Patterico's Pontifications

3/31/2021

Rep. Matt Gaetz And His Bizarre Story

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:39 am



[guest post by Dana]

I just don’t have the energy to get in the weeds with this complicated story, but here’s Rep. Matt Gaetz talking about the leak to the New York Times, and the federal investigation into a former DOJ employee allegedly out to get him:

David McGhee, the former DOJ employee, denies Gaetz’s claims:

In an interview with The Daily Beast late Tuesday night, McGee said any reports of extortion involving him or his firm were “completely, totally false.”

“This is a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that Matt Gaetz is apparently about to be indicted for sex trafficking underage girls,” McGee said.

And to make it even weirder, there was this from a New York Times report yesterday:

…the Times reported that the investigation of Gaetz’s relationship and financial dealings stems from the indictment and prosecution of Joel Greenberg, a former Seminole County tax collector. Greenberg was such a close political ally of Gaetz that the congressman endorsed him for a potential congressional run in a 2017 talk radio interview. The two visited the White House together in 2019, posing for a selfie on the lawn.

Greenberg was indicted in June 2020 on charges of sex trafficking a child, alleging he “recruited” and “solicited” a teenage girl between the ages of 14 and 17 for sex for multiple months in 2017 in exchange for favors. Greenberg also allegedly used state resources, including surrendered licenses, to create fake IDs—and allegedly concocted false child-sex allegations against a political rival.

He resigned from his position in the aftermath, and he is currently jailed for violating the terms of his bail as he awaits trial in June. Greenberg has pleaded not guilty.

Mark Horwitz, who represented Greenberg until December, told The Daily Beast he “couldn’t possibly comment” on any link between his former client’s case and an investigation involving Gaetz.

P.S. On Tuesday, Axios reported that Gaetz was looking to retire from Congress and take a job with Newsmax…

Hoo boy.

–Dana

36 Responses to “Rep. Matt Gaetz And His Bizarre Story”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (fd537d)

  2. Trust a Republican, or trust the FBI. It’s practically a meme in the making.

    Ingot9455 (3125e7)

  3. “A conspiracy so vast … “

    Dave (1bb933)

  4. For those who have read Stephen King’s The Stand: Gaetz has always reminded me of Harold Lauder, the teenager with a certain habit which I will not mention explicitly this early in the day, as he first appears in the book.

    nk (1d9030)

  5. It appears Gaetz’s defense at least in part will be that it’s perfectly ok to buy hotel rooms and plane trips for your girlfriend. But so far as I know he hasn’t yet directly stated exactly how old that girlfriend was. If over 18 legal, but still…

    I think the rule of half your age plus 7 works reasonably well to stop things from being creepy. Gaetz is 38 so that makes the cut off 26. I guess we’ll find out.

    Victor (4959fb)

  6. A DUI drunk chasing 17 year old girls…

    Florida 101.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  7. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in criminal law? I have no idea whether the claims are true or not and this is the first that I have heard of them. I’m just saying that Getz’s friend has not been convicted.

    This stems from my deep distrust of the DOJ with its history of malfeasance, leaks, and exaggerated claims of guilt. Just look at what happened to Howard Root.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  8. Seems to me a simple inquiry to the DoJ regarding whether or not there is an investigation into Matt Gaetz would clear this up very quickly. Why no such inquiry seems to have been made is a puzzle.

    Jerryskids (999ce8)

  9. The presumption of innocence is one of the safeguards against conviction in a criminal trial. It does not mean that people who are not jurors cannot reach a judgment about a politician based on his behavior on less evidence than would be necessary for conviction.

    Victor (4959fb)

  10. I don’t particularly like the persona Gaetz presents to the world or his political choices, but that’s not enough to say that he’s a criminal. Right now, I don’t think we really have enough information to make a judgement.

    Nic (896fdf)

  11. Victor (4959fb) — 3/31/2021 @ 10:28 am

    I think the rule of half your age plus 7 works reasonably well to stop things from being creepy. Gaetz is 38 so that makes the cut off 26. I guess we’ll find out.

    Bullseye.

    He is now engaged to a woman 12 years younger than he is, (38 versus 26) whom he proposed to at Mar-a-Lago on Dec. 30, 2020.

    Gaetz insists all the women he dated – and was sometimes very generous to – were of age. He seems to have known a 17 year old woman but says he did not have a sexual relationship with her and wasn’t with her on trips it was alleged he was.

    One unusual fesult of a previous relationship is that he is now sort of a father to a 19-year old boy whom he met seven years ago when he was dating his sister (the boy’s sister) They were from Cuba.

    This all started with an investigation of a friend and ally of Matt Gaetz, Joel Greenberg, whom Gaetz helped in his political career, which is now over. They apparently went back some time before 2017. He was several years younger than Matt Gaetz.

