Gaetz’s Trouble Deepens

His partner in crime wrote it all down.

“Matt Gaetz” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Daily Beast reports: Bombshell Letter: Gaetz Paid for Sex With Minor, Wingman Says.

A confession letter written by Joel Greenberg in the final months of the Trump presidency claims that he and close associate Rep. Matt Gaetz paid for sex with multiple women—as well as a girl who was 17 at the time.

“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,” Greenberg wrote in reference to the 17-year-old.

“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.”

The letter, which The Daily Beast recently obtained, was written after Greenberg—who was under federal indictment—asked Roger Stone to help him secure a pardon from then-President Donald Trump.

The dumb criminal aspect of all of this hard to ignore. It is truly stunning. And this was not the only way the Greenberg managed to document his actions:

A series of private messages starting in late 2020—also recently obtained by The Daily Beast—shows a number of exchanges between Greenberg and Stone conducted over the encrypted messaging app Signal, with communications set to disappear. However, Greenberg appears to have taken screenshots of a number of their conversations.

Examples of these screenshots are included in the piece.

Stone has confirmed at least the general outline of this report:

In a text message to The Daily Beast, Stone said that Greenberg had tried to hire him to assist with a pardon, but he denied asking for or receiving payment or interceding on his behalf. He did, however, confirm he had Greenberg prepare “a document explaining his prosecution.”

Not only is this another nail in Greenberg and Gaetz’s coffin, this underscores how a lot of people seemed to think that the Trump administration was open for business on the pardon front.

Quite a bit more at the link, including the gross corruption that allies of the former president expected from him:

A distressed Greenberg told Stone that he felt “abandoned” by his allies, but emphasized that Gaetz—who was “like a son” to the President of the United States—could save him: “One conversation with POTUS and he can get this done and it all goes away.”

FILED UNDER: US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    Ted Lieu has demanded of Kevin McCarthy that Gaetz be removed from the House Judiciary Committee immediately. Conflict of interest.

    28
  2. Jen says:

    These really are the dumbest criminals.

    17
  3. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    As I’ve said before, it’s the stupidity of arrogance. They think they can get away with anything.

    20
  4. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Part of it is that corrupt people believe everyone else is either also corrupt or a patsy. They “know” that all politicians and government officials are on the take and that everything can be fixed by those in the know.

    It’s one of the reasons that I steer clear of people who complain constantly of how corrupt everyone is or, more commonly, how everyone is telling lies. Most of the chronic liars I know were constantly pointing out other peoples lies. Most of the backstabbers were constantly gossiping about other people and their plots.

    15
  5. Kathy says:

    Mr. Gaetz would do well, for himself, to negotiate a deal as quickly as possible, before more evidence piles up. I hear pedophiles don’t have an easy time in prison.

    12
  6. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    That’s an excellent description of D. J. Trump.

    7
  7. Argon says:

    Gaetz is OK. ‘Owning the libruls’ performance art includes facing no censure or rebuke by the rest of the ‘Party of Conservative values’. Those merry pranksters! They’ve created a Dada-esque world of their own to inhabit.

    9
  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    …to negotiate a deal as quickly as possible…

    And whatever Gaitz or Greenberg has on Stone. When I read those texts earlier, I interpreted Stone, as indicating that Trump would be open to a bribe in exchange for a pardon.

    7
  9. Gustopher says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Stone named a number, so… that seems to be more than open.

    He will claim it was a joke.

    7
  10. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy:

    I hear pedophiles don’t have an easy time in prison.

    Pretty sure sex with a 17 year old isn’t going to be considered sexually abusing a child by the prison population. Unless there are some 12 year old shoes about to drop, Gaetz is going to be just another prisoner in that respect.

    9
  11. Michael Reynolds says:

    Sex with a 17 year-old wouldn’t mark Gaetz as a pedophile in prison. Not even a little. And it’s unlikely to stir a jury much, either – the age of consent is 18 or over in just 10 states. There are additional rules having to do with age gaps, but the bottom line is that 16 is more commonly the age of consent. Age of consent is 14 in China and Portugal, 15 in Denmark and France, 16 in the UK.

    What a prosecutor is likely to see is a fairly standard-issue John, a guy who used prostitutes, not a predator, just a douche. I think serious charges let alone prison, is a stretch.

