitter and claimed that facial recognition technology proved some of the January 6 Capitol rioters were not Trump fans, but ‘antifa’ masquerading as them.

Don Gaetz 

Gaetz’s father who was a well-liked Senator. He sold his company with his partners for $406million in 2004. 

They had founded VITAS Healthcare in the 1980s. He was a senator for ten years from 2006 until 2016. 

David McGee

McGee was a prosecutor with the Department of Justice but he is now a private practice attorney. 

According to his bio on his law firm’s website, he spent six years as the First Assistant at the United States Attorney’s Office and for seven years as the Lead Attorney for a United States Department of Justice Organized Crime Task Force.

Bob Kent 

Kent is an Air Force intelligence officer whose involvement in the alleged plot was only revealed on Wednesday night through the texts.

Robert Levinson 

Levinson spent 22 years working for the FBI before he vanished in Iran in 2007. The government claimed they knew nothing about it but later admitted he had been working there for the CIA. 

The last time he was seen alive was in 2011, when he appeared in proof of life photos. 

His family say that this month, they were given reason to believe he was dead. 

‘Mr Gaetz, I would like to talk with you immediately about the current federal investigation and the indictment that is about to be filed against your son. I have a plan that can make his future legal and political problems go away,’ the first text, sent on March 16 purportedly from Kent, says.  

Kent goes on: ‘Last summer, we located Robert Levinson in Iran and took two proof of life videos but the US government foiled our rescue attempt. We have one more opportunity to rescue Levinson. If you and Matt are willing to help us privately and clandestinely obtain the release of Robert Levinson, I will ensure…’ 

There is no screenshot of the next part of the text.   

On March 17, Gaetz’s father met with Kent and Kent gave him a document titled ‘Project Homecoming’, he says.

It detailed plans for the Gaetz family to give them $25million. They said they would use the money to free Levinson and that in exchange, ‘the team that delivers Mr. Levinson to the President shall strongly advocate that President Biden issue a Presidential Pardon, or instruct the Department of Justice to terminate any and all investigations involving Congressman Gaetz.  

On March 17, the day after the text was sent purportedly by Kent to Gaetz’s father, Don claims he met with Kent and Stephen M. Alford, a man convicted of fraud who McGee has represented in the past, and was given the three-page ‘Project Homecoming’ document.

The document begins with details of the alleged probe into Rep. Gaetz over ‘various public corruption and public integrity issues.’ 

It outlines some of the most damning allegations to surface against Gaetz to date, claiming the FBI has ‘compromising pictures’ depicting Gaetz and an unidentified election official in a ‘sexual orgy with underage prostitutes’ in Maitland, Florida. 

The photos came to light during an unrelated probe into political corruption and public integrity in another criminal case, it reads. 

Sources previously told the New York Times the probe was part of a wider investigation into Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg, who was charged with sex trafficking a minor between the age of 14 and 17 last year.   

The document says the discovery of the photos and ‘subsequent information’ has led to Gaetz being the ‘target’ of a ‘widening investigation into serious underage sex trafficking, political corruption, public integrity, and other criminal allegations.’

On Tuesday, Gaetz insisted he had been told he was the ‘subject’ and not the ‘target’ of a probe. 

The document claims that a Grand Jury has been impaneled to determine is charges should be brought against Gaetz and others. 

It says that a number of people have testified to the Grand Jury about Gaetz including one underage girl who claims she was paid by Gaetz for sex and ‘other individuals, whom are facing serious criminal allegations themselves’.  

‘At least one underage female has testified to the Grand Jury that Congressman Gaetz has paid her to engage in sexual activities,’ it reads. 

The probe is being handled by the Public Integrity Division of the DOJ and is being managed out of the DC field office, with the US Attorney from the Middle District of Florida overseeing the case. 

The document goes on to describe a ‘strategy’ to ‘mitigate Gaetz’s ‘legal and political troubles’ by arranging for $25 million in funds needed to apparently release Levinson from Iranian captivity.  

The money would be deposited into the trust account of Beggs & Land law firm, where McGee works, no later than March 19, the Examiner reported. 

