The former Justice Department lawyer accused by Representative Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) of conducting an “extortion” campaign against him denied the allegations in comments to The Daily Beast on Tuesday evening.
Gaetz is the subject of a Justice Department investigation over an alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl about two years ago, the New York Times reported. Investigators are reportedly examining whether Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking statutes, which forbid adults from inducing someone under age 18 to cross state lines for sex.
However, Gaetz claimed that attorney David McGee, a former Florida DOJ official currently at law firm Beggs & Lane, orchestrated the investigation to extort him.
“Over the past several weeks my family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name,” Gaetz wrote on Twitter.
The allegations are “completely, totally false,” McGee told the Daily Beast.
“This is a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that Matt Gaetz is apparently about to be indicted for sex trafficking underage girls,” McGee said. National Review has reached out to McGee for further comment.
Gaetz denied that he ever carried on a relationship with an underage girl in comments to Axios.
“I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I’ve dated. You know, I’ve paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner,” Gaetz said. “I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.”