There seems to always be a handful of Washington politicians who I refer to as “peacocks.” This is because while they strut and show their flashy feathers–they do little else. Their primary motivation is to bring attention to themselves. They never meet a TV camera or reporter they don’t like.
Matt Gaetz, who represents a big chuck of the Florida panhandle, is probably Washington’s number one peacock these days He is loud and bombastic and on Fox News frequently.
However, he has lost some of the sheen from his feathers in the last couple of days as a number of news sources have revealed that he is under investigation by the Justice Department as to whether he had sexual relations with a 17-yer-old girl and paid for her to travel with him.
Gaetz is a Republican and one of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters. He has strongly supported Trump’s contention that last year’s election was stolen from him.
Rep. Liz Chaney of Wyoming is one of the Republican leaders in the House. She voted in favor of impeaching Trump. Seeing a chance to make headlines, Gaetz went to Wyoming to hold a rally against Chaney. I saw some of this event where Gaetz told the crowd that while he had been in Wyoming only an hour, he knew more about the state than Chaney did.
It is of particular interest that this investigation began while Bill Barr, Trump’s Attorney General, was at Justice.
The Gaetz investigation is linked to an investigation of Joel Greenberg, the former tax collector in Seminole County, Florida. Gaetz and Greenburg are friends. Greenburg was indicted last June on several charges, one being sex trafficking. He resigned his office the next day.
Gaetz has denied the allegations and claims they are tied to a scheme to extort $25 million from his family. He says that the extortion effort is led by Pensacola attorney David McGee, an associate of Beggs & Lane. Gaetz implies that McGee is a former DOJ employee.
Beggs & Lane released a statement saying the Gaetz allegation is both “false and defamatory.” It has also been pointed out that McGee worked for DOJ 25 years ago.
Apparently Gaetz is about to find out how few friends he actually has in Washington In fact, according to Business Insider, a former Trump White House aide told them, “Good riddance. It sounds like he let whatever BS power he thought he had go to his head and he thought himself above the law.”
Gaetz went on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News in an effort to defend himself. Carlson called it, “one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.”
But wait. It gets even more weird as Gaetz is dropping hints to associates that he has been talking to major cable news channels about leaving congress and going with them. He says he has had discussions with Newsmax, OAN, Fox Business, Real America’s Voice and others.
But Fox News released a statement to the Daily Beast stating, “No one with any level of authority has had conversation with Matt Gaetz for any of our platforms and we have no interest in hiring him.”
It sounds like this is one peacock who may get his comeuppance and that not many folks in Washington will weep..