Following a New York Times report that Rep. Matt Gaetz is under a federal investigation, Gaetz told Scripps’ network Newsy on Tuesday that he is a victim of extortion.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Gaetz is under investigation for having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old. The New York Times reported that investigators are looking into whether Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws. The investigation was launched by the DOJ under former Attorney General Bill Barr in the final months of the Trump administration, the Times reported.
No charges have been filed by the DOJ.
Gaetz told Newsy that he is being extorted by a “former DOJ official” for $25 million.
“The planted leak to the FBI tonight was intended to thwart that investigation,” Gaetz said. “No part of the allegations against me are true, and the people pushing these lies are targets of the ongoing extortion investigation.”
Gaetz said in a tweet that he has been "cooperating with federal authorities."
Gaetz has seen a rise in his national profile in recent years as he was closely tied to President Donald Trump as one of his strongest supporters. Gaetz was among a group of Republicans who voted to overthrow the results of the 2020 election.
Gaetz easily won a third term in 2020 with 64% of the vote.