Having read the Times latest installment of Matt Gaetz I feel fairly confident that Mr. Gaetz will not be serving in Congress for much longer. The piece is simply devastating, not only for the facts alleged but for what you can glean about the breadth of the investigation from the nature of the reporting itself. Times reporters appear to have spoken to many of the women involved, reviewed ‘receipts’ from digital payment apps which were allegedly payments for sex, as well as other digital communications. In other words, it’s big; it’s bad; and there are receipts, literally and figuratively.
Let me summarize this as concisely as I can.
Gaetz and his pal Joel Greenberg, the disgraced former Tax Assessor from Seminole County Florida now facing multiple federal indictments, paid for sex with an array of women that Greenberg had found trolling ‘sugar daddy’ websites. Most of these seemed to be women, i.e., 18 or over. At least one was not. She was 17. Both Gaetz and Greenberg allegedly had sex with her. The two arranged for another of these women to sleep with an unnamed Florida Republican. Prosecutors are investigating whether the 17 year old was similarly offered up to Republican luminaries.
Ecstasy was frequently part of these sexual encounters for money and Gaetz was one of those who used the drug. Ecstasy is an illegal drug.
Finally, Greenberg has already been indicted for using his access to the state’s drivers’ license database to surveil or look up or create fake IDs for the women or girls that were part of their sex ring. CNN reports there’s surveillance video of Gaetz and Greenberg reviewing the license database together.
Initially it seemed that Gaetz’s legal troubles were an offshoot of the already quite advanced investigation into Greenberg. In other words, just a fact that investigators stumbled upon that led them to open a separate investigation into Gaetz. The latest reports make it seem more like Gaetz was closely involved in the ‘sugar daddy’ sex ring that was at the center of the Greenberg investigation.
Finally the purported extortion plot seems to be fading rapidly toward the background. This absurd and outlandish plot may be real. But it doesn’t sound like extortion – just a nutty plan the authors of which tried to sweeten the deal by suggesting that taking credit for a Rambo-like operation in Iran might help him get let off the hook for his sex trafficking woes.