US Congressman Matt Gaetz, who has been under fire for more than a week since it was revealed he is under investigation by the FBI for potentially engaging in child sex trafficking, penned an editorial in The Washington Examiner claiming he “was not a monk” but also not a criminal.
Mr Gaetz’s piece ran on Monday.
In the op-ed, Mr Gaetz begins by attacking House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, suggesting she is a hypocrite for defending former President Bill Clinton but not defending him.
“Nancy Pelosi once defended President Bill Clinton after he got an intern to fellate him in the Oval Office. But when it comes to the allegation that I, a grown man, paid for an adult girlfriend’s expenses? Well, consider that a bridge too far for the power-hungry hypocrites,” Mr Gaetz said.
Ms Lewinsky was 22 when Mr Clinton carried on an affair with her. Mr Gaetz is being investigated for allegedly trafficking a 17-year-old for sex.
Mr Gaetz also pointed to the numerous allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo from women claiming he made unwanted sexual advances towards them as further evidence that Democrats were being hypocrites.
“I want to be clear about something as we process the leaks and lies from the past week. To this point, there are exactly zero credible (or even non-credible) accusers willing to come forward by name and state on the public record that I behaved improperly toward them, in the manner by which Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ten accusers,” he wrote.
However, numerous Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and 16 members of the 19 member New York delegation in the House – which includes US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – have called for Mr Cuomo to resign.
Mr Gaetz claimed in the op-ed that US federal politicians are like the “mafia” and that the protect “made men.” He then said has never paid for sex and that he has never, as an adult, slept with a 17-year-old.
The congressman claimed in the piece that he was being targeted for his decision to “take on the most powerful institutions in the Beltway: the establishment; the FBI; the Biden Justice Department; the Cheney political dynasty; even the Justice Department under Trump.”
He also seemed to suggest that Democrats and his other political enemies want to use the scandal to destroy his current relationship.
“It comes as no surprise that my political opponents want to sensationalize and criminalize my prior sex life just as I am getting engaged to the best person I’ve ever known,” he wrote. “It is regrettable that the battle of ideas should thus become so personal. But then again, when your ideas suck, you need to stoop this low.”
He said he was “absolutely not resigning” and continued to lash out at Democrats.
“The Biden Justice Department would rather investigate me for adult, consensual sex than Hunter Biden for his shady business dealings, than others for illegal leaks, or a former Justice Department official for the evident extortion of a congressman. Go figure,” he wrote.
Mr Gaetz claimed David McGee, a former prosecutor for the US Justice Department, is trying to extort him for $25m, and that the claims that he trafficked a 17-year-old girl were made up as part of that plot.
“You’ll see more ‘drip, drip, drip’ of leaks into the media from the corrupt Justice Department and others. When you do, ask yourself why. They aren’t coming for me — they are coming for you. I’m just in the way,” he said.
On the same day that Mr Gaetz published his op-ed, his former staffer, Nathan Nelson, held a press conference claiming his recent resignation had been in the works for a long time and was not tied to the allegations against Mr Gaetz.
Mr Nelson claimed that because the media reports portraying his resignation misrepresented his intention, it led him to also believe that the reports about Mr Gaetz’s activities were incorrect.
He claimed that it was “clear people are making baseless allegations” but when pressed by reporters for evidence that Mr Gaetz was telling the truth, he said he had nothing to verify his assertion.