It describes a setup wherein Gaetz could take the credit for Levinson’s release and present the captive’s return to the US, and would be put forward for a presidential pardon and for all investigations to be dropped. 

‘In exchange for funds being arranged, and upon the release of Robert Levinson, Congressman Gaetz shall be given credit for facilitating the release of Mr. Levinson. Congressman Gaetz shall also be on the plane that returns Mr. Levinson to freedom, and shall be the person to ‘reunited’ Mr. Levinson with his family and bring Mr. Levinson back to the United States,’ the document reads.

Gaetz and his father Don Gaetz. Don served as a member of the Florida State Senate from 2006 to 2016

Gaetz and his father Don Gaetz. Don served as a member of the Florida State Senate from 2006 to 2016

TUCKER CARLSON MAY HAVE MADE HIMSELF A WITNESS WITH HIS GAETZ INTERVIEW 

Tucker Carlson may have made himself a witness in the DoJ investigation into sex trafficking that Gaetz is a part of by interviewing him about it on his FOX News show. 

Florida State Attorney for Palm Beach County Dave Aronberg appeared on Morning Joe on Wednesday morning to talk about thew Gaetz saga. 

He said: ‘He may have made Tucker Carlson a witness because on his show, he said ‘Hey, you remember the woman I was with. She was overage.’

 Tucker replied to Gaetz that he didn’t remember the woman or any of what he was talking about. 

‘The team that delivers Mr. Levinson to the President of The United States shall strongly advocate that President Biden issue a Presidential Pardon, or instruct the Department of Justice to terminate any and all investigations involving Congressman Gaetz.’ 

The three-page document also suggested at least some White House knowledge of the plan claiming: ‘The team has been assured by the President that he will strongly consider such matters because he considers the release of Robert Levinson a matter of National Urgency.’

DailyMail.com has reached out to the White House for comment.  

The Examiner also obtained an email chain allegedly between Don’s attorney Jeffrey Neiman and federal prosecutors that appears to confirm the FBI is looking into an alleged extortion.    

Assistant US Attorney David Goldberg wrote to Neiman that he could ‘confirm that your client is working with my office as well as the FBI at the government’s request in order to determine if a federal crime has been committed’. 

The FBI declined to comment and directed to DailyMail.com to the DOJ. The DOJ did not return a request for comment. 

The release of the documents came after Gaetz’s father backed up his extortion claims and said he wore a wire to try help his son expose it.   

‘The FBI asked me to try and get that information for Matt and an indication we would transfer money to Mr. David McGee,’ he told Politico Wednesday. 

DailyMail.com has reached out to McGee following the latest claims about the alleged extortion plot.

The attorney denied any involvement Tuesday telling The Washington Post Tuesday he was not part of a plan to extort Gaetz nor was he connected to the DOJ’s sex trafficking probe.  

But McGee, an attorney at Beggs & Lane law firm and the former lead attorney for the DOJ’s Organized Crime Task Force, said: ‘It is completely false. It’s a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that he’s under investigation for sex trafficking of minors.

‘I have no connection with that case at all, other than, one of a thousand people who have heard the rumors.’   

The attorney said Gaetz’s father had ‘called me and asked to talk to me’ and said he would welcome a tape of their conversation being made public. He did not detail what the conversation was about but insisted it was nothing ‘untoward’ but simply ‘a pleasant conversation of a dad concerned about his son and the trouble his son was in’. 

He added: ‘If there is a tape, play the tape. There is nothing on that tape that is untoward.’   

Gaetz had on Tuesday claimed he is the victim of a $25 million extortion plot after it was 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. 

The Republican congressman and close ally of Donald Trump accused McGee live on Tucker Carlson of trying to extort millions of dollars out of him and his family in exchange for ‘making horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away.’

Gaetz claimed he had been working with the FBI and his father Don Gaetz had been wearing a wire to expose the alleged scheme after learning of it earlier this month. 

Florida lawmaker Gaetz made the bombshell allegation hours after the New York Times revealed the DOJ had launched a probe to investigate whether Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws. 

Three sources told the Times an investigation was launched into his alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl during Trump’s final months in office under then-Attorney General Bill Barr. 

