The scandal between Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) Continues to rage at Washington as Gaetz said that a conspiracy to pay $25 million and the New York Times has reported that an investigation to his travel across state lines using a minor for sex. Both are serious allegations and somebody else is obviously lying. The question is why, after a year of reported evaluation, the inherent facts seem unresolved. Either this girl was 17 or she was not. Either Gaetz went together with her or him he didn’t. Then there is a recorded call that could demonstrate the veracity of important witnesses. In other words, there is raging speculation over details that should be readily and already established. Why?
Even the Justice Department has been criticized for leaks, including leaks attached to the Russian evaluation. As a defense attorney, I have been required to deal with such leaks that are calculated to pressure defendants.
Naturally, the Justice Department also has been criticized for speaking about cases that do not lead to charges as revealed by the James Comey press conference prior to the 2016 election. The Justice Department is not in the company of clearing subjects or addressing public controversies.
That’s why Congress may have to step forward to look for confirmation of fundamental facts on the allegations against Gaetz. It has considerable authority and motive to do so. In case Gaetz is guilty, he would probably face criminal penalties and probable expulsion from Congress. But, it’s reportedly been under evaluation for a year and the age and relationship of the girl should have been easy to confirm.
Of course, assuming the girl was underage, there may be complicating factors. By way of instance, they may not have traveled together however she could assert that they organized to meet on these excursions. Yet again, but such traveling (and her status as a minor) must already be established. Gaetz insists that he knows of no person. Period.
Then there is the call that is being cited by Gaetz as part of an effort to extort. In case the phone was recorded by one of the parties, then it is not clear why it can’t be released. Gaetz wants it released and his dad (who is reportedly on the phone) would concur. The other party is reportedly former Justice Department lawyer David McGee, now with the law firm Beggs & Lane. McGee insists being a part of any such conspiracy and states that he does not have any objection to this release.
The call is 1 area to test the credibility of Gaetz who claims that it will demonstrably show extortion while McGee insists that it was a benign call using a worried dad.
In case the call was orchestrated from the Justice Department, then it’s unlikely to publish the transcript or the recording exclusively to tackle the controversy. The only other avenue would be for Congress to seek out the transcript or recording citing oversight and legislative authority. Together with the parties raising no objection to release, the only real question would be law enforcement rights and any privacy concerns if the woman’s identity is disclosed directly or indirectly. However, it’s possible to address these problems through redactions or summaries.
What is curious is that Gaetz remains, after a year, but reportedly a subject not a goal in the analysis. In the event the prosecutors confirmed the girl was underaged and traveled with Gaetz or even had a sexual relationship with him, he would definitely be a goal. Clearly there is a tendency to maintain the lower status so long as possible however I would have expected a grand jury submission after a year on this kind of comparatively straight-forward situation or at least a change in status for Gaetz.
There is a categorical denial by Gaetz that there was ever such a girl or these excursions or such a connection. While Democratic members have known for his immediate resignation, it could be practical to have facts and also an investigation. I hold no brief for Gaetz that I’ve previously criticized. Moreover, I took exactly the Identical position with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. You can’t say that you are safeguarding the principle of law once you shed some notion of due procedure. All these are facts that should not be difficult for Congress to confirm even without disclosures from the Justice Department. If there is such a girl, she’s currently an adult but her individuality may nevertheless be shielded from public disclosure in any congressional investigation. The primary issue is a matter of a date. That does not require speculation. Just a calendar.
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