Financial disclosures from Matt Gaetz's campaign reveal that the Florida Republican is frantically trying to get ahead of a federal investigation into whether or not he committed sex trafficking.
According to the Daily Beast, Gaetz's campaign was throwing money after promotional materials and consultants in the wake of the story breaking about his investigation. The report that runs from January to March showed Gaetz raising a significant war chest during a typical downtime and then spending huge sums on mailing campaign. The publication notes that he spent more on fundraising in those three months than he did all of 2019 and 2020.
Gaetz spent $170,000 on direct mail outreach in those same three months, with over $116,000 of that total going out on a single day. Notably, it was the day after the New York Times broke the story of the ongoing investigation into whether Gaetz enticed a minor across state lines for the purposes of sex. He also sent $5000 to noted GOP fixer Roger Stone, his first time ever paying for the services of the consultant.
Not included in the report was a massive television ad buy reported on by Politico earlier this month. The six-figure purchase of ad space in his district and on national news channels targets CNN for what he views as unfair coverage of the news.
For the uninitiated, Gaetz is under investigation for an alleged relationship with a woman he met via former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg. Among other charges, Greenberg is currently facing allegations of sex trafficking. Reports coming from women who claim to have been involved say that Greenberg paid them for escort services at parties in Central Florida. One of these women, who appears to be at the center of Greenberg's charges and Gaetz's investigation, may have been under the age of 18 at the time of their interaction. If Gaetz compelled her across state lines while she was still a minor for the purpose of sex, that meets the legal definition of sex trafficking.
Gaetz has denied all allegations against him. He claims he's caught up in an extortion plot that hoped to use funds from Gaetz's family to fund a plan to extract a CIA contractor who was kidnapped while on assignment in Iran.
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