    Joel Greenberg maintained ties to a number of bad people, and the investigation started over the question of him trying to create false charges against political rivals, and there was one in particular who was a focus of the investigation. He had sent an anonymous letter to the school where one potential candidate worked that made unfounded accusations of sexual misconduct with a student and made similar claims on a fake Facebook account.

    Not to mention taking control of the office by firing three people, and – it’s not clear when this was found out – spending county money on various quirky things like guns, ammunition, body armor and a drone, and even extra computers which he used for generating or starting a cryptocurrency. (not clear from the story.)

    As a result of this investigation, Joel Greenberg’s phone and laptop were seized. Then they discovered that Joel Greenberg was creating fake identification cards for himself and a teenage girl, and was experimenting with holograms used on permits for concealed firearms. As tax collector in Seminole County, to which he had been elected in November, 2016, he had authority to issue some kinds of licenses.

    Joel Greenberg was indicted on sex trafficking charges. Giving anything of benefit to someone under 18 whose travel across a state line was arranged for in exchange for sex is a not infrequently prosecuted federal crime and convictions result in heavy sentences.

    From this they found out that Gaetz had also paid for trips that crossed state lines and hotel rooms for women.

    Meanwhile, Joel Greenberg had his bail revoked for violating its terms. He resigned from his office and gave up his campaign for re-election the day after he was indicted last June.

    See

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/30/us/politics/matt-gaetz-sex-trafficking-investigation.html

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  12. Down goes gaetz and with an own goal! Even tucker was flummoxed!

    asset (b85b48)

  13. Sammy,

    Unfortunately because of their past behavior my trust in the DOJ is very far on the negative side. I do not trust anything they say including the words “and” and “the” regarding criminal activity until it has been proven in a court of law and even then I’m not totally sure. Just look up the corrupt practices of Andrew Weissmann.

    The Supreme court actually rebuked him in a 9 to 0 decision in the Arthur Andersen case. While you’re at it look up the Howard Root case.

    It turns out that even in the case of the capital “rioters“ prosecutors exaggerated or even made up crimes that did not exist.

    Prosecutors Struggle With Consistent Story In Jan. 6 Cases

    In my opinion the DOJ is not to be trusted.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  14. Mother Jones ran a piece a while back saying a former staffer chastized Gaetz for dating a 21 year old pothead who liked to post nudes of herself online, saying such proclivities would eventually land him in trouble. Definitely not my parents’ GOP. Bill Clinton and Trump are saying “Way to go Matty.”

    JRH (52aed3)

  15. People laughed at Mike Pence for using the “Billy Graham Rule,” but whether Representative Gaetz actually broke the law or not, he at least seems to have put himself in a position in which the accusations can be seen as credible.

    Roy Moore was not available for comment.

    The Dana in Kentucky (88b836)

  16. Tanny O’Haley (8a06bc) — 3/31/2021 @ 1:34 pm

    It turns out that even in the case of the capital “rioters“ prosecutors exaggerated or even made up crimes that did not exist.

    I’m not sure about that. I am not sure they made up crimes. Many of them are charged with relatively small crimes. The problem there is they wanted no bail for anyone. Judges have no released some on bail. They are continuing investigations, in some cases maybe unwarranted (the attempt to say Brian Sicknick was the victim of a homicide – maybe yes, but they have no cause of death) but when it comes to charging they at least there are limiting themselves to the evidence.

    Yes, there is a problem. Especially the way they never conclude investigations.

    In my opinion the DOJ is not to be trusted.

    Or some people in it.

    Gaetz seems to be claiming the leak about him was an attempt to derail the extortion case

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  17. Silver lining…hopefully this story, which puts him in the same categories as Scott Baio, stops all the rumors about his adopted young adult son.

    urbanleftbehind (b47a76)

  18. Pedos can be the targets of Spanish Prisoner scams, too. The term “ripoff” originally meant a crook stealing from a crook.

    nk (1d9030)

  19. True dat…should have known something was fishy when Gaetz didnt join in on all the Katie Hill jokes.

    urbanleftbehind (b47a76)

  20. The term “ripoff” originally meant a crook stealing from a crook.

    My lookup of “Spanish Prisoner scam” eventually led to a site “scambaiters” – people who turn the tables on email scammers by pretending to be clueless victims.

    If you want a good laugh (and a riff on “crooks ripping off crooks” theme), read this to the end (and enjoy a recording of the phone call with the denouement).

    Dave (1bb933)

  21. Dave,

    I recall laughing my a$$ off years ago while reading 419eater.com, which claims to be the largest scambaiting site. The 419 number comes from some section of Nigerian law.

    norcal (01e272)

  22. Yeah, I was browsing that too.

    The master baiters (well they are!) have little achievements they try to fulfill.

    A “Safari” is getting the scammer to travel at least 200 miles, or across an international border.

    A “Sandtimer” is keeping the scammer on the hook for a full year.

