Matt Gaetz is using sex-trafficking allegations to raise money, asking for donations to 'fight back against the fake news'

  • The Justice Department is investigating whether Rep. Matt Gaetz violated sex-trafficking laws.
  • On Tuesday, the GOP representative referenced the investigation in a fundraising email. 
  • He told supporters: “The Swamp is out to drown me with false charges.” 
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is trying to capitalize on his sex-trafficking investigation by complaining about the inquiry to raise money.

Last week, The New York Times reported that the GOP representative was under investigation for possibly having sex with a 17-year-old girl and paying for her travel, which could be a violation fo sex-trafficking laws.

Gaetz has confirmed the existence of the DOJ investigation but denied the allegations, giving several interviews where he said the false accusations were part of an extortion attempt. One of the men Gaetz accused of extortion, a former federal prosecutor, said Gaetz was just trying to distract from the investigation into his personal life. 

On Tuesday, Gaetz referenced the scandal in an attempt to rile up his supporters to donate to his campaign. 

“The far-left New York Times has been publishing salacious allegations against me in an attempt to end my career fighting for the forgotten men and women of this country,” Gaetz wrote in the email obtained by Talking Points Memo.

Gaetz goes on to say that the “mainstream media is publishing lies to try to take me down” while saying they ignore scandals facing prominent Democrats, like Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of nursing home deaths during the coronavirus outbreak. 

“It is a shame that the Left tries to drag my dating life into their political attacks, but it’s no surprise — when your ideas suck, you have to stoop this low,” the Gaetz email reads. 

“The Swamp is out to drown me with false charges, but I’m not giving up.”

The email includes a button users can click to donate, which asks supporters to “fight back against the fake news.”

Gaetz has said he will not resign despite the investigation. Despite Gaetz’s being one of former President Donald Trump strongest supporters, no one in Trumpworld has come to Gaetz’s defense during the scandal. 

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Gaetz tried and failed to obtain a preemptive pardon from Trump before he left office, for any crimes he might later be convicted of. 

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