Republican lawmakers returning to the Capitol after a break are about to be confronted with working with -- and questions about -- Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) this week, reports CNN.
During Congress's Spring break, the controversial Florida lawmaker became even more controversial after it was leaked that he is under multiple investigations related to sex trafficking and allegedly paying women for sex. Now as lawmakers return, they can expect to be inundated with questions from the press as to whether the Gaetz should resign.
As CNN notes, to date, most Republicans have been silent on Gaetz's legal problems.
"When it was first revealed that Gaetz was under investigation by the FBI, the House was in a two-week recess, allowing Republican leaders to largely ignore the scandal and its political implications. Now the House is returning Tuesday to major debates on President Joe Biden's massive infrastructure plan and the record number of unaccompanied minors on the southern border, but questions about Gaetz threaten to distract from Republicans' messaging," CNN reports. "But even before the allegations surfaced, Gaetz didn't have many friends in the House Republican Conference. He quickly rose to prominence through conservative cable television by tying his fortunes to former President Donald Trump and openly challenging Republican establishment leaders like House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming."
With reports stating that even Donald Trump has been keeping his distance from Gaetz, who is one of his most rabid supporters, one person close to the ex-president said things aren't looking good for the conservative lawmaker.
"With his political future under threat, Gaetz has received only tepid support from Trump. The former President issued a statement saying Gaetz had not asked him for a pardon, adding, 'It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him,'" the report states with the former Trump campaign official stating, "I think everyone's trying to keep it off their plate right now. I think everyone thinks that this is going the wrong direction for him."
The report goes on to note that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is set to speak with Gaetz upon his return after telling reporters the allegations about the lawmaker are "serious" as he also faces a House Ethics Committee inquiry.
CNN reports, "One question looming is whether Gaetz returns to Washington on Tuesday for House votes. He submitted a letter to the House clerk last month allowing him to vote by proxy -- which is allowed under House rules due to the pandemic -- but it's not clear if he will use it. Rep. Michael Waltz, the Florida Republican designated as his proxy, had not been asked to cast votes on Gaetz's behalf as of Sunday evening, according to Waltz's office."
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MyPillow CEO and election-fraud booster Mike Lindell, who is one of Fox News' top advertisers, isn't pleased with the right-wing network over its failure to promote — or cover, or even mention, for that matter — his upcoming "cyber symposium" event scheduled for mid-August in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Lindell has long promised that this event will unveil data conclusively proving that Trump was the real winner of the 2020 election, musing earlier this week that a billion people might tune in and it could become a bigger phenomenon than Elvis Presley's legendary 1973 "Aloha From Hawaii" concert.
In a phone interview on Friday afternoon, Lindell told Salon he plans to place ads on Fox News, since the conservative network continues to ignore his media blitz endeavoring to "get the word out" about his symposium. "Fox [News] does not talk about anything with the election," the pillow king lamented. "So I'm going to make ads that will talk about — at least advertising for FrankSpeech.com — that we're going to be televising this [cyber symposium] for 72 hours straight."
Lindell explained that the ads tailored for Fox News will be geared towards spreading "awareness" to Fox's viewers, who are overwhelmingly Republicans and Trump voters: "I just want their viewership to watch it, so we don't have to go out the next day and say, 'Hey, did you watch that?'"
Asked by Salon if he's already made the ad buy or contacted the network about his plans, Lindell explained he hadn't done that yet, since the ads had not been produced. "I gotta make them!" he said.
A Fox News spokesperson didn't return a Salon request for comment.
A day earlier, the man who has brought better sleep to millions vented his anger at Fox News in an exclusive interview with Salon on Thursday afternoon. He suggested Salon should ask the network why it has remained silent on the Sioux Falls event and Lindell's ever more ambitious goals — which include a 9-0 Supreme Court decision that returns Trump to the White House, by an unknown mechanism. "Shame on Fox that they haven't come," he said. "You should reach out to them!"
The symposium is slated for Aug. 10 to 12, and according to Lindell, will show the world that the so-far baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in from the 2020 election are in fact 100% valid, leading to Trump's reinstatement.
"Fox News has refused to cover election fraud, especially the machines," Lindell wrote in a text message to Salon after the interview. "Shame on Fox News!"
This is not the beginning of the pillow CEO's feud with Fox News. In April, Lindell announced he had hired a team of "private investigators" to dig into the network's reluctance to cover his election-fraud endeavors, saying he had "spent a lot of money" on the probe. No results of such an investigation have been revealed.
Attorney in Gaetz case smears young victim for decisions made after she was allegedly sex trafficked
On Friday, Politico reported on the latest in the sex scandals swirling around Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
As Daily Beast reporter Roger Sollenberger noted, there was a "bombshell" buried in the 19th paragraph of the story.
"Under the federal sex-trafficking law, sex with a minor for money is a crime — even if the minor lied about his or her age. However, the circumstances of the case involving Gaetz is giving prosecutors pause, according to two attorneys representing separate people in the case who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the evidence they have seen," Politico reported.
The publication quoted one of the attorneys in the case.
"The federal government doesn't like to try out novel legal theories in court, especially against sitting members of Congress because it usually doesn't work," the attorney said. "Yes, there's strict liability for someone who has sex with a 17-year-old even if she's only a few months away from turning 18 and even if she becomes a hardcore porn star. But prosecuting a case like this would be highly unusual if there's no hard evidence showing Gaetz has done this and the case rests on an admitted liar like Greenberg and the word of a hardcore porn star."
Sollenberger offered his analysis.
"An attorney representing a person in the Gaetz case indicates the underage sex trafficking victim has told authorities she had sex with Matt Gaetz when she was 17," he explained.
"Should also point out Politico printed this smear job on an underage sex trafficking victim from a defense attorney who has the interest of protecting Gaetz," he added.
Should also point out Politico printed this smear job on an underage sex trafficking victim from a defense attorney… https://t.co/02NjAg22wD— Roger Sollenberger found true love, suckers (@Roger Sollenberger found true love, suckers) 1627085516.0
On Friday, The Daily Beast reported that Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) posted screenshots of an angry argument between him and Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who wanted to get him on the phone for a call.
"Tucker, I'm hesitant to do that. You falsely smeared my wife on Tuesday and she's getting death threats," said Swalwell, referring to a retracted Fox News story alleging that Swalwell's campaign funneled money to a business employing his wife. "That's way out of bounds. She's a pregnant mom of a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. Hit me all you like. But to go after her. That's just wrong."
"Carlson responded by calling the Democrat a 'coward' and then apparently phoning him a few minutes later," reported Blake Montgomery. "Swalwell tweeted, 'I'm just not that into you.'"
After years of lying about me and my family, @TuckerCarlson is losing his mind that I won’t return his calls. Sorry… https://t.co/aDdnEMPthc— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@Rep. Eric Swalwell) 1627081943.0
Swalwell, the second-highest ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has long been a target of rage for conservatives. Carlson has also accused Swalwell of aiding a Chinese spy — although experts have made clear that Swalwell in fact properly worked with the FBI to help upon learning the spy had tried to get information from him.
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