'A ton of damning evidence': Attorney slams DOJ for leaving Matt Gaetz alone in sex abuse case
Despite being caught up in a major sex scandal, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida enjoyed a landslide victory in the 2022 midterms. The far-right MAGA Republican defeated Democratic challenger Rebekah Jones by 35 percent.
Democrats, on the whole, performed much better than expected in the midterms, keeping their U.S. Senate majority and winning key gubernatorial races in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin and other swing states. But Florida was one state that really did see a red wave on Election Night; Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio were both reelected by double digits. And the Gaetz/Jones competition wasn’t even remotely close.
Nonetheless, the sex scandal involving Gaetz remains despite what the Daily Beast’s José Pagliery describes as a “mountain” of evidence in the case. And attorney Fritz Scheller, Pagliery reports, is vehemently critical of how federal investigators have handled the case.
In an article published on November 22, Pagliery explains, “The Florida lawyer who gave the feds a mountain of evidence documenting Rep. Matt Gaetz’s alleged sex crimes says the Department of Justice — which has yet to prosecute the congressman — is ‘like Nero fiddling away as Rome burns.’ In a court filing Monday night, (November 21) the attorney representing a key government witness in the sex trafficking investigation finally put into writing a scathing criticism of the DOJ’s inaction.”
Scheller wants to know why federal prosecutors have gone after his client, Joel Greenberg, in the case but haven’t gone after Gaetz as aggressively.
Pagliery reports, “The rare and aggressive move calls out the DOJ for trying to destroy the life of a local corrupted tax official who snitched on his buddies — Joel Greenberg — but not pursuing a criminal case against the popular, rich Republican congressman who allegedly took part in the drugs and paid for sex with a teenager. Greenberg’s defense lawyer, Fritz Scheller, ripped into the high-level public corruption prosecutors at DOJ headquarters, suggesting that the case might be better handled locally.”
In his November 21 court filing, Scheller wrote, “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida is the only DOJ office to have brought multiple prosecutions based on Greenberg’s cooperation. Perhaps the DOJ will return the prosecutions to the capable hands of U.S. Attorneys in the Middle District or the State of Florida.”
Pagliery notes that Greenberg “gave federal law enforcement a ton of damning evidence on Gaetz, sitting for hours with them to answer questions about their rendezvous with girls, according to two sources with knowledge of those sessions.” The Daily Beast, according to Pagliery, “exclusively obtained a confession letter Greenberg wrote explaining how Gaetz used him as a middleman to pay for sex with young women and at least one underage girl."
“The Daily Beast also obtained Greenberg’s non-public Venmo payments, which reflect that arrangement,” Pagliery reports. “In one instance, Gaetz paid his pal $900 and wrote “hit up ___” in the memo field, referring to the teenage girl who they started seeing when she was underage. The FBI opened its investigation into Gaetz in August 2020, the same month Greenberg was charged with trafficking that teen.”
Pagliery continues, “The New York Times first exposed the existence of that investigation in March 2021. The Daily Beast then revealed the growing body of evidence that Gaetz was actually involved. But in September this year, The Washington Post reported that federal prosecutors had suddenly gotten cold feet, choosing not to file criminal charges against the congressman for the sex trafficking allegations.”
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