Strange friendship that might beat Matt Gaetz

Alex Won / Getty

Alex Won / Getty

Congressman Matt Gaetz is in the midst of a fall from the ugliest political grace of decades. But on a small and not public scale, Gates’ plunge largely reflects one of his closest allies, Joel Greenberg, who may have kickstarted his downfall. I will.

Gates, Florida Republican, and Greenberg are friends. Until recently, both were wealthy players in the wave of new trampists washing the Republicans in Florida. Both were the sons of a successful father and made his name known throughout the state. Both hang out in the same circle, defending the same libertarian cause, and throwing themselves into the same Florida Republican icons like Governor Ron DeSantis and political activist Roger Stone.

And now both have been involved in a federal investigation investigating accusations that they recruited young women and paid them for sex, New York Times..

These text messages pointed to Matt Gaetz by the Fed

So The Daily Beast Reported on Friday was a text message about a non-business trip to Gates and Greenberg’s government agencies, warning investigators that MPs were involved in the alleged crime and finally. Led them to what they judged to be a criminal sex ring.

But before Joel Greenberg was charged with paying attention to sex trafficking and Gates, Greenberg was a quirky tax collector with all the right connections to the political future.

Like Gates, Greenberg is the son of a wealthy local businessman. Dr. Andrew Greenberg co-founded a dental company with 92 offices throughout the state. Joel, who holds a stake in the company, founded his own advertising agency, DG3. For some time, he also hosted a sports-themed talk radio show, The Joel Greenberg Show, at WRSO 810AM. He sold his advertising company in 2015 and ran for a tax collector in Seminole County the following year, beating the 78-year-old who had been in the office since 1988.

After taking office, Greenberg quickly took quirky steps on what should have been an unobtrusive and boring job. He moved the agency from the rent-free government agency. He hired a friend. He handed out suspicious contracts to his longtime colleagues. He used the tax collector’s “badge” to disguise himself as a law enforcement agency and pull the speeder. He even tried to get some tax officials to carry guns.

But it was another type of abuse of power that would eventually rope his friend Matt Gaetz.

According to investigators, Greenberg, whose government agency was tasked with shredding an expired driver’s license, had illegally created a fake ID. Gates was with him when the pair was caught in a surveillance footage of a visit to the Lake Mary branch of Florida on the weekend of April 2018, according to some people familiar with the incident.

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When an employee asked if he visited the office on the weekend, Greenberg replied in text. Did you leave something on? “

An image of the text message obtained by The Daily Beast shows that Greenberg involved more lawmakers in September of that year with personal favor. At that time, he went out of the official protocol and instructed his employees on Sunday afternoon to quickly create a duplicate ID for Gates.

“Amy-Is there a way to help one of the MPs get an emergency replacement ID or DL ​​by 2:00 pm on Tuesday? He went missing yesterday and boarded the plane on Tuesday. He doesn’t currently have any other form of ID. Sorry for the inconvenience caused on Sunday, “Greenberg wrote.

His friend “Matthew Lewis Gates II”, born May 7, 1982, liked him.

These text messages were sent to the US Secret Service, Florida Law Enforcement Agency, and more recently to another federal agency in early 2020, according to sources familiar with the agent’s request.

A few years before these incidents, Gates and Greenberg publicly demonstrated a bond that referred to their similar ideas, interests, and friendships. Gates, the son of the former president of the Florida Senate, climbed to the top of Florida’s politics at an early age.

But he gained an unpleasant reputation for being allegedly created, even among Republicans. What a member of the Diet called “FL House members earned” points “by sleeping with aides, internships, lobbyists, and married lawmakers.” A sex game. Tallahassee sources told reporters that Gates frequently went to and from restaurants popular with local college students. Trying to pick up an undergraduate student..

Republicans were waiting for Matt Gaetz’s scandal to collapse

Greenberg’s personal history during that period is much more ambiguous.It’s unclear when the friendship with Gates began, but by July 8, 2017, the two had Each shared a photo of Supper with Roger Stone..

Gates repeat Called Greenberg his friendWas it To support the tax collector’s idea of ​​accepting Bitcoin, Share his editorial, Or Make an internal joke About their mutual lobbyist friend, Chris Doworth.

By 2018, Greenberg was saying BuzzFeed News An article that Gates completely reposted to him that Gates was his political leader Parliamentary official website..They both visited the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that year and snapped there. self With a 21-year-old woman involved in the Florida Governor’s campaign for Ron DeSantis.

In 2019, they shared My photo at the White House With Dowers, Gates is thinking about himselfLegislative mentor.. “

They both promoted the legalization of marijuana. Gates shared in January 2019 Twitter video With Greenberg and Orlando lawyer John Morgan Someone who calls himself “Pot Daddy”. Greenberg was an avid cannabis user and often carried a marijuana arcpen, and the three who saw him said he was using it with a tax office, a party at work, or with friends. And, according to one of those sources, he has become Gates’s go-to person for inhaling cannabis vapors.

