Continues to rage at Washington as Gaetz said that a conspiracy to extort $25 million and the New York Times has reported an investigation to his traveling across state lines with a minor for sex. These two are serious allegations and somebody is clearly lying. The question is why, after a year of reported evaluation, the inherent facts appear stern. Either this girl was 17 or she wasn’t. Either Gaetz went together with her or he did not. Then there is a recorded call that could prove the veracity of key witnesses. To put it differently, there is raging speculation over info that need to be readily and established. Why?
Even the Justice Department has been criticized because of leaks, including flows tied to the Russian evaluation. As a defense lawyer, I have had to take care of these kinds of leaks that clearly are calculated to pressure defendants.
Needless to say, the Justice Department also has been criticized for talking about cases that don’t lead to charges as revealed from the James Comey press conference prior to the 2016 election. The Justice Department is not in the business of clearing subjects or treating people controversies.
That’s why Congress may have to step forward to look for affirmation of basic facts on the allegations from Gaetz. It has considerable authority and reason to do so. However, it’s reportedly been under evaluation for a year along with also the age and relationship of the girl should have been simple to affirm.
Needless to say, assuming the girl was underage, there may be complicating factors. As an instance, they may not have traveled together but she could assert they organized to meet on these excursions. Yet more, however, such traveling (along with her status as a minor) must be established. Gaetz insists he knows of no person. Period.
Then there is the call that’s being mentioned by Gaetz within an attempt to extort. In case the call was recorded by one of those parties, then it is not apparent why it can’t be released. Gaetz wants it introduced and his dad (who is reportedly on the phone) would concur. McGee denies being part of such a conspiracy and says he doesn’t have an objection to the discharge.
In case the phone was orchestrated from the Justice Department, then it is not likely to release the transcript or the recording solely to cover the controversy. Indeed, absent an indictment, it may not be released. The only other avenue is for Congress to find the transcript or recording citing legislative and oversight power. Together with all the parties raising no objection to release, the only real question would be law enforcement rights and any privacy issues if the girl’s identity is disclosed directly or indirectly. However, it is likely to address these issues through redactions or summaries.
There is a categorical denial by Gaetz there was ever such a girl or these excursions or this type of connection. That should be easy to confirm. While Democratic members have called for his immediate resignation, it could be handy to have facts and also an investigation. I also took the Exact Same position with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. You can’t state that you’re protecting the principle of law once you discard any notion of due process. These are facts that should not be hard for Congress to affirm even without disclosures in the Justice Department. If there is such a girl, she is now a grownup but her identity may nevertheless be protected from public disclosure in any congressional investigation. The first problem is a matter of a date. That does not require speculation. Just a calendar.
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