Even ultra right-wing news outlet Newsmax is distancing itself from disgraced Rep. Matt Gaetz (R. FL), as he is currently caught up in a federal sex trafficking investigation, according to network spokesperson Brian Peterson:
“Newsmax has had no plans to hire Rep. Gaetz.”
A source familiar with Newsmax policies told Reuters that Gaetz, a top supporter of former President Donald Trump, had reached out to the typically pro-Trump network earlier this year saying “he might leave Congress early and was interested in TV work.”
The source added that the interest was never reciprocated, saying they “never told him we were interested.”
Axios’ originally reported in late March on the Gaetz’ interest in retiring early for TV work, as the revelations of the DOJ’s investigation into his alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old teen and taking her across state lines, a felony sex trafficking act, made headlines.
The accusations against Gaetz have escalated since then to include payments to women in exchange for sex in arrangements with Joel Greenberg, his former “wingman,” who has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor. Investigators are also looking into whether the embattled Florida congressman was involved in a pay-for-play scheme in his state’s marijuana industry.
Gaetz has not been charged with a crime to this point, and has vehemently denied any wrongdoing in the case.
News came out in April that Gaetz is also being probed for possible obstruction of justice after a phone discussion with a witness in an ongoing investigation.
Politico reported that Gaetz took part in a call with an ex-girlfriend and a witness, citing two sources. According to reports, the witness then spoke with prosecutors, who are now looking into whether Gaetz urged the person to lie or mislead investigators, which would be illegal.
Gaetz is said to be the subject of a federal sex trafficking investigation into whether he and others paid for sex at drug-fueled parties, including one with a 17-year-old girl.
Joel Greenberg, his former wingman, and former local tax collector agreed to help with authorities as part of a recent plea deal in which he admitted to six federal crimes, including child sex trafficking.
Last month, Greenberg’s lawyer, Fritz Scheller, was asked if his client would be willing to hand up evidence against any elected figures.
Former Seminole County, Fla., tax collector Joel Greenberg, who pled guilty last month to a slew of offenses, including sex-trafficking a 17-year-old in 2017, was Gaetz’s one-time “wingman.”
“This is must-see television,” Scheller replied. “You’ll have to wait and see.”
As Scheller spoke, an airplane flew over the courthouse with a banner reading “TICK TOCK MATT GAETZ.”
Image via Twitter
The obstruction investigation is the latest twist in the ongoing federal investigation into Gaetz, a close confidant of former President Donald Trump who has come under fire for his friendship with Greenberg, who is now a cooperating witness. The obstruction investigation demonstrates how wide net federal prosecutors are drawing to catch the congressman.
“Congressman Gaetz pursues justice, he doesn’t obstruct it,” the statement said. “The anonymous allegations have thus far amounted to lies, wrapped in leaks, rooted in an extortion plot by a former DOJ official. After two months, there is still not a single on-record accusation of misconduct, and now the ‘story’ is changing yet again.”