Oh man, Matt Gaetz is going DOWN.
If you worried there was some way the Donald Trump lackey was going to slither out of this child sex trafficking investigation, we have some good news for you.
Speculation was that Joel Greenberg, the Florida tax collector whose many alleged crimes were the original basis of the investigation (he’s currently facing over 30 charges), would be rolling over and testifying against anyone and everyone involved in exchange for a more lenient sentence. But according to a bombshell new report from the Daily Beast, we don’t even have to wait!
The outlet obtained a confession letter, written during the final weeks of the Trump presidency, in which Greenberg already confessed to the crimes — and explicitly inculpated his old buddy Gaetz!
Writing about that 17-year-old girl in question (and yes, 17 years old does make you a minor in the state of Florida), Greenberg wrote:
“On more than one occasion, this individual was involved in sexual activities with several of the other girls, the congressman from Florida’s 1st Congressional District and myself.”
The “congressman from Florida’s 1st Congressional District” is none other than Gaetz, with whom Greenberg has been close both publicly and privately for years.
— Joel Greenberg (@JoelGreenbergTC) March 7, 2018
Greenberg claims in the letter that he and Gaetz believed the woman to be 19 years old and only found out after having sex with her that she was just 17 from an “anonymous tip” in September 2017:
“Immediately I called the congressman and warned him to stay clear of this person and informed him she was underage. He was equally shocked and disturbed by this revelation.”
Greenberg says he then “confronted” the teen who confessed to him:
“She apologized and recognized that by lying about her age, she endangered many people. There was no further contact with this individual until after her 18th birthday.”
Wait, is he saying someone hooked up with her again as soon as she turned 18?! Yep. She was one of the three women Gaetz allegedly funneled money to via Venmo, per a recent report.
The letter was reportedly written while he was under federal indictment and seeking a pardon in advance — presumably because he knew he was guilty AF. In it he confirms what we’d seen evidence of from their public Venmo accounts, that Gaetz paid the girls through him, thus trying to create a legal loophole for himself to continue to claim he’d never paid for sex. Greenberg makes clear:
“From time to time, gas money or gifts, rent or partial tuition payments were made to several of these girls, including the individual who was not yet 18. I did see the acts occur firsthand and Venmo transactions, Cash App or other payments were made to these girls on behalf of the Congressman.”
Even in his confession, however, Greenberg still seems to be downplaying the crimes, saying of the many payments made to these girls:
“All of the girls were in college or post college and it was not uncommon for either myself or the Congressman to help anyone [sic] of these girls financially, whether it was a car payment, a flight home to see their family or something as simple as helping pay a speeding ticket.”
However, DB saw evidence of at least 220 different payments on either Venmo or CashApp, usually between $300 and $500 — but sometimes as much as $1000. And they interviewed 12 of the 40+ women who received payments, and they all said they understood this was money in exchange for sex. Whether they used the money to visit their parents or pay their car note has ZERO legal impact here.
— Joel Greenberg (@JoelGreenbergTC) June 22, 2019
In addition to the letter, DB also obtained private messages between Greenberg and Trump ally Roger Stone (above inset, with Gaetz and Greenberg) on the encrypted messaging app Signal. Those messages disappear, like Snapchats, but Greenberg took screenshots — we can only assume for future leverage. These messages seem to incriminate Stone, to whom the tax collector offers $250k to get him a pardon from Trump:
JG: “If I get you $250k in Bitcoin would that help or is this not a financial matter”
RS: “I understand all of this and have taken it into consideration. I will know more in the next 24 hours I cannot push too hard because of the nonsense surrounding pardons.”
Later Roger seemed to think he was on his way to scoring the pardon — which makes sense considering Stone himself did end up getting a pardon. He wrote:
“I hope you are prepared to wire me $250,000 because I am feeling confident”
When asked for comment, Stone confirmed to DB Greenberg tried to “hire” him to help him get a pardon but denied he ever asked for or received payment. However, he did acknowledge he asked Greenberg for “a document explaining his prosecution.” Ah, now it becomes clearer. That’s the reason there was a confession letter — remember, to accept a pardon you have to admit your guilt. The pardon isn’t a declaration of innocence, it’s just a removal of consequences.
BTW, Gaetz was mentioned multiple times in the private messages as well. Greenberg spelled it out as plainly as can be, writing in a December 21 message:
“My lawyers that I fired, know the whole story about MG’s involvement. They know he paid me to pay the girls and that he and I both had sex with the girl who was underage.”
Gaetz’s new public relations firm responded to DB‘s story with the following statement:
“Congressman Gaetz has never paid for sex nor has he had sex with a 17 year old as an adult. We are now one month after your outlet and others first reported such lies, and no one has gone on record to directly accuse him of either. Politico, however, has reported Mr. Greenberg threatening to make false accusations against others, which seems noteworthy for your story and in fact sounds like the entirety of your story. Congressman Gaetz has had no role in advocating for or against a pardon for Greenberg and doubts such a pardon was ever even considered.”
Mm-hmm. We guess he tricked Gaetz into paying him all that money, too? Just for the future “false accusations” he was planning on making?
What do YOU think of this new evidence? Will Gaetz’s (and Trump’s) supporters continue to back the congressman??
[Image via WENN/Instar/Joel Greenberg/Twitter.]