Despite the ever-mounting bad news, Matt Gaetz has been trying to act like he’s not being investigated for his alleged role in a sex trafficking ring. He’s given public speeches. He’s tweeted. He’s tried to blame the “deep state.” And yet his scandal continues to escalate. Now there’s this: The New York Times is reporting that the associate at the center of all of this is, as already well-suspected, expected to rat him out.
Joel Greenberg, a former local Florida tax official who was first indicted in June by the Justice Department last year, reportedly disclosed to investigators that both he and Gaetz indeed exchanged cash or gifts in exchange for sex. One of them may have been 17 in violation of sex trafficking statutes. Greenberg made the allegations to alleviate his punishment, which at minimum would be 12 years. He’s expected to plead guilty in the coming weeks.
There’s some suspicion that the range of criminal charges against him, including fraud, could damage his credibility as a witness. However, Greenberg is said to have deep knowledge about Gaetz’s alleged activities. Besides, there are already some receipts, in the form of Venmo transactions that became public last week. Now that Greenberg cooperating with the feds in exchange for leniency, it should be clear, even to Gaetz, that he can’t simply tweet his way through it, as Republicans — and Democratic governors — so often do when drowning in scandals.
“I’m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” Greenberg’s lawyer, Fritz Scheller, told reporters.