Monday, April 05, 2021
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University of Virginia Political Science Chair Jennifer Lawless said Congressman Matt Gaetz’ controversy is a “moving time bomb,” as the Florida Republican has been said to be facing a Justice Department inquiry over sex with an underage girl.
“There are lots of layers and salaciousness,” said Lawless.
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“[Gaetz] has held fundraisers for Donald Trump – he actually went to Wyoming to stage an event against Liz Cheney when she voted for Trump’s impeachment so Gaetz has sort of portrayed himself as the next generation of the Trump movement,” said Lawless. “He’s a regular on Fox News, Newsmax…we’re talking ultra conservative — in the Trump type of conservative world.”
“His name apparently came up during an investigation having to do with child sex trafficking — the question is multi-faceted. Did he actually spend campaign funds to pay 17 year olds to cross state lines and engage in sex with him? Did he actually show other members of Congress on the floor photographs of girls that he took who were underage who he paid — nude photos — if it turns out there’s any ‘there’ there, these are very serious charges,” she said.
“This investigation started under Bill Barr and the Trump Justice Department — this is not a political witch hunt, even though he is trying o suggest it is. He’s tried to implicate a variety of prosecutors, all of whom have denied they had any role in this — one actually he accused of extortion, that person said there’s nothing going on here,” said Lawless.
“It’s a moving time bomb — I wouldn’t be surprised if over of the course of the next week or so, we begin to get some clarity,” said Lawless. “We’re in a situation that depends on what the definition of ‘pay’ is.”
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