I discussed the controversy with Smerconish on his radio program before the Kent interview. We discussed how bizarre it is to have a written demand for $25 million that references potential criminal charges against Gaetz and the possibility of a pardon from President Joe Biden. Usually extortionists do not lay out the deal in writing like an investment prospectus.
The funds were being purportedly sought to secure the release of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007. Levinson was believed to have been working for the CIA and, at the time of the demand, he was already believed to have died in Iranian custody.
Kent confirmed the request made to Gaetz’ father, Don Gaetz, and the involvement of former DOJ lawyer David McGee, who served as the Levinson family’s attorney. He also admitted that he told Don Gaetz how the money would “generate good will” for his son. However, he insisted that “I explained that in no way am I trying to extort him and that if he decides not to help us, he’ll never hear from me again.”
It is also notable that Kent was working with Florida businessman Stephen Alford, who reportedly was convicted of fraud.
That brings us to the document obtained by the Washington Examiner. It was allegedly sent by Kent. This includes an express promise that, with the $25 million, his son will be guaranteed a spot on the plane bringing back Levinson and a presidential pardon “alleviating all of this legal issues.”
Gaetz now has confirmed that the demand was made and he has the communication on an apparent quid pro quo pitch. However, that does not “alleviate” his legal jeopardy. If charged with sex trafficking, a judge could exclude the alleged extortion demand and evidence on the basis that it would not be a defense to the charge itself. Even if Gaetz was being blackmailed, the existence of such a conspiracy would not alter the fact that he allegedly committed sex trafficking crimes. Thus, the jury might never know of the countervailing narrative.
There remains the question of whether Gaetz did have relations with a 17-year-old. He vehemently denies that claim. The FBI presumably has this evidence. If he did not have a relationship with an under-aged girl, the remaining charges would involve prostitution claims in arranging for the travel and compensation of adult women for sex. Such charges are far less series than sex trafficking under-aged girls, but there is still much that we do not know about the focus of this investigation.
This is why, as with figures like Andrew Cuomo, demands for a resignation or expulsion for Gaetz are premature until we can see actual evidence and confirmed actual facts. There is much that has been reported that is deeply disturbing, including Gaetz’ alleged history of bragging about such sexual encounters or participating in juvenile games tied to sexual relations. That may offer compelling evidence that he is a terrible person, but that would not make him necessarily stand out in Congress. The question is whether he is criminally not morally culpable. That demands a modicum of proof and patience.
69 thoughts on “Key Figure in Gaetz Scandal Admits Asking For $25 Million”
Since those in Washington, or in this case Talahassee, who find themselves widely regarded to be in the cross hairs of an investigation that won’t turn out well for them are often seen as highly motivated financiers for clandestine projects of all sorts in order to buy themselves good favor, I’d really love to know all the projects Gaetz Sr. has been approached on.
The evil of the child sex trade includes college athletics, with its ugly and vile history of profiting from the international child sex trade. Penn State, the ‘Sanctuary City for Paedophiles’, has for decades operated a child sex trafficking enterprise, grooming tens of thousands of innocent children for the sexual depravity of well connected politicians, wealthy donors, and high ranking university administrators, providing the university billions in profits. Penn State bribed the former FBI Director Louis Freeh to whitewash the scandal, and then delivered several young boys to former Democratic Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell for his hideous depravity in exchange for the early release of Pedophile State from NCAA sanctions. Newly unsealed documents revealed George Mitchell’s connection to Jeffrey Epstein https://www.vanityfair.com/…. Does the media possess the journalistic integrity to investigate the George Mitchell-Louis Freeh-Paedophile State-international child sex trade operation?
If Joe Biden folds on these requests he is farther down the ding-dong trail than he seems.
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