NY Times Columnist Eviscerates FBI Over Matt Gaetz Investigation “Disgrace for the Ages”
The FBI began investigating Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Fl. in late 2020 over potential sex trafficking crimes.
The investigation was brought to the public’s attention after Stephen Alford, aged 62, was convicted of wire fraud in an extortion scheme last year. Alford requested that Matt Gaetz’s father, Don Gaetz, pay him $25 million to procure a pardon concerning the possible charges.
After a nearly two-year-long investigation that harmed the reputation of one of the most high-profile Republican Congressmen in the country, it was revealed last week that Gaetz would likely not be charged with a crime.
Republicans, who claimed that the investigation was tinged with political bias from the start, took a victory lap after the news broke.
Matt Gaetz is vindicated.
Prosecutors recommended NOT to bring charges against him.
Congressman Gaetz will win re-election this November & serve as a member of the Republican House majority beginning in January.
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) September 23, 2022
Democrats seemed angry and convinced of Gaetz’s guilt, while others expressed outrage that the DOJ would likely not prosecute Gaetz even though the reliability of key witnesses was called into question.
One prominent liberal Twitter user accused Matt Gaetz’s father of bribing someone in the Department of Justice to get the charges against him dropped.
Matt Gaetz is guilty. Matt Gaetz's dad is rich. Someone got paid. Matt Gaetz is free. But he's still guilty. And we all know it.
— Dr. Jack Brown 🌊 (@DrGJackBrown) September 24, 2022
The New York Times (surprisingly) had a sober conversation about the issue, with columnist Bret Stephens saying that the FBI needs to face a reckoning to regain public trust.
Stephens began by saying that the FBI’s investigation of Gaetz is a ‘disgrace for the ages.’
“The investigation of Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, which looks like it’s about to fall apart, is an F.B.I. disgrace for the ages”
— Byron York (@ByronYork) September 26, 2022
Stephens then said that Congress should appoint a ‘Church-style committee’ so that the public will regain trust in the FBI.
“Congress needs to appoint a Church-style committee or commission to reform the bureau. After the Ted Stevens fiasco, James Comey’s disastrous interventions with Hillary Clinton’s emails, and the bureau misrepresenting facts to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as part of its investigation of Trump and Russia, something dramatic has to change to save the F.B.I. from continuing to lose public trust.”
The Church Committee was established in the 70s to investigate abuses of power by intelligence agencies, including the FBI. The Committee uncovered the notorious FBI-led COINTELPRO project that harassed and persecuted political organizations deemed a threat to the existing political and social order.
Stephens seemed to imply that the FBI’s recent scandals are reminiscent of the ’60s and ’70s, saying that they are ‘tinged by political bias.’
“Longstanding pattern of incompetence tinged by what feels like political bias”
Stephens finished his point by summing up Gaetz’s investigation and explaining the real-world harm that the FBI’s political bias does to people who are caught in its crosshairs.
“A high-profile politician being convicted in the court of public opinion of some of the most heinous behavior imaginable — trafficking a minor for sex — until the Justice Department realizes two years late that its case has fallen apart.”