Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz said that allegations of sexual misconduct against him are false after the New York Times reported on Tuesday that the Justice Department is investigating him “over whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him.”
“The allegations of sexual misconduct against me are false,” Gaetz told Axios. “They are rooted in an extortion effort against my family for $25 million … in exchange for making this case go away.”
Gaetz said that he and his father have been working with the FBI in the Northern District of Florida on the extortion case. He also said he was informed by DOJ lawyers that he isn’t a target in the investigation.
Asked what he thought the charges could be related to, Gaetz told 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. I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.”
Gaetz said he was “absolutely” confident none of the women were underage.