The inquiry is said to be part of a wider probe into Florida official Joel Greenberg, who was slapped with a string of charges last year including sex trafficking a minor between the age of 14 and 17.   No charges have been filed against Gaetz.

On Wednesday, Politico reported that not only was the sex trafficking investigation underway, but that Bill Barr, the AG at the time, knew about it and had no objection to it. 

Gaetz claimed Tuesday night the sex trafficking allegations against him were ‘verifiably false’ but said he and his family were victims of an extortion effort by McGee to make the allegations and the DOJ investigation ‘go away.’

A separate probe was launched by the FBI into the extortion plot, he said. Gaetz claimed the Times report had then foiled a plan to transfer a bribe of $4.5 million to McGee Wednesday which would have then exposed the alleged plot. 

However Times’ reporter Katie Benner told MSNBC it is the congressman who has in fact ‘blown up’ the alleged extortion investigation in an effort to divert attention away from the fact the sex trafficking concerns were serious enough for the Trump administration to launch an investigation – even though Gaetz is a close ally of the president. 

Gaetz, 38, is close to Trump and got engaged to food analyst Ginger Luckey, 26, at his Mar-a-Lago club in late December.   

Gaetz accused David McGee, an attorney at Beggs & Lane law firm and the former lead attorney for the DOJ's Organized Crime Task Force, of trying to extort millions from him and his family in exchange for making sex trafficking allegations 'go away' on Fox News Tuesday

Gaetz accused David McGee, an attorney at Beggs & Lane law firm and the former lead attorney for the DOJ’s Organized Crime Task Force, of trying to extort millions from him and his family in exchange for making sex trafficking allegations ‘go away’ on Fox News Tuesday 

The FBI declined to comment Tuesday night while the DOJ did not return DailyMail.com’s request for comment.   

Reports of the two investigations came just hours after it was revealed Gaetz is considering retiring from Congress and taking a job at right-wing news outlet Newsmax.       

Tucker Carlson says Gaetz interview was his ‘weirdest ever’

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson was stunned by Rep Matt Gaetz’s appearance on his show Tuesday night, calling it one of the ‘weirdest interviews’ ever. 

Gaetz 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. During the interview Gaetz denied all of the allegations against him.  

‘It is a horrible allegation and it is a lie,’ he told Carlson. ‘The New York Times is running a story that I have traveled with a 17-year-old woman and that is verifiably false. People can look at my travel records and see that that is not the case.’ 

Fox News' Tucker Carlson was stunned by Rep Matt Gaetz's appearance on his show Tuesday night

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson was stunned by Rep Matt Gaetz’s appearance on his show Tuesday night

When asked about the alleged sexual relationship with the teen, Gaetz said such a person ‘doesn’t exist’.

However, Gaetz recalled a dinner with Carlson, his wife and ‘a friend of mine’ who he said has since been ‘threatened’ by authorities to ‘cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay for play scheme’.

‘I can say that actually you and I went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there and I brought a friend of mine, you will remember her,’ he said. ‘And she was actually threatened by the FBI, told that if she wouldn’t cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay for play scheme that she could face trouble and so I do believe that there are people at the Department of Justice who are trying to smear me.’

In response to that claim, Carlson says: ‘I don’t remember the women you’re speaking of or the context at all honestly.’

Following the segment, Carlson told his viewers: ‘You just saw our Matt Gaetz interview. That was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.’

‘That story just appeared in the news a couple of hours ago, and on the certainty that there’s always more than you read in the newspaper, we immediately called Matt Gaetz and asked him to come on and tell us more. Which, as you saw, he did. I don’t think that clarified much, but it certainly showed this is a deeply interesting story and we’ll be following it,’ Carlson added.

Gaetz’s alleged encounters with the 17-year-old girl took place around two years ago with the DOJ investigation focusing on whether the lawmaker paid for her to cross state lines, the Times reported. 

Under federal law, it is a crime to transport someone under the age of 18 across state lines, or coerce them to travel across state lines, to engage in sex in exchange for money.

It is not clear when or how Gaetz allegedly met the teenager.    

