Matt Gaetz Tweets 'Defund The FBI' Then Deletes It Amid FBI Probe

Representative Matt Gaetz called for the FBI to be defunded by Democrats in a tweet on Wednesday, and then deleted it immediately.

"If Democrats want to defund the police, they should start with the FBI," the tweet read.

Newsweek has reached out to Rep. Gaetz's team for comment but did not hear back by publication time. It is unclear why Gaetz deleted the tweet a minute after posting it.

Matt Gaetz tweets that Democrats should defund the FBI, then deletes the tweet.

The FBI is investigating Gaetz’s possible role in child sex trafficking, after his friend pled guilty to charges of having sex with a minor and implicated “others."

Gaetz has denied sex w/ a minor. https://t.co/nOl5psuxX2

— michaelscherer (@michaelscherer) June 23, 2021

The Florida congressman is currently being investigated by the FBI for allegations that he violated sex trafficking laws and allegedly paid a 17-year-old to have sex with him, The New York Times first reported back in late March. Gaetz has denied these allegations and has not been charged.

"I'm being falsely accused of exchanging money for naughty favors," Gaetz said to the Republican crowd at the Ohio Political Summit in May, according to NBC News.

Joel Greenberg, a friend of the congressman, pled guilty in May to charges of sex trafficking, producing a false identification document, conspiracy, identity theft, stalking, and wire fraud. As a part of the plea agreement, Greenberg admitted to paying an underage girl for sex. He mentioned that he introduced her to other men, but did not name them, Newsweek reported in May.

"Greenberg also introduced the Minor to other adult men, who engaged in commercial sex acts with the Minor," the plea deal said.

Greenberg's cooperation with the investigation put pressure on the probe into Gaetz's alleged involvement. A spokesman for Gaetz, Harlan Hill, denied his involvement when Greenberg agreed to the plea agreement.

"The first indictment of Joel Greenberg alleges that he falsely accused another man of sex with a minor for his own gain. That man was apparently innocent. So is Congressman Gaetz," Hill said.

On June 10, Gaetz accused the FBI Director Christopher Wray of "ignoring actionable intelligence" that "could have saved American lives" about COVID-19. Wray appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions. Gaetz claimed that a whistleblower had documents that investigators chose not to look into, Newsweek reported earlier this month.

I am deeply concerned that the FBI ignored actionable intelligence regarding the origins of COVID-19 that could have saved American lives. pic.twitter.com/foAip0eeUl

— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) June 10, 2021

"I think the FBI could be very culpable here. We're going to stay on them. The good news is that as a consequence of this hearing, we're going to get back the scientific analysis, the scientific notes that the FBI science team put together as a consequence of these multi-hour meetings with Dr. Li-Meng Yan, but I'm concerned that they categorized her as a counterintelligence threat instead of the truth-telling whistleblower she is. And that resulted in deaths that otherwise could have been avoided," Gaetz said when he appeared on Real America's Voice.

Last week, Gaetz appeared on Cortes & Pellegrino on Newsmax to promote a conspiracy theory that the FBI was involved in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

I certainly hope our nation’s premier law enforcement organization is not actually working to violate federal law.

We need more transparency from the FBI. pic.twitter.com/p7HwspTB1O

— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) June 18, 2021

"The question of whether or not the FBI animated some of the criminal conduct is one that is far more grave," Gaetz said.

The conspiracy alleged that the FBI infiltrated far-right groups to plot the attack.

"And what I can say today is there was FBI infiltration of these groups and what we've got to decide is whether that infiltration led to more acute criminal conduct than would have otherwise occurred," Gaetz said.

Representative Matt Gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks during testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill December 4, 2019. Gaetz Tweeted that the FBI to be defunded on Wednesday and then deleted it. Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images