A man tied to a plot to collect $25 million from the family of embattled Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz in exchange for a presidential pardon was indicted by the Department of Justice last month.
Now, Gaetz is calling for two other key figures in the alleged scheme to also face criminal charges.
“The con man who talked about ‘Project Homecoming’ gets indicted. That’s good,” Gaetz said in a segment of his podcast and digital show, Firebrand, provided exclusively to the Washington Examiner ahead of its Thursday release. “But the intel guy with State Department connections who delivered the actual extortion demand doesn’t? … Then there’s the DOJ guy.”
Since March, Gaetz has been battling allegations first reported by the New York Times that he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old he met on a hookup website and paid her to travel with him.
Gaetz has repeatedly denied the allegations, no woman has publicly accused him of wrongdoing, and the website in question said he never had an account. The claims, he alleges, are a “deep state operation to take out an effective political adversary” and were publicized with the intention of spoiling an FBI investigation into a bizarre extortion scheme against his family.
The Washington Examiner first reported and published in full documents from Gaetz that detailed a proposal by felon Stephen Alford and former Air Force intelligence officer Bob Kent, who sought a $25 million loan from Gaetz’s wealthy father, Don Gaetz, to fund an operation to rescue FBI agent-turned-spy Robert Levinson (whom the United States has concluded is dead) from Iran.
Don Gaetz, a former Florida Senate president, forwarded a text message to his son that he received on March 16 from Kent, who described “a plan that can make [Matt Gaetz’s] future legal and political problems go away.” In a March 17 meeting, Kent and Alford presented Don Gaetz with a three-page typed document titled “Project Homecoming” detailing the plan. The document alleged that the FBI was aware of photos of Gaetz in a “sexual orgy with underage prostitutes” and promised to “strongly advocate that President Biden issue a Presidential Pardon, or instruct the Department of Justice to terminate any and all investigations involving Congressman Gaetz” upon Levinson’s return.
The loan, the document said, should be deposited in the trust account of Pensacola-based law firm Beggs & Lane and name attorney David McGee, a former federal prosecutor and lawyer for the Levinson family. The Gaetz family went to the FBI, and Don Gaetz purportedly wore a wire during conversations discussing the transfer.
Kent later confirmed the authenticity of the documents and the plan on CNN, as did filings from the Department of Justice charging Alford that were revealed last month.
“Two people with strong ties to the federal government are directly linked to the exact same extortion scheme. Kent admitted it on television. He implicated McGee. And McGee admitted it on tapes in possession of the FBI,” Gaetz said.
“David McGee was the one planning to accept the wire. But the wire didn’t happen.”
The night before the wire transfer was supposed to take place to show McGee’s connection, Gaetz said, the New York Times published an article reporting that investigators were looking into whether Gaetz paid for sex with a 17-year-old.
“What a coincidence. Clearly, it wasn’t,” Gaetz said. “The leakers to the New York Times knew if their former colleague, David McGee, took that wire on March 31, the entire orchestrated campaign to destroy me would be seen for what it was: a deep state operation to take out an effective political adversary.”
McGee has previously denied any wrongdoing.
Despite his claims of an extortion scheme being validated, Gaetz has steered clear of talking about other factors that contribute to allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a minor.
Among those is Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector and associate of Gaetz who pleaded guilty to six federal charges, including sex trafficking of a child. Prosecutors said Greenberg met the girl online, where she was posing as an adult, paid her, and invited her to hotels where Greenberg and others would have sex with her. Prosecutors are investigating whether these individuals included Gaetz. Greenberg is cooperating with prosecutors.
The woman in question reportedly joined Gaetz and other young women on a Sept. 2018 trip to the Bahamas, according to Politico, and federal agents reportedly seized Gaetz’s phone this past winter — before Kent made the overture to his father in March.
The Daily Beast reported in May 2018 Venmo transactions between Gaetz and Greenberg and between Greenberg and a young woman aged 18. In the $900 transaction memo to Greenberg, Gaetz wrote “hit up [nickname],” referring to a young woman. The next morning, Greenberg, over the course of eight minutes, sent three Venmo transactions to three different women for “tuition,” “school,” and “school” which totaled $900.
Author : Emily Brooks
Source : Washington Examiner : Matt Gaetz calls for two more tied to $25M extortion scheme to be charged after one indicted