Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., on Tuesday denied he had an improper sexual relationship with a 17-year-old woman amid new reports that the Justice Department was investigating the alleged connection -- asserting that the stunt was a part of an elaborate extortion scheme.
The analysis, first reported by The New York Times, started last summer and concentrates on if Gaetz had a sexual relationship with an underage woman and paid for her to journey with himand if he violated national sex trafficking legislation, a source attentive to the research confirmed to ABC News.
Gaetz told the Times that his attorneys were advised that he had been the topic, not the goal, of an investigation.
"I've not had a connection with a 17-year-old. "That's untrue and documents will keep out that to be untrue."
On Fox News, Gaetz -- that, based on a Axios report before on Tuesday, was telling confidants he had been contemplating retiring from Congress and maybe linking the social networking outlet Newsmax -- seemed to confirm the analysis when he stated he had been approached by somebody who claimed he would"create this investigation move away."
"There was a need for cash in exchange for a dedication he could create this analysis go away with his co-conspirators," Gaetz said, differentiating the alleged extortionist as former DOJ official David McGee.
In an interview with the Washington Post,'' McGee denied Gaetz's claim he was a part of an extortion attempt targeting the Florida congressman.
"It is totally untrue. It is a clear attempt to divert from the fact he's under investigation for sex trafficking of minors," McGee told the Post. "I don't have any connection with this case in any way, besides, among a million individuals who've heard the rumors"
"I really do believe there are people in the Department of Justice that are attempting to smear me," Gaetz said on Fox News.
In a statement in his office, Gaetz stated he was cooperating with police and that his dad"has been wearing a wire" in the FBI's leadership"to capture these offenders" trying to extort him for $25 million.
Asked from the Fox News interview just how long the investigation was happening, Gaetz stated"I do not understand," and proceeded to indicate that somebody is alleging that there are"images of me with child prostitutes," he asserted was"obviously untrue "
At one stage during the meeting, Gaetz maintained two years back he had supper together with Carlson and shot along a"buddy" who had been"really jeopardized by the FBI, told that when she would not cop to the fact that somehow I had been involved in certain pay-for-play plot she would face difficulty" However, Carlson promptly denied understanding what Gaetz was speaking about, reacting:"I do not recall the girl you are talking of the circumstance in any way, honestly."
After returning from a commercial break, Carlson called the section"among the strangest interviews I have ever ran."