Gaetz, who was the only member of Congress to vote against a largely bipartisan human trafficking bill back in 2017, insisted the allegations are false.

‘It is a horrible allegation and it is a lie,’ he told Carlson.

‘The New York Times is running a story that I have traveled with a 17-year-old woman and that is verifiably false. People can look at my travel records and see that that is not the case.’ 

When asked about his alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, Gaetz said such a person ‘doesn’t exist’.

‘The person doesn’t exist. I have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old. That is totally false,’ he said.  

However, Gaetz recalled a dinner with Carlson, his wife and ‘a friend of mine’ who he said has since been ‘threatened’ by authorities to ‘cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay for play scheme.’

‘I can say that actually you and I went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there and I brought a friend of mine, you will remember her,’ he said. 

‘And she was actually threatened by the FBI, told that if she wouldn’t cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay for play scheme that she could face trouble and so I do believe that there are people at the Department of Justice who are trying to smear me.’ 

Instead, Gaetz claimed he and his family have fallen foul to a plot to extort money.

The congressman told Carlson the alleged scheme came to light on March 16 when he claims his father got a text message ‘demanding a meeting wherein a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away’.   

Gaetz’s father is Don Gaetz, former member of the Florida State Senate from 2006 to 2016 and Senate President from 2012 to 2014. Don has not publicly commented on the apparent extortion plot.  

Gaetz claimed his family were told about ‘pictures of me with child prostitutes’ which he insisted are ‘obviously false’. 

Gaetz named McGee on air on the Fox News show, accusing the lawyer of being behind the extortion plot. 

‘His name is David Mcgee. He was a top official in the leadership in the northern district of Florida as a prosecutor,’ he said. ‘He currently works at the Beggs & Lane law firm.’ 

He claimed: ‘There was a demand for money in exchange for a commitment that he could make this investigation go away along with his co-conspirators.’ 

Gaetz said he contacted the FBI and the DOJ and has been working with them to expose the plot. 

‘Our family was so troubled by that, we went to the local FBI and the FBI 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,’ he claimed.

Gaetz claimed that, prior to the Times’ report of the sex trafficking inquiry, his family and federal authorities had made a plan to send $4.5 million as a down payment to McGee.

He claimed this plan ‘would have shown even more evidence of David McGee’s work in this extortion scheme’ but that it was ‘foiled’ by the Times’ report.

‘What was supposed to happen was the transfer of this money that would have implicated the former colleague of these current DOJ officials. 

‘But that’s obviously not going to happen tomorrow because the New York Times story was leaked in order to quell that investigative effort,’ he claimed. 

Gaetz called on the FBI to release the tapes of his family’s alleged encounters with the extorter in order to prove his ‘innocence.’  

‘If the FBI and department of justice will release the tapes that they are in possession of, the American people will see what is really going on,’ he said.  

New York Times’ Justice Department Reporter Katie Benner hit back at Gaetz’s claims telling MSNBC that McGee is not involved in the DOJ’s sex trafficking probe as he works in private practice.

‘No that person is not involved in the investigations. That person is currently in private practice and does not work at the Justice Department,’ she said.

Benner questioned Gaetz’s motive for speaking out about the alleged extortion plot in a move that she said has ‘destroyed and blown up’ the FBI investigation into it.

Gaetz was first to publicly expose the FBI probe into the alleged extortion plot, with no mention made in the Times’ initial report. 

The Republican congressman and close ally of Donald Trump fired out a series of tweets Tuesday claiming a former Justice Department employee had been trying to extort $25 million from him and his family while 'threatening to smear my name'

The Republican congressman and close ally of Donald Trump fired out a series of tweets Tuesday claiming a former Justice Department employee had been trying to extort $25 million from him and his family while ‘threatening to smear my name’

Benner said she believes Gaetz was speaking out to deflect from the fact that the sex trafficking probe was ‘serious enough’ to be launched by Trump’s DOJ. 

‘Keep in mind this is an investigation that if you look at the timeline was very serious and was taken seriously by Trump administration officials in the Justice Department,’ she said.

