Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) explained Tuesday that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has linked Fox News host Tucker Carlson to his scandals.
In his interview with Carlson, Gaetz noted that Carlson, his wife, Gaetz and his then-girlfriend had dinner together. That girlfriend was then approached by the Justice Department, he said.
"Well, tucker actually managed to hold onto his Tucker-face while Matt Gaetz was suddenly trying to pull Tucker Carlson down to his level, accused of possible sex crimes," said MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell. "Tucker then clarified later by mentioning to his obvious befuddlement that he was talking about a 20-year accusation that no one knew anything about until Matt Gaetz brought it up to use as a shield after a story broke tonight, that Matt Gaetz is said to face Justice Department inquiry over sex with an underage girl, that he is said to have paid a 17-year-old girl to travel with him."
Calling her a "women," Gaetz denied that he ever traveled with a 17-year-old.
"On March 16th, my father got a text message demanding a meeting wherein a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations by me go away," Gaetz said. There were no sex trafficking allegations about Gaetz on March 16. They weren't reported until March 30. "Our family was so upset by that, we contacted the FBI. And the FBI and the Department of Justice. This attempted extortion of a member of Congress that they asked my dad to wear a wire, which he did with the former Justice Department official. Tonight I am demanding that the Department of Justice and the FBI release the audio recordings that were made under their supervision and at their direction which will prove my innocence and that will show that these allegations aren't true, they're merely intended to try to bleed my family out of money."
Recordings between Gaetz's father and the former DOJ official wouldn't prove his innocence, it would simply be a father defending his son against extortion.
"During this entire bizarre interview, Congressman Matt Gaetz does not deny a federal investigation against him that is looking at whether or not he had sexual relations with a 17-year-old girl and that she traveled across state lines and was induced by him to do so with payments or hotel stays and so on," said Rep. Lieu, who served as a military prosecutor in the late 1990s. "That by itself is a very serious charge. And if it's true, if he, in fact, had sexual relations with an underage minor, I know that Florida law also makes it a felony to do so. So, Matt Gaetz is facing very serious charges right now, and his defense is bizarre and it doesn't shield him from these investigations."
When it comes to Gaetz including Carlson in his story, Lieu warned that it just made Carlson a "witness."
"And there's going to be some trouble corroborating that because Tucker Carlson then said he had no memory of that dinner or meeting that person," said O'Donnell. "But the tale just gets wider and wider as Matt Gaetz talks about it."
"Basically what Matt Gaetz just did is he made Tucker Carlson a witness to the investigation now," said the California congressman. "I also note that Matt Gaetz has, in the past, spun wild tales about a variety of different subjects, so it's not surprising that he would spin this wild tale. But, again, the fact that someone, even if it's true, in March tried to extort him or his family to allegedly make this case go away, doesn't change the fact that there is a case. There is a very serious federal investigation opened under the Trump administration, and I'm a former prosecutor. They don't just do this out of nothing. There has to be a factual predicate, and the Department of Justice is going to be a whole team of federal investigators investigating Matt Gaetz. He's in deep trouble and that's why he needs to be removed from the House Judiciary Committee."
See the interview below:
congressman says Matt Gaetz just made tucker carlson a witness www.youtube.com