"I thank the gentleman for yielding because 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 said in a speech on the House floor.
Gaetz, who is under probe by federal prosecutors, insisted that on Oct. 8, a Twitter user messaged him, saying, "Looky here, pal. I lived in Portland. Portland has ordered a hit on you. I accepted the contract. Have a good day."
He said he received new information about the death threat. He maintained the Capitol Police "recommended" arresting the man who had moved to Washington, D.C., from Portland intending to kill Gaetz.
"The Department of Justice refused to do so," Gaetz said. "On the eve of the attorney general testifying before the Judiciary Committee tomorrow, it is just yet another example of the Department of Justice having a double standard."
"If my name weren't Gaetz, if it were Omar or Tlaib, you bet this person would've been arrested. Because that's what the Capitol Police recommended, but the Department of Justice doesn't seem to care so much when it's Republicans," Gaetz said, concluding his claim.
Federal investigators examine whether Gaetz broke federal sex trafficking law by providing goods or payment to a 17-year-old girl in exchange for sex. The New York Times reported on Thursday the Justice Department added two top prosecutors to the case.
Gaetz has not been charged with a crime and has denied any wrongdoing. In a statement to ABC News on Thursday, a spokesperson for Gaetz said, "Congressman Gaetz is innocent. The former DOJ official who tried to extort him is guilty. No number of political operative prosecutors at a politically weaponized DOJ will change this."
The news comes just days after a federal judge in Central Florida allowed a request from attorneys representing former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, Gaetz's one-time self-acclaimed "wingman," to delay Greenberg's sentencing. At the same time, he proceeds to give prosecutors information about his actions in connection with the ongoing federal probe.
Greenberg in May pleaded guilty to several federal crimes, including sex trafficking of a minor and introducing her to other "adult men" who also had sex with her and agreed to provide "substantial assistance" to prosecutors as part of their ongoing investigation.
"This is obviously not a normal situation," U.S. attorney Roger Handberg told the judge earlier this week in requesting a delay in Greenberg's scenting. "Mr. Greenberg is a prolific criminal."
"Mr. Greenberg was not alone," Handberg continued. "This is an unusual situation with a number of lines of investigation we are pursuing."