Yep, Gaetz Pal Joel Greenberg Is Seeking a Plea Deal

And more of the latest in Matt Gaetz investigation
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2021 12:37 AM CDT
Yep, Joel Greenberg Is Seeking a Plea Deal
In this Tuesday, June 23, 2020, file photo, Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg leaves the federal courthouse in Orlando after making a first appearance following his indictment on a federal stalking charge.   (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

Joel Greenberg, an associate of Matt Gaetz, is indeed cooperating with the Justice Department investigation focused on them both, sources say. Greenberg is seeking a plea deal, a source tells the Washington Post, and in doing so, he's reportedly been giving information to federal law enforcement authorities since last year. According to two sources who spoke to the New York Times, Greenberg, the former Seminole County tax collector in Florida, told investigators he and Gaetz were involved with women who received money or gifts in exchange for sex; the Post's source says Greenberg has admitted he and the Florida congressman paid the women themselves. The DoJ is investigating whether Gaetz and Greenberg violated sex trafficking laws and whether they had sex with a 17-year-old girl, among other things.

Greenberg allegedly met the women via websites that connect people willing to exchange gifts, travel, and more for romantic liaisons. Gaetz's spokesperson, Harlan Hill, says Greenberg is simply "trying to ensnare innocent people in his troubles" and that Gaetz has never paid anyone for sex. And multiple outlets point out that Greenberg, who faces a mandatory minimum of 12 years behind bars, will likely face attacks on his credibility due to the charges against him. Meanwhile:

  • Politico has an extensive look at the 2018 Bahamas trip that is under investigation; Greenberg was not on that trip, but Gaetz was, as was politician Halsey Beshears (who abruptly resigned over the winter as the investigation intensified) and surgeon Jason Pirozzolo, plus the aforementioned teen girl, who had turned 18 months prior, and at least four other young women.
  • Fox News reports that the right-wing Project Veritas captured a CNN staffer admitting that, among other things, the network airs "propaganda"; technical director Charles Chester pointed to the Gaetz coverage as one example: "We're going to keep running those stories to keep hurting him and make it so that it can't be buried and, like, just settled outside of court. And just like, you know, if we keep pushing that, it's helping us."
(Read more Matt Gaetz stories.)

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