Details about Matt Gaetz's investigation were leaked to Dilbert cartoonist before reports were made public
Just days before reports of Rep. Matt Gaetz's (R-Fla.) sexual abuse investigation began circulating, a Trump-supporting cartoonist and an affiliate of the Israeli consulate began discussing the Federal Bureau of Investigations' (FBI) probe via text message.
According to Politico, cartoonist Scott Adams and Jake Novak, who works as broadcast media director for the Consulate General of Israel located in New York, forged a friendship by way of social media. "Scoop I can't report: Rep. Gaetz is the subject of a sex with minor…. I trust the source. Charges/accusations apparently 'very credible'," Novak reportedly said in a text message to Adams.
After reports began circulating about the investigation, Novak said, "Told ya" as he refuted the claims about the case being part of some extortion plot against Gaetz and his father. However, Adams seemed to be skeptical of the investigation as he insisted that "the extortion counterclaim sounds credible. Has witnesses apparently."
Raw Story reports that: "Novak then suggested he was personally involved in an effort to get $25 million out of Gaetz's father, Don Gaetz, to help free Bob Levinson, an American hostage in Iran whom most intelligence officials believe is dead."
"The backstory is this is screwing up my efforts to free Bob Levinson," Novak wrote. "I've got a commando team leader friend of mine nervously waiting for wire transfers to clear."
Novak also insisted that "the real documents do not extort. And we only asked for $25 million as an estimate at first. We came way down."
The latest development comes just one month after the federal grand jury indictment of Florida developer Stephen Alford. He allegedly told the Republican lawmaker's father, Don Gaetz, "that in return for financing the Levinson rescue effort, he would use his influence to ensure the congressman 'receives a presidential pardon, thus alleviating all his legal issues.'"
"The allegation that a foreign official may be involved in a shakedown scheme of a U.S. congressman — a highly unusual development in its own right — could help provide a fuller picture of a scandal that has captivated the nation's capital but where many pieces are still unknown."
Politico also noted that while Novak's involvement "'doesn't speak to Gaetz' guilt or innocence,' it is 'concerning.'"
Speaking to Politico, Ronald E. Neumann, a former ambassador who now serves as president of the American Academy of Diplomacy, weighed in with his opinion of Adams and Novak's exchange. "It's certainly problematic, if it's true," Neumann said. "Anytime you have criminal or potential criminal behavior, and somebody who's part of a foreign embassy or consulate, it's a problem."
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