Report: Matt Gaetz Upgraded From Just F–ked to Royally F–ked

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Since the news broke that the Justice Department is investigating Rep. Matt Gaetz for allegedly paying women for sex and, separately, sleeping with a minor and transporting her across state lines, things have gotten exponentially worse for the congressman on a near-biweekly basis. For instance, last Friday we noted that the Republican lawmaker was “well and truly f–ked,” in light of Venmo transactions showing Gaetz had paid $900 to his accused sex-trafficker friend, Joel Greenberg, which Greenberg proceeded to send to three young women. On Tuesday, though, new reporting indicated that he has been upgraded to exceptionally, royally f–ked.

The New York Times reported that Greenberg, Gaetz’s close friend who was first indicted last year and has now been charged on 33 counts, including sex trafficking of a minor, bribery, stalking, and defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program, is said to have been providing investigators with information on “an array of topics, including Mr. Gaetz’s activities,” for several months now. Greenberg, who is currently in jail after violating the terms of his bail, reportedly told prosecutors that he and the congressman “had encounters with women who were given cash or gifts in exchange for sex,” according to two people familiar with the matter. The DOJ is also investigating if the two men had sex with a 17-year-old girl; it’s not clear if Greenberg, a former Seminole County, Florida, tax collector, has offered up any information on that front. (According to The New York Times, the minor Gaetz allegedly slept with is said to be the same one Greenberg was charged with sex trafficking.)

Per the Times:

Mr. Greenberg, who is said to have met the women through websites that connect people who go on dates in exchange for gifts, fine dining, travel, and allowances and introduced them to Mr. Gaetz, could provide investigators with firsthand accounts of [his and Gaetz’s] activities.

Mr. Greenberg began speaking with investigators once he realized that the government had overwhelming evidence against him and that his only path to leniency lay in cooperation, the people said. He has met several times with investigators to try to establish his trustworthiness, though the range of criminal charges against him—including fraud—could undermine his credibility as a witness…. Speculation about Mr. Greenberg’s cooperation began mounting last week, after his lawyer and a federal prosecutor both said in court that he was likely to plead guilty in the coming weeks. “I’m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” Fritz Scheller, Mr. Greenberg’s lawyer, told reporters afterward.

A spokesman for Gaetz has insisted the GOP lawmaker did nothing wrong, telling the Times, “Congressman Gaetz has never paid for sex,” and suggesting that Greenberg was “trying to ensnare innocent people in his troubles.”

Prosecutors often seek out cooperators in complex investigations where an insider’s account can help make their cases. Typically, the authorities meet with potential cooperators many times before formally agreeing to a plea deal to determine what information they have and whether they could serve as a witness against others…. Greenberg potentially has a deep level of knowledge that could significantly help the government.

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