an elaborate explanation
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) tweeted on Tuesday night that his family is the target of an extortion attempt by a former Department of Justice official who is "seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name."
Gaetz made the claim shortly after The New York Times reported that the Justice Department is investigating whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel with him out of state. Over a series of tweets, Gaetz said that his family has been "cooperating with federal authorities" investigating the alleged extortion attempt, and "my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI's direction to catch these criminals."
The Times' report was an attempt to "thwart that investigation," Gaetz continued. "No part of the allegations against me are true, and the people pushing these lies are targets of the ongoing extortion investigation." He went on to "demand" the Justice Department "immediately release the tapes, made at their direction, which implicate their former colleague in crimes against me based on false allegations."