Minerva @ Midnight: Venmo receipts and an enemy at the Gaetz

Is Matt Gaetz a stalking horse for the even more extensive crimes of the previous guy, whose silence so far is staggering. A plea deal of an associate is going to make life even more difficult.

ORLANDO, Fla. — A former local official in Florida facing an array of federal charges in an inquiry that is also focused on Representative Matt Gaetz was expected to plead guilty, lawyers said in court on Thursday, an indication that the defendant is likely to cooperate as a key witness against Mr. Gaetz.

A cooperation agreement by Joel Greenberg, a former county tax collector north of Orlando, is almost certain to create legal difficulties for Mr. Gaetz, a prominent ally of former President Donald J. Trump. Investigators are said to be examining their involvement with women who were recruited online for sex and given cash payments, as well as whether Mr. Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old. Mr. Greenberg, who already faces one count of sex trafficking involving the girl, would be able to give prosecutors a firsthand account of their actions.

Mr. Greenberg faces other charges, including stalking a political rival and trying to bribe a federal official; he has pleaded not guilty. Investigators suspect he met the women through a website that connects people willing to go on dates in exchange for gifts and allowances, then arranged for liaisons with himself and associates including Mr. Gaetz.

Mr. Greenberg’s potential deal also comes as the F.B.I. has widened its investigation to include questions about a trip to the Bahamas that Mr. Gaetz took with Republican allies from Florida and women who were asked to provide sex for them, according to four people familiar with the inquiry.


  • April 9, 2021