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Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said he’s “absolutely not resigning” as he blamed his twisted sexual misconduct scandal on his “political opponents” in a new op-ed that also compares Washington, DC to the “mafia.”
“Yes, just like the mafia, the D.C. swamp protects its [sic] ‘made men.’ Since I’m taking my turn under the gun, let me address the allegations against me directly,” Gaetz wrote in the op-ed, published Monday by the Washington Examiner. “First, I have never, ever paid for sex. And second, I, as an adult man, have not slept with a 17-year-old.”
Calling himself a “better man today than I was years ago,” the Republican lawmaker went on to say that while “my lifestyle of yesteryear may be different from how I live now … it was not and is not illegal.”
Gaetz, 38, remained defiant in the face of mounting allegations against him — including federal probes into whether he paid for sex with women, including a 17-year-old girl.
“And no, I am absolutely not resigning,” he vowed in the piece, adding that he won’t be “intimidated or extorted” into doing so.
“The battle for America’s future demands gladiators, and I am going to keep getting back up and fighting, every single day,” the Florida rep wrote.
Last week, news broke that Gaetz is under investigation by the Department of Justice for allegedly paying a 17-year-old for sex and enticing her to travel, which violates federal sex trafficking laws, allegations the lawmaker has repeatedly denied.
Since then, he’s been accused of a series of misdeeds, including that he used to show naked pictures of women he slept with to fellow lawmakers and that he played a Harry Potter-themed “sex challenge” where points would be awarded for various romps.
In the op-ed, Gaetz compared himself to former President Donald Trump, Justice Brett Kavanaugh and late Sen. John McCain, saying the “bizarre” allegations against him are a product of his brash legislative style and his decision to take on powerful figures in DC.
“Folks won’t be surprised that bizarre claims are being made about me shortly after I decided to take on the most powerful institutions in the Beltway: the establishment; the FBI; the Biden Justice Department; the Cheney political dynasty; even the Justice Department under Trump,” Gaetz wrote.
“It comes as no surprise that my political opponents want to sensationalize and criminalize my prior sex life just as I am getting engaged to the best person I’ve ever known. It is regrettable that the battle of ideas should thus become so personal. But then again, when your ideas suck, you need to stoop this low.”
Gaetz concluded the piece by cryptically suggesting the allegations he’s facing aren’t really about him at all.
“You’ll see more ‘drip, drip, drip’ of leaks into the media from the corrupt Justice Department and others. When you do, ask yourself why. They aren’t coming for me — they are coming for you,” he wrote.
“I’m just in the way.”
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