    16
  12. Moosebreath says:

    I suspect Greenberg kept this info for blackmail purposes, to make sure he was not cut out of any deals Gaetz made. And now it seems that the deals they need to make are with prosecutors, not the Trump Administration.

    5
  13. @Michael Reynolds:

    Age of consent is 14 in China and Portugal, 15 in Denmark and France, 16 in the UK.

    But in Portugal sex with an underage prostitute will be illegal, even if she has more than 14; but, yes, probably will not be considered has a “pedophile”

    2
  14. In those letters, Greenberg detailed his relationship with Gaetz. He confessed to paying young women for sex. And he claimed that he, Gaetz, and others had sex with a minor they believed to be 19 at the time. Greenberg said he learned she was underage on Sept. 4, 2017, from “an anonymous tip” and quickly contacted Gaetz.

    “Immediately I called the congressman and warned him to stay clear of this person and informed him she was underage,” Greenberg wrote. “He was equally shocked and disturbed by this revelation.”

    Even if this is not different in legal terms, I think that makes a big difference in moral terms

    5
  15. inhumans99 says:

    I agree with Michael and others who say that Gaetz will not be considered a pedo, but the optics of yet another GOP politician (the other being Roy Moore) creeping on a teenager for sex is well…is just yuck!

    If FL wants to re-elect Matt Gaetz knowing what they now know about the creep be my guest.

    5
  16. CSK says:

    @inhumans99:
    Moore was far creepier, if that’s possible. He was 32 and Leigh Corfman was 14 when he assaulted her.

    6
  17. Stormy Dragon says:

    A moment of silence for Media Matters For America senior fellow Matt Gertz’s twitter mentions today…

    10
  18. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Poor man. Imagine being confused with Gaetz.

    2
  19. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Age of consent is 14 in China

    This shows the disconnect between laws and culture. Based on surveying my adult students, the average age of first kiss is 20.

    2
  20. Scott F. says:

    @inhumans99:

    If FL wants to re-elect Matt Gaetz knowing what they now know about the creep be my guest.

    Unfortunately, if electorate of FL re-elects Gaetz, it’s the constituents of the US Congress that has to suffer him. I’d rather they not.

    3
  21. Scott F. says:

    Quite a bit more at the link, including the gross corruption that allies of the former president expected from him

    Gaetz has been self-evidently a hack from the get go, so a scandal with proof is par for the course and I don’t much care how much trouble Matt does find (or doesn’t find as tends to happen with politicians).

    But, as another sticky bomb thrown against the seemingly impregnable armor that surrounds The Former Guy, one hopes Gaetz decides to destroy others as he goes down himself. Nothing would be sweeter than Trump being finally undone by one of his most loyal lickspittles.

    3
  22. Neil J Hudelson says:

    You’ve got to remember that these are just simple Republicans. These are people of the land. The common clay of the real America. You know… morons.

    18
  23. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: One aspect of the one child policy that has escaped Western notice is that kids can be well into their teens before they are ever somewhere unaccompanied by a family member or a teacher. They simply have no opportunity to kiss anyone. College is literally the first time they can chose who to be with.

    My Chinese colleagues often referred to the 1-2-4 problem, 1 worker supporting 2 parents (retirement age of 55 for women and 60 for men) and 4 grandparents. But as an outsider I was also aware of the 4-2-1 problem. 4 grandparents and 2 parents devoting constant attention to 1 child, who only interacts with other children in an academic setting.

    5
  24. Michael Reynolds says:

    The cancelation machine for politics appears to be broken. Remember Governor Northam of Virginia? Condemned by everyone, every voice demanding resignation and, guess what? Andrew Cuomo is still there despite universal condemnation, and is likely to stay on absent a serious indictment. Even then he may hold on. He may well be re-elected.

    As for Gaetz, I won’t be at all surprised to see him hold on and be re-elected. Rather than raising the bar on the behavior of public servants, we’re actually lowering it. With each failed attempt to cancel, the tactic grows less effective. Outrage fades, shrugs become more common, the pendulum swings as it tends to do.

    If Al Franken had held on he might be president today.

    8
  25. Blue Galangal says:

    @CSK: Despite the media’s attempts to portray Gaetz as a young man, almost a child still, he’s almost 40 and was more than twice the age of the 17 year old girl he was raping on the regular with his good buddy Greenberg.

