The swirling controversy around Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz with respect to this alleged extortion of his family in concurrence with this supposed investigation he’s the subject of has become all the murkier.
Apparently, the man that Rep. Gaetz has claimed was extorting him in his family stated in an interview on SiriusXM that while he asked for $25 million, it was in no way a means to extort the Gaetz family.
Former Air Force intelligence turned consultant Bob Kent admitted Monday he asked Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz for $25 million, but denies accusations of extortion. https://t.co/iImq6eUJwG
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 8, 2021
The entirety of the Rep. Gaetz debacle is complex, as the first component consists of the Florida representative and his family being the subject of an alleged extortion scheme which is also supposedly connected to an investigation where Gaetz is the subject of regarding being involved with an underage girl.
As of this writing, Rep. Gaetz hasn’t been criminally charged with anything – but there are those close to the Florida representative that are reportedly in the midst of striking plea deals and staffers of the Florida representative have been resigning as of late.
NEW: Matt Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg is in plea negotiations after being charged with sex trafficking of a minor, according to his lawyer, the Washington Post reports. https://t.co/ourwIQPVFE
— Axios (@axios) April 8, 2021
But with all this ongoing, there are still the allegations that have been brought up by Rep. Gaetz where he proclaims that former Air Force intelligence Bob Kent had tried extorting his family for $25 million in order to fund some strange rescue operation of an FBI agent presumed to be dead.
On April 5th during an interview on SiriusXM’s The Michael Smerconish Program, Bob Kent proclaimed that while he did ask for $25 million from the family in order to help fund this rescue mission, it was in no way presented as a means to extort Gaetz or his family.
Kent detailed the alleged conversation he had with Rep. Gaetz’s father, Don, regarding this request to help fund the rescue mission of FBI agent Robert Levinson:
“At first [Don] started laughing and he said, ‘You know we get these extortion attempts all the time?’ And I said whoa, stop. This is not an extortion attempt. I’m not trying to extort him, I’m not, you know, that’s not what we’re doing here.”
From what Kent stated during the interview, he figured that he was presenting a mutually beneficial opportunity that could help propel Rep. Gaetz’s political career while helping him fund a rescue attempt of someone presumed to be deceased.
Devin Murphy, Rep. Matt Gaetz's legislative director, has stepped down amid a federal investigation into sex trafficking allegations against the Florida Republ…
— Rose PArsons (@lilstuffParsons) April 10, 2021
But Kent alleges that at no time did he ever threaten any adverse action against the Gaetz family if the quid pro quo wasn’t entertained:
“I never threatened the man — matter of fact, it was the opposite; I told him if he decides not to help us, he’ll never hear from me again. I said if you want to help us, keep everything legal and above-board, it’ll have to go through the law firm.”
Kent is one of the key individuals that Rep. Gaetz has accused of being an extortionist in this scheme, while alleging that the presumed deceased Robert Levinson’s family attorney David McGee is the sort of mastermind behind this whole purported extortion scheme.
The Florida representative has proclaimed that the allegations against him regarding inappropriate relationships or communications with a minor are untrue.
This is a developing investigation. Please follow law enforcement today as we continue to gather further insight into this multilayered case.
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We at Law Enforcement Today previously reported on the Rep. Gaetz matter as it was first surfacing.
Here’s that previous report.
FLORIDA – Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a close ally of former President Donald Trump, is being investigated by the Justice Department over whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him, according to people familiar with the case.
However, Gaetz said he is being blackmailed and is naming names.
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.
We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter…
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) March 30, 2021
According to The New York Times, investigators are examining whether Gaetz violated any federal sex trafficking laws.
Federal law makes it a crime to travel over state lines with someone under 18 to engage in sex for money or something else of value.
Two people briefed on the matter said the investigation was opened in the final months of the Trump administration under the Justice Department of Attorney General William Barr.
The investigation came to light yesterday.
In an interview, Gaetz said that his lawyers had been in contact with the Justice Department, and that he was told that he was the subject of the investigation, but not the target. He said:
“I only know that it has to do with women. I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward.”
…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…
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) March 30, 2021
Gaetz said that the investigation is part of a blackmail scene to extort $25 million from his family to make the “false sex allegations” disappear. He said that he and his father, Don Gaetz, were cooperating with the FBI and “wearing a wire.”
Gaetz named Justice Department employee David McGee as the man attempting to blackmail him. McGee is a former top DOJ official in the northern district of Florida. He is presently employed by the Beggs and Lane Law Firm.
Gaetz claimed that the public disclosure of the sex trafficking investigation was intended to stop the inquiry into the blackmail plot.
During an interview yesterday which Tucker Carlson called “one of the weirdest interviews” he ever conducted, Gatz pushed back against the allegations.
He claimed the leak of the investigation was designed to “quell” what was a planned $25 million payoff on Wednesday to implicate a former government official:
“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 (of the leak).”
Gaetz said investigators should release tape recordings made with a wire worn by his father that would clear up the false allegations.
Dear @GOPLeader: You don’t seem to get it. If it’s true Rep Matt Gaetz engaged in sex trafficking, he needs to resign and be prosecuted. In the meantime, you can’t have Gaetz sitting on the Congressional Committee that has oversight over the Department that is investigating him. https://t.co/b6NJ31j19b
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 31, 2021
“It is a horrible allegation, and it is a lie. 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. What is happening is an extortion of me and my family.”
During the Fox News interview, Gaetz brought up an old allegation made against Carlson in an attempt to illustrate that false allegations can happen:
“You were accused of something you did not do so you know what this feels like. You know the pain it can bring to your family and you know how it puts people on defense when you are accused of something so salacious and awful.”
Carlson, however, refused to allow the interview to be sidetracked by Gaetz:
“You just referred to a mentally ill viewer who accused me of a sex crime 20 years ago and, of course, it was not true. I never met the person. But I do agree with you that being accused falsely is one of the worst things that can happen, and you do see it a lot.”
Gaetz mentioned a dinner he and a woman had with Carlson about two years ago, saying the woman was threatened by the FBI to make accusations:
“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’ll remember her.
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.
“You know, providing for flights and hotel rooms for people that you are dating who are of legal age is not a crime and I’m just troubled that lack of any sort of legitimate investigation into me would then permute, would then convert into this extortion attempt.”
Carlson denied any recollection of the dinner, and then asked Gaetz what his next steps would be regarding the allegation that a former Justice Department official tried to extort him. Gaetz answered:
“So here is what needs to happen next. The FBI and the department of justice must release the tapes that are in their possession that were done at their direction.
“Those tapes will show that I am innocent and that the whole concept of sex charges against me was really just a way to try to bleed my family out of money and probably smear my name because I am a well-known outspoken conservative and I guess that’s out of style in a lot of parts of the country right now.”
Wow. Back from commercial, Tucker Carlson proclaims that the interview he just conducted with Gaetz was "one of the weirdest interviews I've ever conducted." pic.twitter.com/85Fnyv4Km9
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 31, 2021
At the conclusion of the interview, Carlson expressed his dismay, saying the interview did not clear up much about the investigation into Gaetz:
“You just saw our Matt Gaetz interview, which was one of the weirdest interviews I have ever conducted. That story just appeared in the news in the couple hours ago. On the certainty, there is 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 will be following it. Don’t quite understand it but we will bring you more when we find out.”
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