It’s better late than never, but the first Republican in Congress has finally called for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) to resign in the wake of more damning revelations linked to the sex trafficking investigation he is the subject of and his close friend striking a plea deal.
Gaetz has been mired in a sex trafficking scandal ever since the news of the federal investigation went public. Investigators are trying to determine if Gaetz brought an underage girl across state lines to have sex with her. And the scandal only worsened after it was revealed that Gaetz paid young women for sex and is involved in a fake ID scheme.
And now Joel Greenberg, an accused sex trafficker and Gaetz’s friend, is taking a plea deal that could see him spill his guts about Gaetz, which could result in an indictment of one of disgraced former President Donald Trump’s biggest supporters in Congress. Oh, and there are receipts showing how Gaetz paid off the women he had sex with.
According to The Daily Beast:
In two late-night Venmo transactions in May 2018, Rep. Matt Gaetz sent his friend, the accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg, $900. The next morning, over the course of eight minutes, Greenberg used the same app to send three young women varying sums of money. In total, the transactions amounted to $900. The memo field for the first of Gaetz’s transactions to Greenberg was titled ‘Test.’ In the second, the Florida GOP congressman wrote ‘hit up ___.’ But instead of a blank, Gaetz wrote a nickname for one of the recipients. (The Daily Beast is not sharing that nickname because the teenager had only turned 18 less than six months before.) When Greenberg then made his Venmo payments to these three young women, he described the money as being for ‘Tuition,’ ‘School,’ and ‘School.’
Gaetz and Greenberg are both connected through Venmo to this then-18-year-old woman—who now works in the porn industry, according to a friend of the girl. And on Thursday, Greenberg’s attorney and prosecutors indicated during a court hearing that they expect Greenberg to strike a plea deal, likely meaning he plans to cooperate with investigators. That could be potentially disastrous for Gaetz, as investigators look into the connections between these two men. And one particularly damning connection is their financial transactions.
The damning new revelations and Greenberg’s impending plea deal is enough that Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) became the first Republican in Congress to call for Gaetz to resign.
Matt Gaetz needs to resign. https://t.co/AygfqAxQJX via @thedailybeast
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) April 9, 2021
Of course, Kinzinger is one of the most moderate Republicans in Congress and he isn’t part of the leadership. The real question is when other Republicans, particularly House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), will call for Gaetz to resign as well? Because not only has McCarthy refused to remove Gaetz from the House Judiciary Committee despite a clear conflict of interest since Gaetz is being investigated by the Justice Department, he has also been relatively silent. If a Democrat were even accused of a fraction of what Gaetz is accused of, McCarthy would be calling for expulsion. Once again, the standards are different when it comes to Republicans in that Republicans have no standards, especially moral standards. If they did, Gaetz would be out of Congress already.
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