Beleagured Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is desperately casting about for explanations and excuses for why he might be the target of a federal sex trafficking investigation, came up with a new one Saturday. He now claims to be a victim of the imaginary “Deep State.”
“I may be a canceled man in some corners,” began his tweet. “I may even be a wanted man by the Deep State,” Gaetz added. “But I hear the millions of Americans who feel forgotten, canceled, ignored, marginalized and targeted.”
It’s difficult to imagine there are “millions of Americans” in Gaetz’s position just now.
Gaetz is currently under investigation by the Justice Department (in a probe that begun during the Trump administration) for allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old girl and paying for her ― and other young women ― to travel across state lines for sex. Federal investigators are reportedly looking into whether Gaetz used any federal campaign money to make the alleged payments, some of which were reportedly made via Venmo, which produced records.
Gaetz is also under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
The committee said in a statement that it was checking into “public allegations” that Gaetz may have “engaged in sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use, shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted a bribe, improper gratuity, or impermissible gift, in violation of House Rules, laws, or other standards of conduct.”
The FBI is also examining a “party plane” trip to the Bahamas and female escorts for Gaetz funded by a Florida cannabis entrepreneur in late 2018 or early 2019, several sources told The New York Times. The trip included Gaetz pal and former Florida county tax collector Joel Greenberg, who has been charged with sex trafficking and other crimes, and is reportedly working out a plea deal and cooperating with federal prosecutors.
“I’m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” Greenberg’s lawyer, Fritz Scheller, told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Orlando Friday.
The Florida lawmaker has denied all wrongdoing.
What to say Gaetz’s tweet that he’s just a victim of the Deep State? Critics on Twitter had a few ideas.