The Florida Republican said in a statement to CNN that “none of the allegations against me are true” and that the allegations were pushed by people who are the target of an “ongoing extortion investigation” .
“Over the past few weeks, my family and I have been the victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $ 25 million while threatening to smear my name. We cooperated with the federal authorities in this matter and my father even wore clothes a wire to the direction of the FBI to catch these criminals, affirmed Gaetz.
“The leak reported to the FBI this evening was intended to thwart this investigation. None of the allegations against me are true, and the people pushing these lies are the target of the ongoing extortion investigation. DOJ immediately publishes the tapes, made at their direction, which implicate their former colleague in crimes against me based on false allegations, ”added Gaetz.
The Justice Department declined to comment and the Florida FBI did not respond to a request for comment.
The statement came after The New York Times reported that three people briefed on the matter said the US Department of Justice investigation was part of a larger investigation.
Gaetz told the newspaper in an interview that his lawyers had been in contact with the Justice Department.
“I only know it has to do with women,” Gaetz told The Times. “I suspect someone is trying to re-categorize my generosity towards ex-girlfriends as something more untoward.”
The investigation into Gaetz, the three people told the newspaper, is part of a larger investigation into former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, who was indicted last year over a series of charges of sex trafficking. The Times reported that he had pleaded not guilty.
Elected in 2016, Gaetz has gained national notoriety in recent years as one of Trump’s most vocal supporters.
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