‘I think that one of the reasons why he has talked publicly about this extortion plot, one of the reasons why he has publicly said that the FBI has asked his own father to wear a wire is in order to try to get people to not pay attention to the fact that it was in fact the Trump admin that felt it was worthy to investigation him.’

She hit back at his claim that the Times’ report had ‘foiled’ the FBI plot.

‘In publicly talking about the extortion plot that he has described and publicly saying that his father wore a wire he has basically destroyed and blown up an FBI investigation which is in itself something you would think would be against his own interests,’ she said.

‘You would think he wold be wanting to work with the FBI and would think he would be wanting to keep this quiet… in doing this and basically blowing up an FBI investigation into people trying to extort his family he has both complicated that investigation and also cast aspersions on something that was serious enough that Attorney General Bill Barr proved it.’ 

Gaetz went on the defense as soon as the Times story broke Tuesday evening, going on a tweet storm describing the alleged extortion plot and slamming the allegations as ‘lies’.   

‘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,’ he tweeted.

The congressman said he and his family had been working with the FBI on the plot to extort money from his family. 

‘We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals. 

‘The planted leak to the FBI tonight was intended to thwart that investigation. No part of the allegations against me are true, and the people pushing these lies are targets of the ongoing extortion investigation.’

Gaetz denied the accusations against him after the New York Times revealed Tuesday that the DOJ had launched a probe to investigate whether he had violated federal sex trafficking laws. Pictured Trump and Gaetz

Gaetz denied the accusations against him after the New York Times revealed Tuesday that the DOJ had launched a probe to investigate whether he had violated federal sex trafficking laws. Pictured Trump and Gaetz

Gaetz called on the Justice Department to release tapes he said shows the alleged scheme by an ex-DOJ employee. 

‘I demand the DOJ immediately release the tapes, made at their direction, which implicate their former colleague in crimes against me based on false allegations,’ he tweeted.  

Gaetz went into damage control mode after news of the inquiry surfaced.

He told the Times his attorneys had been told by the DOJ that he was the subject and not the target of the probe. 

The inquiry is said to be part of a wider probe into Florida official Joel Greenberg (pictured) who was slapped with a string of charges last year including sex trafficking of a minor between the age of 14 and 17

The inquiry is said to be part of a wider probe into Florida official Joel Greenberg (pictured) who was slapped with a string of charges last year including sex trafficking of a minor between the age of 14 and 17

‘I only know that it has to do with women,’ he said. ‘I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward.’  

The congressman confirmed the DOJ probe in an interview with Axios and doubled down that the allegations are ‘false’ and ‘unclear’ as he blamed the apparent extortion plot.    

‘The allegations of sexual misconduct against me are false,’ he said. ‘They are rooted in an extortion effort against my family for $25 million… in exchange for making this case go away.’ 

Axios reported that it had seen screenshots of text messages, emails and documents from Gaetz purporting to show the alleged scheme.  

‘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 said. 

The 38-year-old said while he often ‘provided for’ women he was dating when he was single, such as paying for flights and hotel rooms, he was ‘absolutely’ confident none of the women were underage.  

‘I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I’ve dated. You know, I’ve paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner,’ he said.

‘I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.’  

Sources told the Times that senior Justice Department officials, including some Trump appointees, were aware of the investigation due to its nature and the congressman’s profile. 

Gaetz shared this image on  Facebook in July 2017 of himself with Greenberg and Roger Stone

Gaetz shared this image on  Facebook in July 2017 of himself with Greenberg and Roger Stone 

They said it is part of a larger probe into Greenberg, a former tax collector of Seminole County, Orlando, accused of paying for sex with an underage girl and illegally using Florida’s DMV database to look up information on her and other women with whom he was engaged in ‘sugar daddy’ relationships with. 

Greenberg was indicted last summer on 14 felony charges including child sex trafficking, fraud, identity theft and stalking a former political rival.

The sex trafficking charge involves alleged encounters with a girl aged between 14 and 17 across a six-month period in 2017. 

He was also accused of violating the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act by using his access as an elected official to illegally look up information about the minor in The Florida Driver and Vehicle Information Database (DAVID).

