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The Case Against Matt Gaetz
Or: If the DOJ says sex with children is OK, why did Anthony Weiner go to prison for sexting with a minor?
It’s interesting to compare the sex crimes of two different Congressmen in the Trump era: Anthony Weiner, a Democrat from New York, and Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida.
The “sexting” scandal that brought Weiner down was based on one guy misbehaving on his phone. Weiner never even met the underage girl he went to prison for communicating with.
The Gaetz sex-trafficking scandal is on a totally different level. Based on multiple reports, Gaetz was an active and willing partner in a multiyear sex trafficking operation that recently landed his partner-in-crime, former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, an 11-year-sentence. Published reports indicate that Gaetz was guilty of statutory rape and knowingly participated in the financing of the operation and was a likely accomplice in the identity theft and fake ID creation for which Greenberg was also convicted. The illegal drug-and-sex parties the pair organized for themselves and others in the GOP also created numerous opportunities for corruption and blackmail. The Gaetz-Greenberg operation wasn’t a case involving a “Jeffrey Epstein” and a “Ghislaine Maxwell.” It was more a case of two Jeffrey Epsteins.
Let’s take a closer look at each case.
Anthony Weiner went to prison. And we all got punished too.
In May 2017, Anthony Weiner, the former Democratic Congressman from New York pleaded guilty to a charge of “transferring obscene material to a minor,” a crime for which he was subsequently sentenced to 21 months in prison.
In sentencing Weiner, U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote said: “This is a serious crime that deserves serious punishment.”
The Weiner sexting scandal played a big part in the closing stages of the 2016 presidential campaign. Emails found on Weiner’s laptop prompted then-FBI director James Comey—despite “strong discouragement” from the DOJ—to break with policy and send a letter to Congress re-opening the previously closed investigation into Clinton’s emails.
"Pervert” Weiner played a big role in “Pussygrabber” Trump’s scorched-earth, rabidly anti-Semitic closing argument commercials.
In November 2016, Hillary Clinton, despite winning the popular vote by a margin of nearly three million, fell to a suspiciously narrow Electoral College defeat.
Weiner eventually served 18 months of his sentence (he was released in May 2019 and required to register as a sex offender). But America was punished for four whole years as, in a single disastrous term, the dumbest, most compromised President in history destroyed US alliances, betrayed the Kurds, set the stage for the war in Ukraine, engaged in relentless corruption, displayed debt-ballooning economic incompetence, and, once Covid hit, acted with a level of psychopathic recklessness that caused hundreds of thousands of Americans to die needlessly, even as less wealthy countries navigated the pandemic far more successfully by trusting science and encouraging citizens to use a bare minimum of commonsense.
But I digress.
Prison for Phone Fantasies, No Penalty for Physical Rape
While Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner was pleading guilty to the crime of engaging in sexual fantasies with a minor he had never met, another Congressman—Republican Matt Gaetz of Florida—was allegedly committing statutory rape.
Like Weiner, Gaetz clearly enjoys getting pictures of underage teenagers on his phone. But between May and November 2017, Gaetz wasn’t just cruising high schools to take selfies with children. According to published reports, during those months he and his now-convicted BFF Joel Greenberg were, among other things, having sex with a minor.
However, despite overwhelming evidence against Gaetz—including information obtained from a years-long cooperation deal with the now-convicted sex-trafficker Joel Greenberg and the girl they physically raped—the DOJ has apparently decided not to charge the Florida Congressman with any crimes.
Throughout the investigation, Gaetz has responded to every accusation against him in Trump-like fashion. He denies all the charges, but keeps tweeting things that appear to be confessions.
I’m not the only one surprised that Gaetz won’t face any charges. Joel Greenberg’s lawyer seems pretty f**king pissed about it, too. When Greenberg was sentenced to 11 years in December 2022, his laywer Fritz Scheller said he expected “seven or eight more” men to be indicted on sex trafficking charges.
This week, following news that Gaetz would not face charges, that lawyer told The Daily Beast:
“While the decision is troubling, it’s not surprising. After so many years of defense practice, I've slowly come to the realization that our country has a two-tier system of justice. To be fair, why expend resources prosecuting the privileged, when there’s undoubtedly a minority out there with a small amount of pot?”
