Rep. Matt Gaetz publicly accused a Florida lawyer Tuesday night of extorting him and his family over what he calls false sex-crime charges.
“On March 16, my 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,” Mr. Gaetz said on the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” show.
Mr. Gaetz told Mr. Carlson that the first $4.5 million was supposed to be paid to Mr. McGee on Wednesday in exchange for the lawyer making go away a Justice Department probe that involved claims of underage sex-trafficking.
The New York Times first reported the probe earlier Tuesday evening.
According to Mr. Gaetz his father wore an FBI wire and had spoken with Mr. McGee about the purported blackmail scheme.
“We went to the local FBI and the FBI and 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,” Mr. Gaetz said.
The Florida Republican demanded that those tapes be released “tomorrow.”
“Tonight, I am demanding that the Department of Justice and the FBI release the audio recordings that were made under their supervision and at their direction, which will prove my innocence. And that will show that these allegations aren’t true but are merely intended to bleed my family out of money,” he claimed.
Mr. McGee said in an interview with The Daily Beast late Tuesday night that the congressman’s claims were “completely, totally false.”
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