They say when you find yourself at the bottom of a ditch, stop digging. But apparently Matt Gaetz did not receive this memo because he is currently halfway to China.
In case you haven’t heard, the 38-year-old Florida MP is currently under investigation for allegedly paying women, along with a 17-year-old girl, for sex. on CashApp and Apple Pay. He of course denies this, but The New York Times has text messages and online receipts that appear to corroborate the claims.
Now, rather than doing what anyone under federal investigation for sex crimes against minors would likely do and, say, hire a lawyer, possibly followed by a publicist, Gaetz decided to ‘write a scathing editorial in the Washington Examiner asserting his innocence.
Related: A Short, Probably Incomplete History Of Matt Gaetz Sex Scandals And Scariest Moments (So Far)
In an article dramatically titled The Swamp Is Here to Drown Me With False Charges, But I’m Not Giving Up, Gaetz reminds everyone, “I’m a congressional representative, not a monk.
Of course, no one expects him to be a monk. Only monks are supposed to be monks. They do, however, expect him not to pay underage girls for sex. But we digress.
“I want to be clear on something as we deal with the leaks and lies from last week,” he continues. “At this point, there are exactly no credible (or even non-credible) accusers willing to come forward by name and publicly state that I have behaved badly towards them.
This, of course, is not true.
Multiple media reported that an 18-year-old girl testified before a grand jury in Florida last week saying she had sex with Gaetz while still underage. And even if he thinks she is not credible, the Justice Department thinks she is credible enough to have opened an investigation into the case.
Gaetz goes on to say that he believes this is all part of an elaborate smear campaign against him, motivated by his criticism of the Biden administration, or perhaps because of his complicity with Liz Cheney.
That’s a very different explanation from the one he gave last week, when he told Tucker Carlson he was the victim of a $ 25 million extortion plot. Or something.
“Since I take my turn under the gun, allow me to respond directly to the allegations against me,” Gaetz continues. “First, I never, ever paid for sex. And second, as a grown man, I didn’t sleep with a 17 year old.
He then goes on to say that he “enjoys my current embrace of monogamy” with his fiancee Ginger Luckey, who has not commented since the story broke last week.
Related: Matt Gaetz’s Fiancee Urged on “Run Girl!” after sharing a pic of her bare legs amid teenage sex scandal
“I am a better man today than I was years ago,” he writes. “Heck, I hope to be a better man than yesterday, every day of my life. My old lifestyle may be different from what I live now, but it was not and is not illegal. “
Except for this one time, he was arrested for drunk driving, of course. And all those speeding tickets. But maybe that stuff doesn’t matter?
This is #Mugshot’s 2008 #Mugshot about drinking and driving from # MattGaetz. Besides Gaetz having the charges dropped after he “refused” a breathalyzer, he also had 16 speeding tickets from 1999 to 2014. This guy should be allowed to sweep the floors of Congress let alone represent #FLORIDA pic.twitter .com / 7wylKKlf6h
– StageWrangler?? (@calicolocali) February 7, 2019
“My political opponents want to create a sensation and criminalize my previous sex life just as I engage with the best person I’ve ever known,” says Gaetz.
Then, without the slightest irony, he adds: “It is regrettable that the battle of ideas thus becomes so personal. But then again, when your ideas suck, you’ve got to stoop that low. “
He concludes by accusing the Department of Justice of having attempted to “pervert the truth” and says that he “will not be intimidated or extorted” before comparing himself to a gladiator.
“The battle for America’s future demands gladiators,” he wrote, “and I will continue to rise up and fight, every day.”
Graham Gremore is editor and editor at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.