The Daily Beast had previously published:
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.
In their latest article, Jose Pagliery, Roger Sollenberger and Josh Fiallo report that:
Private Venmo transactions showed how Gaetz sent Greenberg $900 late one night in May 2018, only to have Greenberg send the same amount of money to three young women the very next morning.
During the years when the two were close, Greenberg made more than 150 Venmo payments to dozens of young women, and to a girl who was 17 at the time—one whom the congressman had named in a private message.
Other aspects of the case also point to Gaetz’s criminality.
For example, in addition to admitting the sex trafficking of a child, Greenberg also pleaded guilty to other crimes including: illegally producing a false identification document and aggravated identity theft.
It was reported in 2021 that Matt Gaetz first got ensnared in the sex trafficking probe when text messages revealed he had a habit of visiting the Florida tax agency where Greenberg worked—and where Greenberg created the fake IDs—while the office was closed.
Other reports indicate that when Greenberg sent payments of hundreds and even thousands of dollars to pay young women for sex via Venmo, he labeled the payments as “ice cream,” “salad,” and “ass.” Payments were sent to 12 females under the description “school.”
When Gaetz Venmo’d cash back to Greenberg, he used the “love hotel” emoji.
While Gaetz was serving as a top advisor to Ron DeSantis’s gubernatorial campaign in September 2018 (and while Anthony Weiner was still in prison), the Congressman also organized a sex trip to the Bahamas with a group of young girls (including his by-then-18-year-old rape victim) and two prominent Florida Republicans without Greenberg even attending.
On its surface, this trip alone would seem to have violated 18 USC Code 2423 which prohibits interstate and international travel for the purpose of hiring prostitutes. Gaetz, of course, maintains that the “ass” and “love hotel” money his escorts were paid wasn’t for sex, it was just for “ice cream.”
As the high-school-cafeteria-cruising Congressman told Tucker Carlson in 2021, he thinks of himself as just a generous guy who likes to pay girls to come on trips with him to maybe have sex with him and his friends.
As Politico reported in April 2021, the Gaetz-hosted 2018 Bahamas trip ended at least one political career:
Three of (the girls) looked so young when they returned on Beshears’ private plane that U.S. Customs briefly stopped and questioned him… As the investigation intensified this winter, Beshears abruptly resigned as Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary, a post that made him the state’s top business regulator…. (Beshears) confided to two friends recently that he believes he’s the subject of the investigation.
Gaetz, of course, was feeling the heat too.
While claiming innocence, Gaetz repeatedly sought a pardon from Trump
As even Sheriff Joe Arpaio now knows, you can’t accept a Presidential pardon without admitting your crime.
And the January 6th Committee exposed the fact that Matt Gaetz was desperate for a Trump pardon—specifically for crimes he committed prior to the insurrection.
It’s something John McEntee, director of White House presidential personnel, lawyer Eric Herschmann and, most famously, Cassidy Hutchinson all told the committee under oath.
But at the end of the day, Matt Gaetz didn’t need that pardon.
After all the illegal sex and drugs parties. After all the Venmo payments. After all the months when he was committing statutory rape. And after all the requests for a pardon that signaled his own consciousness of guilt, Matt Gaetz will walk free to commit more crimes against America.
As user @mick41 wrote on POST, it’s just one of those “things that magically went away with zero consequences because they’re rich white people.”
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It’s not just Matt Gaetz. Sex traffickers, groomers and pedophiles have been given a greenlight throughout Ron DeSantis's Florida.
Further reading here on Unprecedented:
OK, Groomer (1/8/2023)
Republican Rapists in South Dakota (11/20/2022)
The Rapist’s Best Friend (7/15/2022)
Who’s Really “Soft on Pedos”? (4/5/2022)
700 and Counting (12/12/2021)
Save the Children. From the GOP. (8/12/2021)
GOP: Gang of Pedophiles (5/10/2021)
The Apprentice (4/2/2021)