‘Felt Like A Setup’: Gaetz and Greenberg Busted By WhatsApp Messages
Every day, another layer from the onion that is the investigation into Matt Gaetz‘s alleged sex trafficking is peeled back to reveal even more corruption. Newly published messages between Gaetz and his associate Joel Greenberg show an increasingly desperate exchange as the Feds were closing in on them. Greenberg reached out to mutual friends in August 2020 and tried to enlist them in his defense, according to a WhatsApp chat shared with federal investigators and obtained by POLITICO.
While Gaetz continues to publicly profess his innocence, the conversations between the beleaguered Florida Congressman and Greenberg indicate otherwise. Greenberg is facing decades of prison time from a total of 33 different charges, including identity theft, a host of financial crimes, and stalking a political opponent he falsely smeared as a pedophile. But his alleged sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl is the most serious charge against him and carries a 10-year mandatory-minimum prison sentence.
The WhatsApp messages shed light on specific details of the scandal surrounding Gaetz (who was considered a close ally of Donald Trump’s until it was learned that Gaetz was denied after requesting a meeting) as well as the state of mind of the man Gaetz once called his “wingman” as he sought to stay ahead of the ever-breaking news. Greenberg went so far as to push Gaetz to use his influence with Trump for a pardon, according to sources familiar with the conversations, including one who heard Greenberg say it repeatedly, which may explain the “blanket pardon” Gaetz requested before Trump left office in January.
POLITICO details some of what was contained in those messages:
In an August 14th chat with a politically influential Republican mutual friend of Gaetz and Greenberg, Greenberg initially referred to the young woman as “Vintage 99” — a fine-wine reference to her birth year that she used as her online name on SeekingArrangement, a dating website that connects women with so-called sugar daddies.
“I’m having to pay for vintage 99 to retain [a] lawyer,” Greenberg wrote in the WhatsApp chat to the friend, who discussed the messages with POLITICO on condition of anonymity. “They [federal agents] contacted her and are wanting her to talk. She doesn’t want to talk to them.”
Meanwhile, Gaetz is still tweet-pleading his case to the public, seemingly unaware that his every public missive is evidence for the prosecution to use against him.
The media and the establishment would have a far easier time selling out America without me in Congress.
Let me assure you, I have not yet begun to fight for the country I love and for the nation that I know benefits from America First principles. pic.twitter.com/I1dHxweOWs
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) April 12, 2021