The scandal between Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) Continues to rage in Washington as Gaetz alleges that a conspiracy to pay $25 million and also the New York Times has recently reported that an investigation to his traveling across state lines with a little sex. Both are serious allegations and someone is clearly lying. The issue is why, after a year of documented investigation, the underlying facts appear unresolved. Either this girl was 17 or she wasn’t. Either Gaetz traveled with her or him he didn’t. Then there is a recorded call that may show the veracity of key witnesses. To put it differently, there is raging speculation over facts that need to be easily and already established. Why?
The investigation of Gaetz occurred during the tenure of former Attorney General Bill Barr — another example of his department conducted nonpartisan investigations. Indeed, reports suggest that Barr prevented Gaetz during his tenure on account of this investigation.
The Justice Department has been criticized because of leaks, including flows attached to the Russian investigation. As a defense attorney, I have had to deal with such leaks that clearly are calculated to pressure defendants.
Obviously, the Justice Department also has been criticized for speaking about cases that do not result in charges as revealed by the James Comey press conference prior to the 2016 election. The Justice Department isn’t in the company of clearing subjects or addressing public controversies.
That’s the reason why Congress might need to step forward to seek confirmation of fundamental details on the allegations from Gaetz. It has considerable authority and motive to do so. In case Gaetz is guilty, he’d likely face criminal penalties and probable expulsion from Congress. But, it has reportedly been under investigation for a year along with also the age and relationship of the girl should have been easy to confirm.
Obviously, assuming the girl was underage, there can be complicating factors. For instance, they might not have traveled together however she might assert that they arranged to meet on such excursions. (Thus Gaetz’s suggestion of reviewing his journey documents won’t answer the legal issue of facilitating or allowing such travel). Gaetz insists he knows of no one person. Period.
There are reports the investigation of Gaetz began with a sex trafficking investigation of a third party.
Then there is the call that is being mentioned by Gaetz within an attempt to extort. In case the call was listed by one of the parties, then it isn’t clear why it cannot be released. Gaetz wants it released and his dad (who is allegedly on the phone) would concur. The other party is reportedly former Justice Department lawyer David McGee, currently with the law firm Beggs & Lane. McGee denies being part of any such conspiracy and says he doesn’t have an objection to the discharge.
The call is one area to test the trustworthiness of Gaetz who claims it will demonstrably show extortion while McGee insists it was a harmless call with a concerned dad. The composed extortion provide is perfectly eccentric. Extortionists normally do not provide a comprehensive written offer, such as a pledge to seek a presidential pardon to get Gaetz. This is all part of a weird claim to be looking for the $25 million for a captured former FBI agent.
In case the telephone was orchestrated by the Justice Department, then it’s unlikely to publish the transcript or the recording exclusively to tackle the controversy. (Gaetz’s dad said he wore a wire at the behest of the FBI). The only other avenue would be for Congress to look for the transcript or recording citing legislative and oversight authority. Together with the parties raising no objection to discharge, the only real question will be law enforcement statements and any privacy issues in the event the girl’s identity is disclosed directly or indirectly. However, it’s possible to address such problems through redactions or even summaries.
What’s curious is that Gaetz remains, after a year, allegedly a subject not a target in the investigation. If the prosecutors confirmed the girl was underaged and traveled to Gaetz or even had a sexual relationship with him, he would definitely be a target. Obviously there is a tendency to maintain the lower standing so long as possible however I’d have expected a grand jury submission after a year on this type of comparatively straight-forward instance or at least a change in status for Gaetz.
There’s a categorical denial by Gaetz there was such a girl or such excursions or such a relationship. That ought to be easy to confirm. While Democratic members also have called for his immediate resignation, it would be useful to have details and an investigation. Additionally, I took the Exact Same place with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. You cannot state that you’re defending the principle of law once you shed some notion of due procedure. These are details that should not be hard for Congress to confirm even without disclosures from the Justice Department. If there is such a girl, she’s now an adult but her identity can still be protected from general disclosure in almost any congressional investigation. The first issue is a matter of a birth date. That doesn’t need speculation. Only a calendar.
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