Lieu Calls For Gaetz Removal From Committee After Bombshell New Report

UNITED STATES - MAY 8: Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., is seen during a House Judiciary Committee markup in Rayburn Building on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, to vote on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over the unredacted Mueller report to the committee. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is seen during a House Judiciary Committee markup on May 8, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)
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April 30, 2021 8:39 a.m.

A Democratic congressman is calling on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to remove Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) from the House Judiciary Committee over “an untenable conflict of interest,” citing a Daily Beast report that includes a confession letter allegedly written by Joel Greenberg claiming that he and Gaetz paid for sex with multiple women including an underage teenage girl.

The article cited by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) includes portions of a confession letter  allegedly written by Gaetz associate and former Florida politician Joel Greenberg who was indicted in August on charges for sex-trafficking a minor. 

“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,” a portion of the letter said, referring to the 17-year-old.

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“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.”

According to the Daily Beast, the letter was written after Greenberg allegedly asked Roger Stone — who obtained his own pardon from Trump — for help scoring clemency from then President Donald Trump.

In text messages to the Daily Beast, Stone confirmed that he had Greenberg prepare “a document explaining his prosecution,” but denied ever seeking a pardon on Greenberg’s behalf. 

“I made no formal or informal effort in regard to a pardon for Mr. Greenberg,” Stone reportedly said, adding that he had not requested or received “a penny” from Greenberg. 

The comments from Stone appear to contradict a screenshots of a series of private messages obtained by the Daily Beast from late 2020 that show exchanges between two men the outlet identified as Greenberg and Stone over an encrypted messaging app. 

“If I get you $250k in Bitcoin would that help or is this not a financial matter,” it appears that Greenberg wrote to Stone, in one of the messages published by the Daily Beast.

“I hope you are prepared to wire me $250,000 because I am feeling confident,” Stone allegedly later wrote to Greenberg, days before Trump issued a wave of pardons and commutations for a long list of  more than 100 allies and well-connected individuals. 

According to the Daily Beast, Greenberg wrote several drafts of his confession letter and the outlet compared one early handwritten draft against writing samples obtained through public records requests that were verified by a certified forensic document examiner and handwriting expert.

In the letters, Greenberg described his relationship with Gaetz and confessed to paying young women for sex, the Daily Beast said. According to the paper, he also claimed that Gaetz, and others had also had sex with a minor they believed to be 19 at the time. 

“There was no further contact with this individual until after her 18th birthday,” Greenberg wrote in the handwritten draft of the letter.

Federal prosecutors have not criminally charged Gaetz or accused him of any wrongdoing. While Gaetz has acknowledged the probe, he has repeatedly denied having sex with an underage teen or paying anyone for sex. 

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