It’s been months since the world learned that Matt Gaetz was under investigation for allegedly sex trafficking a minor. Now Joel Greenberg, the man whose arrest led to Gaetz’ alleged involvement being uncovered, has plead guilty and is reportedly working with prosecutors to bring in other guilty parties. However, Florida officials aren’t necessarily being so cooperative.
According to Click Orlando, despite laws requiring state officials to respond to public records requests, financial records that could reveal Gaetz’s complicity aren’t being turned over. The news station has been waiting for months for the request to be filled but is being held at arm’s length.
Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, or DBPR, has not explained why spending records have not yet been released. The agency previously indicated the request was undergoing a legal review, but it is unclear why such a review is necessary and whether it is complete.
The backstory, as detailed by Alternet, is that Gaetz traveled to the Bahamas in 2018 on a trip with Halsey Beshears, who was then secretary of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and Jason Pirozzolo, a Republican fundraiser, and five young women. One of these women is the person Gaetz is accused of sex trafficking. While another woman on the trip said that the younger woman had turned 18 months before, witnesses say that a U.S. Customs official stopped the group on their return because several looked so young that it raised alarm bells.
Politico reports that the young woman has a personal website that lists her birthdate as December 1999, which would have made her 3 months shy of 19 at the time of the trip, if it’s accurate.
However, Halsey Beshears abruptly resigned as investigators began their work, and has reportedly told people that he believes he’s a subject of the investigation.
Gaetz has consistently denied the allegations, claiming that he’s merely the victim of a blackmail scheme.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com