Screenshot via Matt Gaetz/Twitter
There's no question that Matt Gaetz hangs out in some unseemly circles
. So it makes sense that the Florida congressman would reach out to some infamous names as a sex trafficking scandal
hangs over his head.
Gaetz's financial disclosure report revealed that the House Rep. is blowing through money, including payments to MAGA-affiliated consultant Roger Stone and the former lawyer of Jeffrey Epstein.
Gaetz's campaign paid $15,000 to Stone in three separate payments of $5,000. All of the payments were marked for "strategic consulting." Beyond that, Gaetz paid $25,000 to Marc Fernich Law Offices for legal services. That firm has represented several unsavory characters, including the drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzman, sex trafficker Epstein and the leader of the notorious NXIVM cult.
Gaetz's spending on legal services between April and June amounted to more than five times the congressman had spent on lawyers in the last three years. The Daily Beast
reports that Gaetz is spending more than he's raising: $1.95 million in expenses compared to $1.44 million in funds.
More than half of Gaetz's overall expenditures went to Logan Circle Group, media strategists who were hired by the Gaetz campaign after the story of his sex trafficking investigation first broke. The Daily Beast
notes that the firm has very few employees, but a Logan Circle representative said there was nothing to see in their payday.
“Four months into a fake scandal cooked up by a corporate media who should be — and will be — apologizing for their conduct towards Rep. Gaetz, they are now ‘reporting’ on financial expenses incurred as a result of their own smear campaigns,” the spokesperson said. “If we were them, we’d be worried about our own financial liabilities, having repeatedly libelled and lied.”
Gaetz's spokesperson Harlan Hill told the Tampa Bay Times
that there was nothing untoward about their expenditures.
"Our (Federal Election Commission) filings speak for themselves,” Hill said. “Despite an endless stream of lies from the media, Congressman Gaetz continues to be among the most prodigious fundraisers in Congress and is the only Republican who doesn’t accept donations from federal lobbyists or PACs. He thanks his tens of thousands of donors and promises to always fight for them.”
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