    2
  26. CSK says:

    @Blue Galangal:
    Well, I suppose in political terms, Gaetz is a kid. I remember when Dan Quayle at age 42 was referred to as “the kid.”

    The point remains that Gaetz at age 38 has been a legal adult for 17 years, and his obvious preference for women young enough to be his daughters is…unpleasant. No one’s mentioned it, but Greenberg specified that he and Gaetz were paying for tuition. Matt, let me tell you: If you have to pay for their schooling, they’re too young for you.

    Let me make clear that I have no objection to older men/younger women, nor younger men/older women, getting together. But when middle-aged men pursue teenagers because they’re teenagers, there’s something wrong.

    Gaetz’s fiancee is 26. Again, nothing wrong with that–one of my closest friends married a man 20 years her senior–but I wonder if Gaetz chose his woman precisely because she’s 12 years his junior.

    3
  27. Stormy Dragon says:

    @CSK:

    Don’t forget Gaetz’s “adopted” “son” from Cuba, Nestor Galban

    2
  28. dmichael says:

    “[A]nother nail in Greenberg and Gaetz’s coffin….” Will they be sharing a coffin like they shared the 17 year old?

    1
  29. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Oh, I haven’t. Apparently Nestor is the younger brother of one of his ex-girlfriends. Perhaps Nestor is Gaetz’s conduit to teenaged girls.

    1
  30. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Post Trump, the GOP is all about owning the libs, right?

    After all multiple affairs, thrice married Trump was sent by GOD to save America. HE WAS CHOSEN.

    So, waht… you jealous that Gates is getting some, ya lib? Whatta ya a fag?

    1
  31. Gustopher says:

    Andrew Cuomo is still there despite universal condemnation, and is likely to stay on absent a serious indictment. Even then he may hold on. He may well be re-elected.

    He won’t get re-elected. The Democrats tend to not reward performative assholery the way the Republicans do, and hiding the numbers of covid dead in nursing homes is going to hurt him — as it should. Plus there will be the lies about him personally killing people in nursing homes.

    The Republicans will likely put up a serious candidate this time, rather than a loon. Cuomo running again simply hands the governorship to the Republicans.

    1
  32. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    Maybe. Maybe not:

    Cuomo has suffered a significant loss in support among Democrats: “In February, Democrats were prepared to re-elect Cuomo 65-26 percent. Today, Democrats say they would re-elect Cuomo next year by the narrowest of margins, 46-43 percent,” Greenberg said.

    The governor is up for reelection next year, when he would be seeking a fourth term.

    On the bright side of things for the governor, registered voters still approved of the job he’s done managing the pandemic by a margin of 60-32. That’s basically the same as the 60-33 he polled at in March and 61-34 in February.

    And most voters don’t want him to resign. Fifty-one percent want him to stay in office while 37 percent think he should go, compared to 50-35 in March.

    1
  33. @Michael Reynolds: Northam survived, IIRC, because the Lt Gov and the AG had worse skeletons. Plus he can’t be reelected, again IIRC.

    There is little doubt that just hanging on and refusing to leave is the best move. It is difficult to remove an executive in our system.

    Trump is the ultimate example of that, what with the two impeachments and all.

    I maintain that Trump’s man superpower was having no shame or ability to be embarrassed whatsoever.

    4
  34. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I maintain that Trump’s man superpower was having no shame or ability to be embarrassed whatsoever.

    No question. Psychopaths are unreachable by ordinary means. They don’t care what your rules are. Rules are for other people, and the fact that they believe in rules marks them as weak, as prey. Shame is for fools. Psychopaths exist in a sort of alternate reality. Nothing you or I or anyone says has any impact on them. . . unless it threatens their power, their status. They’re Nietzscheans, it’s all will to power.

    2
  35. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I think serious charges let alone prison, is a stretch.

    Where is the sex with the 17 year old alleged to have taken place? If Florida, it’s statutory rape – in this scenario a second degree felony with a 15 year sentence.

  36. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Miguel Madeira:

    Even if this is not different in legal terms, I think that makes a big difference in moral terms

    Makes no difference in legal terms. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a sexual act (i.e. his peepee entering any of her orifices …) took place between them is sufficient for conviction. Whether or not he knew she was underage, and whether or not the sex was consensual, is immaterial to the statute.