He reportedly looked up the girl’s photo, driver identification number, in addition to other information.

Prosecutors say he also used the database to look up other people, with whom he was embroiled in ‘sugar daddy relationships’ with.  

Greenberg had first been indicted by a federal grand jury in June on charges that he stalked political opponent Brian Beute in the Republican primary for the Tax Collector’s race and for identity theft. 

Greenberg resigned the following day and the additional charges were added in August. 

Gaetz is a frequent guest at Mar-a-Lago and even proposed to his now-fiancée Luckey there in December

Pictured the couple when they got engaged

Gaetz is a frequent guest at Mar-a-Lago and even proposed to his now-fiancée Luckey there in December. Pictured the couple when they got engaged 

He was arrested earlier this month for violating the terms of his bond after he allegedly traveled to Jupiter and was involved in some type of police incident there. 

The extent of Gaetz’s relationship with Greenberg is unclear but the ex-tax collector shared a photo on Twitter of the two men together at the White House in 2019. 

The year before, Gaetz backed Greenberg’s successful bid for local office. 

And back in July 2017, Gaetz shared a photo on his Facebook of himself with Greenberg and Roger Stone – Trump’s aide who was convicted of lying to Congress before being pardoned by the former president.

News of the sex-trafficking inquiry came the same day reports surfaced that Gaetz is mulling quitting politics altogether for a career as a media personality. 

Gaetz has told friends he is considering not seeking re-election in 2022 and may even leave Congress before the end of his term for a job at conservative outlet Newsmax, according to Axios. 

The congressman lost much of his personal power in DC when Trump, a close ally, lost the White House and Republicans failed to take back control of the House of Representatives. 

Newsmax, meanwhile, has become a favored outlet for conservatives after Trump started criticizing Fox News, leaving an opening for it and competitor One American News. 

Gaetz is already a frequent guest on the network, which recently hired former White House staffer Andrew Guiliani, the son of Rudy Giuliani, and former Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller.

He has previously called for harsher criminal penalties for child sex offenders, with a 2014 Facebook post pushing for minimum 50-year mandatory minimum sentences for violent predators

He has previously called for harsher criminal penalties for child sex offenders, with a 2014 Facebook post pushing for minimum 50-year mandatory minimum sentences for violent predators

Gaetz is a staunch Trump ally and defended the former president during both impeachment trials. 

He also pushed the false claims that the MAGA mob that stormed the US Capitol on January 6 in a riot that left five dead were from Antifa. Investigations have proven they were not.  

Gaetz also made a name for himself when he became the only House lawmaker to vote against a bill to provide greater funds to fight human trafficking.  

The legislation – the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act – gave the federal government more money to tackle human trafficking.

It was backed by both Republicans and Democrats and sailed through the House and Senate. 

‘Unless there is an overwhelming, compelling reason that our existing agencies in the federal government can’t handle that problem, I vote no because voters in Northwest Florida did not send me to Washington to go and create more federal government,’ he said at the time. 

He also hit headlines for wearing a gas mask on the House floor during the COVID pandemic and criticizing Democrats for banning guns in Congress.

He has previously called for harsher criminal penalties for child sex offenders, with a 2014 Facebook post pushing for minimum 50-year mandatory minimum sentences for violent predators. 

Outside of DC, Gaetz is a frequent guest at Mar-a-Lago and even proposed to his now-fiancée Luckey there in December.  

The couple met at an event at the club sometime earlier in 2020.

Luckey works for a company called Apeel, that says it ‘works with nature to reduce food waste and create abundance for all.’  

Rep. Matt Gaetz says he’s had ‘many conversations’ with right-wing TV networks about a career after Congress amid sex trafficking and extortion scandal – but Fox says it has ‘no interest in hiring him’ 

Rep. Matt Gaetz has claimed he’s had ‘many conversations’ with right-wing TV networks about a career after Congress as a scandal involving allegations of sex trafficking and an apparent extortion plot.

The Florida lawmaker and close ally of Donald Trump told the Daily Beast Wednesday he had spoken with ‘executives, producers or hosts’ at all conservative TV stations including Newsmax, OAN, Fox, Fox Business and Real America’s Voice. 