    And getting the scammer to tattoo themself is apparently one of the most elite trophies, although some sites consider it unethical due the unsanitary conditions prevailing in some of target-rich countries, and reuse of unsterilized needles.

    Many of the schemes also seem to involve using pornography (purporting to be personal photos) to lower the IQ of the scammers even further.

    Dave (1bb933)

  23. There are pornographic pictures of me with child prostitutes. Matt gaetz

    asset (14b11b)

  24. Those dirty hypocritical Democrats complain about Trump and his handmaidens trying to steal an election he lost by six million votes, but then allow one of their own to contest an election she lost by six votes.

    Wait, what…?

    Iowa Democrat announces decision to withdraw effort to contest House race

    Nevermind!

    Dave (1bb933)

  25. Dave —-

    She did a Stacey Abrams style withdrawal. The sort of “I won but I won’t contest it for the good of this “system is rigged” country. Glad she did, but her approach is toxic.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  26. 17. A presidential pardon? They were going to arrange a presidential pardon for Matt Gaetz from Joe Biden?? (or wanted his family to believe that)

    And Biden was fully on board? (Not explained: Why Iran would want to help Matt Gaetz)

    Gaetz was not that divorced from reality. Maybe the scammers were hoping it was true that he had engaged in sexual intercourse with an underage girl.

    This whole thing took place this March, not in 2020, as one place originally reported. Last week in fact. March 25 was that date of the secretly recorded meeting.

    The $25 million was supposedly going to be used to free Robert Livingston in Iran. And was only a loan and would be paid back from the reward money the U.S. government had put up. And the fact that the Gaetz family fronted the money would never be made public.

    One of the two people involve had previously been hired by the Livingston family. Which had him declared dead last year.

    They claimed the FBI had compromising pictures of Matt Gaetz and “an election official” engaged in an orgy with underage prostitutes. I suspect that’s the reason they didn’t want Matt Gaetz present at the meeting with his father (although they were careful to say he was welcome) Hs father mght nothave been as sure as his son that such pictures could not exist.

    On another matter: Matt Gaetz says his connection with Joel Greenberg arose out of the fact that for three years he had a relationship with an ex-girlfriend of Joel Greenberg. He says he became aware of an FBI investigation (a real one, not the phony baloney one the scammers were telling his family they could stop) when two ex-girlfriends of his were asked by the FBI about him paying for trips and hotels. They were in their 20s, not underage, he says.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  27. She did a Stacey Abrams style withdrawal. The sort of “I won but I won’t contest it for the good of this “system is rigged” country. Glad she did, but her approach is toxic.

    Yes, but the reason she withdrew is that despite having a colorable claim and a small number of specific ballots in dispute, there was very little support among members of her own party. A majority of the fascists, on the other hand, were eager to steal an election decided by a million times more votes on the basis of a manifest lie and no evidence whatsoever.

    It seems like she should have gone through the courts. If, as she claims, they wouldn’t have considered the merits of her appeal, that would have been a strong justification for review by the House.

    Dave (1bb933)

  28. The issue is she did not try to argue for these ballots in an Iowa forum, preferring to rely on the House. If she’d argued and lost she’d have had more of a claim.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  29. Wow Dave, you’re finally calling Pelosi a facist since she wanted to steal the seat. Welcome aboard.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  30. fascist*

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  31. It’s against the forum rules to intentionally misrepresent the positions of other commenters, Rob.

    Please retract and apologize.

    Dave (1bb933)

  32. . A presidential pardon? They were going to arrange a presidential pardon for Matt Gaetz from Joe Biden?? (or wanted his family to believe that)

    And Biden was fully on board? (Not explained: Why Iran would want to help Matt Gaetz)

    Biden/TPTB see the chance to cultivate another Anthony Scaramucci or , more appropriate to his district, another Joe Scarborough. Also, remember Gaetz was among only 3 R votes on a resolution to limit Pres. Trumps authority on a War Powers targeting Iran resolution.

    urbanleftbehind (08db65)

  33. Gaetz is entirely a Trump creation.

    Trump optics!

    nk (1d9030)

  34. Gaetz showed nude photos of women he said he’d slept with to lawmakers, sources tell CNN

    Gaetz allegedly showed off to other lawmakers photos and videos of nude women he said he had slept with, the sources told CNN, including while on the House floor. The sources, including two people directly shown the material, said Gaetz displayed the images of women on his phone and talked about having sex with them. One of the videos showed a naked woman with a hula hoop, according to one source.

    “It was a point of pride,” one of the sources said of Gaetz.

    “Well isn’t that speshul?”

    Dave (1bb933)

  35. 35.Gaetz showed nude photos of women he said he’d slept with to lawmakers, sources tell CNN

    Perhaps CNN’s Lemon, Coop and Congress would prefer to view the heads and tails pictured on Lindsey Graham’s trophy case instead.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)


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