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:
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.”
Last week the Daily Beast reported that Gaetz and Greenberg are both connected on Venmo to several women—like one of the three who received portions of the $900 marked for “tuition” and “school”—and at least one was paid by Greenberg with taxpayer funds via a government credit card.
On Wednesday, asked if he had “confidence in” Gaetz, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise responded: “We’ve heard a lot of stories. I mean, obviously I’ve read the media reports. But there’s been nothing that we’ve seen yet from the Department of Justice. If something’s going on, obviously we’ll find out about it. Right now it’s hard to speculate on rumors, but if something really formal happened from Justice, we would of course react and take action.”
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