Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican, stunned lawmakers when, shortly after taking the House floor, he claimed someone is trying to kill him.
You can watch footage of Gaetz's speech below.
"I think someone may be trying to kill me. If they are successful, I would like my constituents and my family to know who stopped their arrest."
Gaetz claimed on October 8, he received a death threat from someone who claimed to be a professional hit man on Twitter and who had traveled to Washington, D.C.
He said he'd spoken to Capitol Police, who'd recommended the individual be arrested. However, he said the Department of Justice (DOJ) has not taken action.
Gaetz's claim came after the DOJ added two top prosecutors to the child sex trafficking investigation in which he's been embroiled.
Citing two sources who were briefed on the matter, The New York Times noted:
"The prosecutors—one a public corruption investigator with an expertise in child exploitation crimes, and the other a top leader of the public corruption unit—have been working on the Florida-based investigation for at least three months."
Many of Gaetz's critics have suggested he is just trying to distract attention from the investigation.
Hey @mattgaetz , some of these teenage girls have Dads and uncles who don't take kindly to your type. If it makes… https://t.co/uv66nm3Eye— Eric Garland (@Eric Garland) 1634769926.0
Matty is guilty AF and he knows the walls are closing in. I don't guess his buddy Greenberg is puttin' the cat back… https://t.co/0czJhPk5TS— LOCK-HIM-UP!! (@LOCK-HIM-UP!!) 1634796015.0
Who's underaged daughter did Matt mess with this time? https://t.co/O4Z0QtDUcC— Patrick from Florida 🌴🌴 (@Patrick from Florida 🌴🌴) 1634780903.0
The political theatre is wild with this one. Gotta gin up another story to distract from the fact that he's a verif… https://t.co/R2DkT5DCaQ— JaxWatch (@JaxWatch) 1634776665.0
Matt Gaetz says someone is trying to kill him. Hmmm…maybe it’s the parents of the underaged girls he had sex with. Just a thought.— Cal Meacham (💉💉+💉and 😷) (@Cal Meacham (💉💉+💉and 😷)) 1634774407.0
Yea, almost guaranteed there is much more to this story… https://t.co/92eTUPHstk— (((The war on white supremacy has begun))) (@(((The war on white supremacy has begun)))) 1634796775.0
Playing the sympathy card - desperation is setting in. 🤨 https://t.co/6UIaHP2kh0— GrumpyOldSham (@GrumpyOldSham) 1634774443.0
Federal authorities are investigating Gaetz on child sex trafficking charges after it emerged the DOJ launched a probe into whether he paid a 17-year-old girl and took her across state lines for sexual purposes.
Gaetz denied allegations he violated sex trafficking laws and engaged in other sexual misconduct while in office by citing the age of consent.
In May, Gaetz's associate Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector in Seminole County, Florida formally pleaded guilty to six federal charges, including sex trafficking of a minor.
He also pleaded guilty to producing a false identification document, identity theft, wire fraud, stalking and conspiracy.