Matt Gaetz is in Trouble

Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

Matt Gaetz is not having a good time. Since the New York Times first reported that the FBI was investigating Matt Gaetz for alleged sex trafficking in 2021, the investigation has gotten closer and closer to the Florida Congressman, and his problems have only gotten worse. Under the current investigation, Gaetz is suspected of having sex with a 17-year-old and paying women to travel across state lines to have sex. If true, Gaetz would not only be guilty of having relations with a minor, but he would also be guilty of transporting women across state lines, which violates anti-trafficking laws.

Gaetz categorically denies the allegations and argues that it is part of an extortion scheme by his father, a former politician in Florida. Ironically enough, the investigation into Gaetz started thanks to a false allegation of sexual impropriety made by Gaetz’s friend and now cooperating witness, Joel Greenberg. Greenberg smeared a Florida teacher named Brian Beute, and when the Justice Department discovered his actions, they arrested Greenberg. However, they discovered many other alleged crimes in their arrest, including possible sex trafficking involving Gaetz. Greenberg and Gaetz were close friends, and with Greenberg testifying, Gaetz could be in for serious legal problems. But Greenberg is not the only one testifying against Gaetz. 

With a grand jury organized, Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend has now testified against him, although what she said remains sealed by the Grand Jury. On Thursday, another potential witness and Greenberg ally, Joe Ellicott, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and drug charges. Ellicot, like Greenberg, is now cooperating with Justice Department in their investigation against Gaetz. Ellicot was alleged to be with Greenberg when he called Gaetz and told him that the woman he slept with was underage. In other words, he would be the direct evidence showing that Gaetz was aware of the age of the woman he had been with.

Additionally, Gaetz’s ex, whose name is still private to protect her from retaliation, is working with the Justice Department in exchange for immunity. In other words, we have not one, not two, but three potential witnesses that could out Gaetz for his behavior, all of whom had some element of direct connection to the congressman. The Justice Department’s investigation is not the only reason to believe that Gaetz was involved with all kinds of malfeasance. 

In April of 2021, The Daily Beast reported that Gaetz Venmo’d Greenberg $900 for an unknown reason with the label “test.” The next day, Greenberg Venmo’d three different women varying levels of money. Put together. The payments amount to $900. With the new witness and the documented Venmo account, it is increasingly likely that this investigation will keep ongoing.

Gaetz is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, but it is worth noting that in 2017 there was a key anti-sex trafficking bill on the floor of the House. It was passed with bipartisan approval, and nobody voted against it except for one Congressman, Matt Gaetz. 

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