Rep. Matt Gaetz is at the center of a sex scandal involving a 17-year-old girl that seems to be getting worse and worse with every comment, tweet, and media appearance he makes. And now The Daily Beast just published a damning report about the embattled antigay congressman that’s filled with even more explosive allegations.
Matt Fuller and Sam Brodey report:
Gaetz—the Trump-loving, Fox News-grinning, 38-year-old Florida Republican—has a less-than-sterling reputation among his congressional colleagues. More than a half-dozen lawmakers have spoken to these reporters about his love of alcohol and illegal drugs, as well as his proclivity for younger women. It’s well-known among Republican lawmakers that Gaetz was dating a college student—one over the age of consent—in 2018. She came to Washington as an intern.
The report also claims that Gaetz hardly has any friends, that he regularly pays for women’s flights and hotels to come visit him, that he enjoys being on TV more than being a congressman, and that at least one unnamed GOP lawmaker has an “unofficial rule” never to appear alongside him on television for fear of “the inevitable scandal that would come out one day.”
Oh, and then there’s this cringey little nugget:
The cartoonishly scandalous perception of Gaetz is so commonplace that sometimes it’s visible, literally, in the halls of Congress. A Hill source sent The Daily Beast a photo of a trash bin outside Gaetz’s office as lawmakers cleared out their offices at the end of a recent session. At the top of the heap was an empty Costco-size box of “Bareskin” Trojan condoms.
Since the scandal broke, Gaetz has been flailing. He fired off a series of frantic tweets claiming he is the victim of a $25 million extortion plot, told media that “the last time I had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old, I was 17,” and made an unhinged appearance on Fox News, where he tried to implicate Tucker Carlson in the whole thing.
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance appeared on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” last night to say Gaetz really, really, really needs to stop talking and get a lawyer, like, immediately.
“The one thing that’s clear, the only certain takeaway I have from this, is that the congressman needs a lawyer,” Vance said, adding that his behavior has only made him look more guilty, not less.
“He needs to have someone giving him legal advice because he is perilously close to incriminating himself, conceding some of the elements of potential crimes, and just running his mouth in a way that no one who’s the subject of a federal investigation should be doing.”
Former Department of Justice spokesperson Matthew Miller added that Gaetz’s public comments make him appear like “a person who is panicking under the spotlight–and I don’t think that speaks very well about how he might handle this investigation as it moves forward.”
"The only certain takeaway from this is that the Congressman needs a lawyer … because he's perilously close to incriminating himself, conceding some of the elements of potential crimes, and just running his mouth."@JoyceWhiteVance on Matt Gaetz. #TheReidOut pic.twitter.com/0JXp1rCLIR
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) March 31, 2021