Fox News instantly denied the claims saying it had ‘no interest in hiring him’ and denying the congressman had spoken with anyone with authority on the matter.

‘No one with any level of authority has had conversations with Matt Gaetz for any of our platforms and we have no interest in hiring him,’ the outlet said. 

The network, which was a longtime favorite of Trump’s before it fell out of favor when it was first to call Arizona for Joe Biden on election night, sought to distance itself from Gaetz after he appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tuesday night.

In the bizarre interview he denied he had sex trafficked a 17-year-old girl and claimed he was the victim of an extortion plot by a former DOJ official, as he appeared to try to rope Carlson into the saga. 

Carlson later said the segment was ‘one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.’ 

It emerged Tuesday that Gaetz is under investigation by the Department of Justice over claims that he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid her to travel with him across state lines.

The New York Times first reported it, citing three unnamed sources who said the alleged relationship happened two years ago and that a probe was launched in Trump’s final months in office. 

Rep. Matt Gaetz has claimed he's had 'many conversations' with right-wing TV networks about a career after Congress as a scandal involving allegations of sex trafficking and an apparent extortion plot

Rep. Matt Gaetz has claimed he’s had ‘many conversations’ with right-wing TV networks about a career after Congress as a scandal involving allegations of sex trafficking and an apparent extortion plot

Gaetz fired back in a tweet storm and in interviews with Axios and Fox Tuesday denying all of the allegations and accusing former Justice Department official David McGee of trying to extort him and his family for $25 million over the probe. 

Gaetz claimed he and his father – former Florida State Senator Don Gaetz – contacted authorities and were working with the FBI, with Don backing up his son’s claims Wednesday that he wore a wire to try to expose McGee’s apparent plot. 

McGee denied he was extorting Gaetz and said he had no involvement in the DOJ sex trafficking probe into Gaetz other than being one of ‘a thousand people who have heard the rumors’ about the congressman’s alleged actions with underage girls.

On Wednesday, yet another twist emerged in the complex saga as bombshell text message screenshots, an email and a printout with the heading ‘Project Homecoming’ purporting to show the alleged extortion plot surfaced.

The documents, which were in the possession of Gaetz and shared with the Washington Examiner, claim to show the congressman was being extorted by d McGee and former Air Force intelligence officer Bob Kent to help rescue American hostage Robert Levinson from Iran.

The alleged plot tries to enlist Gaetz’s financial backing – to the sum of $25 million – to pay to free Levinson, who was captured 14 years ago in Iran and whose family said they were told he was dead.  

In exchange, Gaetz would be given credit for Levinson’s release and would be given a presidential pardon, with investigations into his alleged sex trafficking being dropped, the documents say.

The documents also claim to provide greater detail into the allegations against Gaetz, describing ‘compromising pictures’ showing the congressman in a sex orgy with underage prostitutes and the testimony of at least one underage girl who says she was paid for sex with the 38-year-old. 

They claim that Gaetz, who has not been charged with any crime, is about to be indicted on undisclosed charges.   

Just hours before the allegations of both sex trafficking and extortion surfaced, a report from Axios had revealed Gaetz was considering retiring from Congress and taking a media job at Newsmax. 

Gaetz had reportedly told friends he was considering not seeking re-election in 2022 and could even leave Congress before the end of his term as he was in early conversations about a job at the outlet.

Gaetz told The Daily Beast Wednesday he had inquired with many networks about a possible foray into media including One America News Network and Fox News.   

Fox News instantly denied the claims saying it had 'no interest in hiring him' and denying the congressman had spoken with anyone with authority on the matter

Fox News instantly denied the claims saying it had ‘no interest in hiring him’ and denying the congressman had spoken with anyone with authority on the matter

OAN

Newsmax

The Florida lawmaker and close ally of Donald Trump told the Daily Beast Wednesday he had spoken with ‘executives, producers or hosts’ at all conservative TV stations including Newsmax, OAN, Fox, Fox Business and Real America’s Voice

‘Yes. I’ve had many conversations with many people about life after Congress. These conversations have been very general in nature and have never included me soliciting or receiving an offer of employment,’ he said.  

