U.S. Rep. Matt Getz started fundraising off a still unfolding sex scandal that could put him in prison.
Gaetz penned a fundraising appeal blasted to supporters Friday morning. It asked for checks to be sent to the campaign account Friends of Matt Gaetz. In it, Gaetz compares himself to members of former President Donald Trump’s administration who became embroiled in an investigation of Russian election meddling.
“Here we go again,” the email begins. “Just another media hoax. Do you remember the fake Russia Hoax? Their attempt to frame General (Michael) Flynn? I do… and now they are coming for me.”
The Department of Justice ultimately dropped charges against Flynn after he pleaded guilty.
Of course, Gaetz remains the subject of a much more personal investigation. Stemming from a federal criminal case against former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, the Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz engaged in a payment-for-sex deal. Sources within Justice told multiple outlets the Congressman could face a charge of sex trafficking a 17-year-old across state lines, which on its own carries a sentence of 10 years.
But Gaetz has consistently denied allegations, and continues to do so in his email.
“They have smeared my name while creating another partisan witch hunt, all because I dared to stand up to them,” Gaetz wrote.
He cited the (somewhat tepid) statement from Trump, who pushed back on reports Gaetz sought a pardon in a statement that noted Gaetz denied wrong-doing. In Gaetz’s fundraising email, he characterizes this as “fighting back” and embeds a button where donors can “join Trump” by sending money.
But he asserts, as he has done before, that the attacks on his character have a different target in mind — lovers of America.
“I will not back down from the Fake News hacks that want to destroy me and America-First patriots like you. I am more determined than ever to shut down this HOAX, and I am glad to have President Trump on my side.”
Ultimately, he suggests the real way to fight the evils of Washington is through donations to his campaign, which has notably been paying for legal counsel for months.
“The D.C. Swamp protects its own, and their media puppets are going all-out with fake, salacious stories to try to take me down,” Gaetz wrote. “These are the actions of a corrupt Establishment that is seeking to take out Trump supporters… BUT I WON’T BACK DOWN.”
He repeatedly attacks the media, which the email said is basing its reporting on unverified evidence. That comes as Greenberg apparently works on a deal with federal prosecutors that his lawyers said will leave Gaetz “not feeling very comfortable.”
“Don’t believe their lies or let them brainwash the American people,” Gaetz closes. “They hate me and they hate you because we stand for America First policies and are a threat to their empire of propaganda.”