During an appearance on longtime Trump ally Steve Bannon’s podcast, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) belted out an angry rant regarding the criminal investigation that he’s facing for potential offenses including involvement in child sex trafficking. As has been well-documented, former Central Florida county official Joel Greenberg — who Gaetz himself once described as his “wingman” — has pleaded guilty to offenses including child sex trafficking, and he has been providing information to authorities ahead of his sentencing. An ex-girlfriend of the Congressman was also recently reported to have testified before a grand jury and been granted an immunity deal. That former girlfriend, among other ties to Gaetz, was on a trip to the Bahamas with Gaetz and others that may have involved sex trafficking.
Gaetz’s complaints regarding this matter tend to center on an extortion scheme tangentially related to the ordeal. Although Matt claims broader involvement, at least Florida resident Steve Alford, who’s since pleaded guilty to a fraud charge and is awaiting sentencing, sought millions of dollars from Matt’s father for the claimed purpose of securing the release of a former CIA agent who is believed by members of his family to have actually died after a suspected kidnapping by Iranian authorities. Alford apparently promised a pardon for Matt in return for the financial help, although there’s no apparent indication that he had any mechanism by which to obtain such a thing.
Gaetz claimed that he appeared to be the victim of what he called a “cut-out,” meaning someone set in motion by federal authorities as a sort of intermediary between officials and some sought after action — in other words, someone doing the feds’ supposed dirty work. The attempted extortion is separate from the investigation, though — and the idea of a federal conspiracy here is loony. Still, Gaetz belligerently ranted as follows:
‘Using a cut-out seems like exactly what they were trying to do to me. There’s a guy named Steve Alford who’s sitting in prison right now for trying to extort me, but he was not acting alone. Very likely, he was answering to a cut-out, someone like [former Air Force intelligence officer] Bob Kent, to try to destroy me, because you know what?.. We are gonna take power. And when we do, it’s not gonna be the days of Paul Ryan and Trey Gowdy, where the Republicans go limp-wristed, where they lose their backbone, and fail to send a single subpoena. No, it’s gonna be the days of Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene. And you know what? We’re going to get answers… about a Department of Justice and a national security apparatus that has gone totally off-the-rails.’
Gaetz subsequently claimed that the sort of intermediary of which he claims to be the victim would be set up to provide “the national security apparatus the authority to do something that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.” The problem is that the whole thing with the Gaetz family getting offered help with Matt’s legal troubles in exchange for money unfolded after the investigation apparently started, so even this largely nonsensical conspiracy theory doesn’t work to solve Gaetz’s problems. Gaetz self-confidently claimed, however, that “more and more, it looks like an operation,” which simply sounds laughably nonsensical. Check out his comments below: