Florida man (Congress) Matt Gaetz has not been charged with a crime, but it appears after last week’s explosive New York Times report alleging the Department of Justice investigated the MAGA megastar for underage sex trafficking more and more likely that it will only be a question of time. With every drop of new detail regarding Gaetz’s alleged solicitation of very young (and possibly in some cases minors) women, an overarching topic slowly emerges: If Matt Gaetz is indeed a sex criminal, he’s an amazingly stupid one.
Take, for example, The Daily Beast’s latest look at Gaetz’s financial dealings with self-proclaimed “wingman” Joel Greenberg, the Florida county tax collector, who has actually been indicted – and ready to take on a plea deal – on dozens of charges, including sex trafficking. The federal investigation into Greenberg has primarily drawn the DOJ’s attention to Gaetz.
According to The Beast, Gaetz Venmo transferred a total of $ 900 to Greenberg in May 2018 through two separate transactions, the first of which was referred to as a “test” in the app’s memo field. After Gaetz apparently found this test successful, Gaetz’s second payment to Greenberg contained the message “hit up ___” in which the blank was actually filled with the nickname of a woman who had turned 18 a few months earlier. (The Daily Beast edited the name.)
The decisive factor is that Greenberg Venmo provided three young women – including the one mentioned by Gaetz – with a total of 900 US dollars the next morning. Greenberg described the transactions in the app’s memo area as “class”, “school” and “school”.
Greenberg’s “suspiciously altruistic” payments to the young women follow a general pattern established around Gaetz and his staff, as outlined in several reports alleging that Congressman Greenberg and at least one other Florida political establishment have regular sex workers inquired and paid – as Gaetz claimed in his carefully formulated rejection of allegations of sexual intercourse with minors and the first-time use of prostitutes – for the hotels, meals and similar expenses of the women.
It’s worth noting that Gaetz’s instruction to “beat up” a barely legal teenager in a public financial transaction with someone about to accept a sex trafficking plea is eerily similar to the sex scandal that temporarily derails a politician’s career -talkshow-juggernaut Jerry Springer almost half a century ago. Springer, then Cincinnati City Councilor, resigned abruptly after admitting he used a personal check to pay for sex in 1973 and 1974. Spiringer, however, had common sense not to write “this check is for sex crimes” to the US memo line – a bit of discretion that Gaetz apparently decided not to use.
“I suspect that someone is trying to classify my generosity towards ex-girlfriends as something more unpleasant,” emphasized Gaetz when the news of the Justice Ministry’s investigation was first published.
Maybe. But if that is the case, why is his generosity apparently washed up by a man on the verge of admitting sex crimes directed against a woman who is literally half the age of Gaetz?