One of the boys accused of attempting to extort Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz admits he approached Gaetz’s father for cash to assist discover a former FBI agent lacking in Iran, however denies attempting to extort the household.
Former Air Force intelligence officer Bob Kent confirmed to SiriusXM Radio that he had approached Don Gaetz after studying that his son was beneath federal investigation for potential intercourse crimes.
The Justice Department is investigating whether or not Matt Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old woman and violated federal intercourse trafficking legal guidelines, in response to The New York Times. The Republican congressman denies having a sexual relationship with a minor.
Kent says he requested the older Gaetz, a rich former Florida Senate president, for a $25 million mortgage to assist rescue Robert Levinson. The retired FBI agent vanished 14 years in the past in Iran and is taken into account the longest-held hostage in American historical past.
“Matt Gaetz is in need of good publicity, and I’m in need of $25 million to save Robert Levinson,” Kent instructed radio host Michael Smerconish in an interview Monday, including that he has proof Levinson continues to be alive.
Levinson disappeared on Iran’s distant Kish Island in March 2007 throughout an unauthorized CIA mission that the US authorities for years claimed was a personal enterprise journey. He hasn’t been seen or heard from publicly since, and the Iranian authorities denied holding the veteran agent in its custody.
Levinson’s household mentioned in a March 2020 assertion that Levinson died someday earlier than the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran, an evaluation shared by the US authorities. His stays haven’t been recovered.
Kent’s feedback comply with a Washington Post report final week that the senior Gaetz was approached by Kent and former federal prosecutor David McGee, who has represented the Levinson household. They reportedly instructed Don Gaetz that if he supplied the funds and Levinson was launched, it might assist his son win much-needed public goodwill amid the investigation.
The Justice Department probe of Matt Gaetz hadn’t but been made public when Don Gaetz was approached with the reported provide from Kent and McGee.
“At first he started laughing and he said, ‘You know we get these extortion attempts all the time,’” Kent mentioned of his interplay with Don Gaetz. “And I said, whoa, stop. This is not an extortion attempt. I’m not trying to extort him, I’m not, you know, that’s not what we’re doing here.”
Don Gaetz reached out to the FBI over issues his household was being extorted, the Post reviews. For his half, Kent insisted he by no means threatened Don Gaetz and instructed him if he determined to not fund the rescue scheme, “he’ll never hear from me again.”
The Levinson household has but to remark publicly on Kent’s declare that Levinson continues to be alive.
A Biden administration assertion in March mentioned the United States will “continue to demand answers” from Iran about Levinson. In what marked the primary public actions the US authorities had taken towards Tehran over his abduction, the Trump administration in December sanctioned two high-ranking Iranian intelligence officers over Levinson’s abduction, detention and possible loss of life.