Gaetz claimed to have had discussions with every right-wing TV station about ‘life after Congress.’ 

‘There is not a single conservative television station I haven’t had a passing conversation with about life after Congress. I have neither received nor solicited offers from any of them,’ he said.

‘But yes, I’ve talked to either executives, producers or hosts at Newsmax, OAN, Fox, Fox Business, Real America’s Voice and probably others I’m forgetting in this moment as I focus intently on refuting false accusations against me.’  

OAN’s founder and CEO Robert Herring confirmed to The Daily Beast that Gaetz had been inquiring about a gig on a conservative TV station but said he thinks the congressman should ‘stay’ in politics. 

‘Somebody did call me and say that Congressman Gaetz might be looking for a job, possibly at Newsmax,’ he said.

‘Right now, I’m not really hiring anybody for talk shows. I think he is a great congressman, and I told [that ‘somebody’] to tell him to stay there. 

‘That’s what I want Congressman Gaetz to do.’

Herring did not say when he had received the call or who from.  

Two sources also told the Beast Gaetz had made it known to OAN that he was interested in a TV gig when paid a visit to the right-wing network’s HQ in San Diego back in February for an interview with Dan Ball. 

But the sources offered different opinions over whether Gaetz’s chances of bagging a job with the network are likely to be scuppered following the revelation of the DOJ probe. 

While one said he would ‘probably not’ be considered for a job at the network now, the other said the network could look past it, the Beast reported – instead painting Gaetz ‘as a victim of the so-called deep state.’

The network, which was a longtime favorite of Trump's before it fell out of favor when it was first to call Arizona for Joe Biden on election night, sought to distance itself from Gaetz after he appeared on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tuesday night (above)

The network, which was a longtime favorite of Trump’s before it fell out of favor when it was first to call Arizona for Joe Biden on election night, sought to distance itself from Gaetz after he appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tuesday night (above)

Gaetz’s future with Newsmax, the first outlet linked to a potential job offer for Gaetz, is unclear with several insiders telling the Beast they ‘highly doubt’ he could get a job in light of the scandal.

A Newsmax spokesperson told the outlet: ‘We don’t comment on talent discussions or future programming plans.’ 

Fox, meanwhile, took a tougher stance in trying to distance itself from the congressman.  

Gaetz regularly appears on the network reportedly racking up on average 90 minutes of screen time a month in the last year.   

He appeared on Carlson’s show Tuesday night within hours of news of the DOJ sex trafficking probe surfacing where he tried to drag the host into the saga. 

Gaetz brought up a previous allegation of sexual misconduct against Carlson, which he has denied, saying he was ‘not the only person on screen right now who’s been falsely accused of a terrible sex act.’ 

He then went on to suggest Carlson and his wife had met a woman involved in the allegations.  

When Carlson asked about his alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, Gaetz said such a person ‘doesn’t exist’.

‘The person doesn’t exist. I have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old. That is totally false,’ he said. 

However, Gaetz then recalled a dinner with Carlson, his wife and ‘a friend of mine’ who he said has since been ‘threatened’ by authorities to ‘cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay for play scheme.’

‘I can say that actually you and I went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there and I brought a friend of mine, you will remember her,’ he said. 

‘And she was actually threatened by the FBI, told that if she wouldn’t cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay for play scheme that she could face trouble and so I do believe that there are people at the Department of Justice who are trying to smear me.’ 

Carlson said he didn’t remember what Gaetz was talking about: ‘I don’t remember the women you’re speaking of or the context at all honestly.’

Following the segment, Carlson told his viewers: ‘You just saw our Matt Gaetz interview. That was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.’ 

A source familiar with the matter told CNN Wednesday Carlson was ‘p**sed’ off about the exchange which may have made him a witness in the DoJ investigation into sex trafficking. 

Florida State Attorney for Palm Beach County Dave Aronberg said on Morning Joe on Wednesday morning: ‘He may have made Tucker Carlson a witness because on his show, he said ‘Hey, you remember the woman I was with. She was overage.’   

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