Rep. Matt Getz, a Florida Republican who is the hub Inquiries of the Ministry of Justice On whether he violated sex trafficking laws, he pleaded not guilty on Friday and insisted that he was the victim of “leaks and lies” of his critics.
The comments came during Mr. Gates’ first major public appearance since the New York Times mentioned Last week, investigators were said to be examining his involvement with women who were recruited online to have sex and pay cash, as well as Whether Mister Gates had sex with a 17-year-old girl. The investigation evolved from an investigation of a former Florida tax official and Mr. Gates’s friend, Joel Greenberg.
Gates said at an event hosted at former President Donald J Trump’s private club, Trump National Doral Miami, by the Women for America First group. “So when you see leaks, lies, lies, and confusion, when you see unknown sources and insiders who are expecting my death, know this: They are not really coming for me. They are coming for you. I’m just on the way.”
Gates, 38, a big supporter of Mr. Trump, has repeatedly denied that he had had inappropriate contact with a 17-year-old or that he paid for sex.
Mr. Greenberg’s attorney and attorney general indicated this week that he will likely plead guilty in the coming days on federal charges, indicating that he may be willing to cooperate as witness against Mr. Gates, which could reduce his prison term while extending the term of a congressman. Legal exposure.
During 2019 and 2020, Mr. Greenberg recruited women to websites linking people who go on dates in exchange for gifts, money and travel, and then had sex with them, people familiar with the interviews said. Mr. Greenberg introduced the women to Mr. Gates, who was also said to have had sex with them.
Mobile app receipts showed payments from both men for one woman, and one from Mr Greenberg for a second woman. The women told their friends that the payments were for sex with the men, two people with knowledge of the conversations said.
In his remarks on Friday, cast against a sunlit background of silhouettes of palm trees and a line of rising American flags, Mr. Gates repeatedly tried to portray himself as a populist force in the mold of Mr. Trump. He also made statements similar to those used by Mr. Trump to denounce investigations into his behavior.
He said, “I know this: Firebrands don’t hold back, especially when the battle calls for the soul of our country.” “Big government, big technology, big corporations, big media – they’ll all breathe a sigh of relief if I no longer in Congress fight for you.”
“The stains against me range from distortions of my personal life to unbridled conspiracy theories – and I mean wild -. The truth will prevail.”
The largely unconvinced crowd of about 50 people sat at the tables while eating from the buffet, cheering and shouting as the congressman got onto the podium. See nearly twenty others from the second floor balcony above.
Women for America First also helped organize the march near the White House on January 6, as then-President Trump incited supporters to protest against congressional approval of the election results, culminating in the deadly riots at the Capitol Building.
The Department of Justice is investigating whether Rep. Matt Gates, a Florida Republican, has violated federal sex trafficking laws.
- Mr. Gates, 38, was elected to Congress in 2016 and has become one of President Donald J Trump’s most outspoken advocates. Investigation Focuses on the actor’s relationships with women who have been recruited online for sex and whether he has had sex with a 17-year-old girl.
- Investigation Includes checking payments for women. Investigators believe he paid for sex with a number of women he met through Joel Greenberg – a former Florida tax collector who was indicted last year on federal sex trafficking charges, among other crimes – people close to the investigation told the New York Times. Mr. Greenberg is expected to plead guilty To the federal charges, indicating that he could collaborate as a witness against Mr. Gates.
- The actor has repeatedly dismissed the investigation as politically motivated and unfounded, and has defended his past relationships with women. To date, he has not been charged and the extent of his criminal exposure remains unclear. The investigation is ongoing.
- Mr. Gates claimed that his family is being targeted by two men who are trying to blackmail them for $ 25 million in exchange for making potential legal problems “disappear”. Men Denial They were trying to extort Gaetzes.
- In the final weeks of the Trump administration, Mr. Gates asked the White House for a blanket amnesty for any criminal behavior he committed, People familiar with his request said. Trump’s aides objected to this idea, and Mr.Trump said Mr.Gates did not directly ask for a pardon.
- Mr. Gates told The Times that he has no intention of resigning from Congress. But as the investigation continues, he may face pressure to either step down or temporarily relinquish his position on the House committee that oversees the Ministry of Justice.
Mr. Gates’ 15-minute speech came after the House Ethics Committee met Announced on Friday It has opened an investigation into a range of charges against Mr. Gates, including not only allegations of sex trafficking but also suspicions about misuse of campaign funds and the posting of female photographs with other lawmakers in the House of Representatives.
Several current and former congressional officials described to The Times and other occasions when Mr. Gates smelled marijuana on the floor of the House of Representatives or shared videos and pictures of women he claimed had sex with them.
On Friday, Mr. Gates announced that he had appointed lawyers – Mark Mukasey and Isabel Kirchner – to represent him. Mr. Mukasey represented Mr. Trump, and Mrs. Kirchner Eric T Schneiderman, former New York Attorney General, was represented.
Also on Friday, a Florida lobbyist close to Mr. Gates, Chris Dorworth, announced that he was resigning. Allied with Trump Ballard Partners Inc. Mr. Dorworth He said that he discussed With the possibility of Gates running for a pseudo-candidate in the state Senate election last year to extract votes from an allied competitor. Mr. Dorworth He said on Twitter He does not want ongoing news coverage to be distracting for the company.
at Tweet On his own, Mr. Gates described the report on the conversation as “complete nonsense.”
He added, “Like a lot of lies that were told about me, there will be no evidence for this because it did not happen.”
Nicholas Fandus Contribute to reporting.