Suspected of having had a sexual relationship with a minor, he rejects these “false accusations“by claiming to be a victim of the establishment, and the target of blackmail involving an American who disappeared in Iran.
Arrived in the House of Representatives barely four years ago, this great ally of Donald Trump with his hair always impeccably groomed and a sparkling smile, has already made a name for himself in Washington.
The case that has plagued him for a week saw a new twist on Wednesday, when the New York Times claimed that Matt Gaetz had asked the real estate mogul to grant him a preventive judicial pardon for himself and other parliamentarians. during his final weeks at the White House.
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The US Department of Justice was already investigating suspicions of “underage sexual exploitation“weighing on the 38-year-old parliamentarian, according to several major American media.
Federal police are reportedly looking into the nature of his relationship with a 17-year-old, and trying to clarify whether he paid her for sexual favors. Florida law sets the age of majority at 18.
This new development prompted Donald Trump to react, after several days of deafening silence.
“Parliamentarian Matt Gaetz never asked me for a pardon“, he wrote in a very brief statement.
“It should also be remembered that he completely rejected the accusations against himhe added, without specifying whether he believed the Florida elected official.
– “Not a monk” –
It is by using one of the favorite expressions of the Republican billionaire, who said he wanted “clean the backwater” (“Drain the Swamp“), which Matt Gaetz this week proclaimed his innocence.
“The + backwater + tries to make me sink with false accusations, but I will not let go“, he wrote in the title of his column, published Monday by the conservative newspaper Washington Examiner.
I am not “not a monk, and certainly not a criminal“, he continued, noting that no accuser had spoken publicly.
He who sees himself as one of “warriors“Donald Trump had vigorously defended him after the deadly assault on the Capitol, led on January 6 by supporters of the billionaire.
Then he took center stage in a crusade against the few Republican parliamentarians who voted in favor of the indictment, then the conviction, of Donald Trump, who was ultimately acquitted.
With the first target of the elected Wyoming Liz Cheney, number three Republicans in the House and daughter of the powerful former vice-president Dick Cheney.
He even went to challenge her at the end of January on her land to call on Republican voters to choose another representative.
“People won’t be surprised that these bizarre accusations are aimed at me soon after I decide to challenge the most powerful institutions.” de Washington, dont la “Cheney dynasty“, he wrote in his tribune.
– Not “threat” –
As soon as the first articles on the investigation against him appeared last week, Matt Gaetz claimed that his family had been the victims of an extortion attempt, and that these “false accusations“had been revealed for the sole purpose of blackmailing him.
The case took an even more confused turn on Monday, when a former member of the United States Army, Bob Kent, admitted to reaching out to the elected official’s father to ask for $ 25 million.
It was, he told CNN and SiriusXM radio, funds to find a former FBI agent, Robert Levinson, missing from a private mission in Iran in 2007.
“This is not an attempted extortion“, he says he told Don Gaetz, former parliamentarian in Florida and wealthy businessman.
By funding the research missions, the Gaetz family would attract “good press“Welcome to the son of serious suspicion,” said Bob Kent.
While Republican congressional leaders have so far been quiet on the whole affair, Matt Gaetz was invited to speak at Donald Trump’s Doral Golf Club in Miami on Friday at a symposium hosted by … a pro-Trump women’s group, “Women for America First“.