With all of the rumors and an FBI investigation hanging over Congressman Matt Gaetz, it’s challenging to sift through everything that’s coming out. One story from yesterday was buried in the minutia, though Gaetz himself retweeted it from The National Pulse publisher Raheem Kassam.
Wait… the Israeli embassy in New York just admitted attempting to extort a sitting U.S. Congressman????
Wtf is going on!!!!! https://t.co/pjoz2rpmdo
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) April 2, 2021
According to the story, Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, and Jake Novak, media director of the Israeli consulate in New York City, exchanged text messages that bring a fresh context to the money trail that surrounds Gaetz and his father, Don Gaetz.
NOQ Report has not independently verified the authenticity of these screenshots, but The American Conservative has received verification from one of the parties involved. If the information in them is true, this sheds a new light on what was going on behind the scenes. It prompts the question of why the Israeli consulate was involved in an extortion scheme using a federal investigation into a sitting United States Congressman to get money that would be paid to commandos.
In the first screenshot, Novak messaged Adams last Saturday to tell him about the investigation into Gaetz. The New York Times story on the Gaetz investigation was not published until Tuesday. In the second, Novak appears to represent himself as deeply involved in the efforts to free Bob Levinson from Iran, telling Adams “this is screwing up my efforts to free Bob Levinson.”
“Gaetz’s dad was secretly finding [sic] us,” he continues. “So I’m very much wanting this to be untrue. I’ve got a commando team leader friend of mine nervously waiting for the wire transfers to clear.”
In the third screenshot, Novak casts doubt on Gaetz’s claims that he is being extorted. “The real documents do not extort,” he writes, “And we only asked for $25 million as an estimate at first. We came way down.”
There is no indication of why Adams would be involved, though it appears he is just the recipient of gossip. But serious issues are brought up by this whole story, especially if it’s true that an investigation into Gaetz was being leveraged to secure rescue operation funding.
Gaetz has maintained his innocence, though his communications director Luke Ball has resigned, according to The Blaze.
On Tuesday, Gaetz acknowledged to Axios that the DOJ is investigating him over allegations of sexual misconduct, after The New York Times reported the probe and claims that the lawmaker had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old. The Times noted that “investigators are examining whether Mr. Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws” by allegedly paying for the minor to travel with him.
Gaetz, 38, said that accusations are completely false, and claimed they were drummed up as part of an extortion plot from criminals trying to get $25 million from his father. He told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that the man who led the scheme is a former Justice Department official named David McGee. McGee denies Gaetz’s claims.
On Tuesday, The Times reported in a follow-up piece that the DOJ is focusing on Gaetz and indicted former Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg’s “involvement with multiple women who were recruited online for sex and received cash payments” from the men in exchange for drug-fueled hotel romps. Greenberg, an ally of Gaetz’s, currently faces several felony charges including sex trafficking of a minor.
Little news has come out since it first broke, but a majority of Republican allies have distanced themselves from Gaetz. This could be a sign of how solid the investigation is, but it’s equally possible they are waiting to see which way the winds blow before either condemning or supporting Gaetz. Representatives Jim Jordan and Marjorie Taylor Greene are among the few Republican lawmakers who have stood by Gaetz since the story broke.
It’s bigger than just these allegations, especially if the Israeli consulate is involved. Gaetz has been a polarizing figure on Capitol Hill, including alienating himself from other Republican lawmakers by adhering to total support of President Trump before, during, and after the 2020 election. When others had moved on, Gaetz has remained a stalwart defender of Trump while highlighting the likelihood that massive, widespread voter fraud contributed to the election loss.
The Associated Press reported that several lawmakers and aides who spoke on condition of anonymity said Gaetz’s prospects for remaining in Congress were complicated by his unpopularity in his own party. Nevertheless, charges have not been filed and in America, Gaetz is innocent until proven guilty.
All of this jibes with documents Gaetz released showing attempts to get money from his father. According to the Washington Examiner:
The Florida Republican countered the report on Twitter and in statements to Axios and Fox News with a claim that his family is being extorted for $25 million and that the people pushing stories about an investigation into his relationships with women are the people extorting him and the subjects of an FBI extortion investigation over the last few weeks.
The documents in Gaetz’s possession detail an alleged scheme that revolves around attempts by former Air Force intelligence officer Bob Kent and Beggs & Lane attorney David McGee, a former federal prosecutor, to free ex-FBI agent-turned-private investigator Robert Levinson from imprisonment in Iran.
Levinson went missing in Iran in March 2007. McGee is the attorney for the Levinson family. Kent in December 2018 had planned a secret mission to try to rescue Levinson, but he was reportedly thwarted by the federal government.
Screenshots provided to the Washington Examiner show a message that his father, Don Gaetz, a former Florida state Senate president, said he received from Kent on March 16. The message proposes “a plan that can make [Matt Gaetz’s] future legal and political problems go away.” Gaetz has denied any relationship with a minor.
Despite the family members of Levinson saying in March 2020 that they presumed him to be dead based on information given by U.S. officials, the alleged message from Kent said he had located Levinson in Iran and has two “proof of life videos.” Kent also requested the Gaetz family’s help returning Levinson in exchange for giving Matt Gaetz credit for the operation and promising a presidential pardon for unnamed legal issues.
The next day, on March 17, Don Gaetz purportedly met with Kent, and Kent handed him a three-page document outlining “Project Homecoming.” That document detailed a plan to save Levinson at the cost of a $25 million loan.
There are much bigger questions that need to be answered here. Is Gaetz being targeted because his family is rich and could be forced to fund an operation for the Israeli consulate? There is more to this story than what we’re being told.