It’s not always easy to notice when news stories stop coming out, but Gaetz Gate did go pretty quiet. For a while there it seemed like one of the most vocal MAGA Republican Congressmen was going to be hit with underage sex trafficking charges while still in office, and then… nothing for months.
Apparently Matt Gaetz himself has been using the lull as evidence of his innocence and the end of the scandal, but according to a new report from The Daily Beast, it’s barely even begun.
The outlet, which has broken quite a lot of the story, spoke to legal experts who assured that this kind of delay absolutely does not indicate that no charges will be filed and is in fact well within the normal timeframe of such a case.
More importantly, DB regards the way Gaetz is treating the potential legal storm ahead as proof he’s taking it far more seriously than he’s letting on. How seriously? Well, he’s hired a crack team of attorneys to represent him in the matter, and you may recognize their famous — or should we say infamous — clients.
First, he has Marc Mukasey, who has defended the Trump Organization on several matters and, per the outlet, become the go-to MAGAworld lawyer. Makes sense, Gaetz has been so far up Donald Trump‘s ass for so long, it would be surprising if he hadn’t found an attorney’s business card up there. He’s also tapped Isabelle Kirshner, whom DB points out represented New York AG Eric Schneiderman after he was accused of physical assault by multiple women and Columbia University gynecologist Robert Hadden, who was accused of sexually assaulting several patients. Apparently she’s quite good at defending men accused of sex crimes.
The Gaetz campaign though, has gone a step further. Or a step lower we guess? In June they retained the services of Marc Fernich, who has represented Mexican cartel leader El Chapo, NXIVM sex cult leader Keith Raniere, and yes, the billionaire pedophile and accused underage sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Not only does Fernich defend the worst of the worst, he’s apparently a trial lawyer. So… does this mean Gaetz and his inner circle are expecting this case to go to trial??
Former federal prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks gave her two cents to the outlet, saying:
“The fact he’s hiring trial lawyers would suggest that they are preparing for a trial, not a negotiation. But it’s not unusual for a trial lawyer to go above a prosecutor into the DOJ to make their plea on behalf of their client. That said, I can’t think of any time that happened to me in my experience, where a decision not to indict was made because of a meeting.”
Former assistant NY AG Tristan Snell had another insight, as he noted none of these attorneys were from Florida…
“It looks like a scorched-earth approach. These are all big out-of-town lawyers. If your goal is to resolve something, you typically hire the top criminal defense attorney in the district, someone who’s a repeat customer there and has a good working relationship with that U.S. Attorney’s office. But these attorneys can go down there, burn down the building, and not have to worry about going back in the next day.”
Former federal prosecutor Barb McQuade, now a University of Michigan Law School professor agreed that “bringing in aggressive lawyers from out of town suggests a ‘scorched earth’ strategy,” noting however it may be more for the benefit of his base:
“It may be effective in the court of public opinion, but rarely effective in a court of law.”
So does all this mean Matt Gaetz is still soon to face serious sex trafficking charges? Not necessarily. But near as we can tell, he sure seems to be planning like he might be!
As always, we’ll keep you up to date on all the latest!
[Image via MEGA/WENN/Florida Department of Law Enforcement.]