They were close enough to interact with their families. A video Posted on YouTube is a photo of Gates hugging Greenberg’s newborn daughter. Greenberg’s wife, Abby, shared a Facebook photo of another case of Gates holding a child in front of the White House next to smiling President Donald Trump.

This week, Florida Congressman Anna V. Escamani, a Democrat, told The Daily Beast about the strange interaction between Greenberg and Gates.

“There was all this strange engagement and friendship with me,” she said. “Matt Gaetz too. I don’t have his number. I’m not engaged to him. He tried to get involved with me on Twitter. He pays close attention to his reply. I will. “

She frequently texts Greenberg on her photos reminiscent of his partyboy’s past, and in 2019 he and Gates called her “strange” voicemail on Friday. He said he cooperated.

An eerie and disturbing incident that trapped Matt Gaetz

“We were talking about you and talking about your wonderful qualities,” Greenberg said in a message, followed by Gates’ comments. “I think you are the future of the Democratic Party of Florida!”

On May 4, 2018, Gates visited Twitter plug New Greenberg policy innovation. “Would you like to pay your taxes in cryptocurrency? @MrJoelGreenberg Say yes, “writes Gates, who is now a member of the House Blockchain Caucus. He tagged Greenberg’s parody account in a tweet. Probably wrong.

Seminole County audit Last year, Greenberg showed that he had poured about $ 66,000 in taxpayer funds into his own company, Government Blockchain Systems LLC. When the auditor asked him about the company, Greenberg told them he was developing a new way to accept “cryptocurrencies as payments” for taxes.

The innovation resurfaced this week in the form of a new federal crime. Prosecutors claim that Greenberg stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from Seminole County taxpayers and sank them into cryptocurrencies.Billionaire, also used about Greenberg $ 240,000 With Bitcoin to jump start his fateful 2020 re-election bid.

Greenberg has never financially supported Gates’ federal campaign, but Greenberg’s parents supported Gates and made the most of it for him in the 2018 Republican primary. A year later, on June 9, 2020, Gates returned his favor. Reach the limit For the reelection of Greenberg.

Two weeks later, Greenberg was his first Prosecution, His Republican political opponent on suspicion of stalking.

Prosecutors alleged that Greenberg recruited at least one teenager between the ages of 14 and 17 to engage in “commercial sexual activity” in Central in 2017, and sexually trafficked from wire fraud. Up to, these charges have expanded significantly to a diverse list of crimes in Florida and elsewhere.

Gates will come back there.

New York Times On Tuesday, federal agents also revealed that Gates was also investigating whether he was violating sex trafficking in his relationship with an unnamed 17-year-old girl. The teen is reportedly the same victim at the heart of the accusation against Greenberg.

Follow-up reports from various outlets claim Gates Shared a naked photo of his sexual partner on the house floorEncouraged underage women to have sex with friends, paid for sex using ATMs, Apple Pay, and Cash App, leaving traces of receipts. Some of the men and women involved reportedly took ecstasy to meet.

Gates’ reputation in Congress did not help him refute these claims. Gates tends to date young women, often in their early twenties, and is well known for having long-term relationships with parliamentary internships just over the age of 21. CNN report On Thursday, he talked about having sex with other lawmakers on the house floor, known for sharing nude photos of their sexual partners.

Trump hasn’t come to rescue Matt Gaetz-for now

Congressmen have been rumoring about his drinking and drug use for years, his office often smells like weeds, and he speculates that his weight loss in Congress is due to cocaine. are doing. And the hostile relationship with his colleagues, especially the Republicans who thought they didn’t fully support Trump, persisted for him, despite Gates’ allegations about the blackmail plan, and of a negative story. He has sacrificed him in search of an ally who is willing to refute the constant flow and has a circle of truth to them.

Gates’ first reaction-he was the victim of a geopolitical “organized and criminal blackmail” program-added a strange new dimension to the entire story. According to Gates, the complex work involving a former DOJ prosecutor, a serial fraudster, and his own father wore wires at the direction of the FBI to eradicate crime.

Gates has created a document from his alleged robber, including an absurd investigation that Gates will stop investigating sex crimes. Lend them $ 25 million To help the Jewish Americans be held hostage in Iran in the spring. Hostage Bob Levinson was sentenced to death by the US government last year.

The exposure of the pressure campaign has helped little to persuade Republicans in Washington to mobilize to defend Gates. His spokesman quit Friday. His political idol, Trump, remains a momAs with the majority of his fellow Republicans.

“”The last time I had a sexual relationship with 17 years old, I was 17 years oldGates told The Daily Beast earlier in the week one of the strange and specific denials of the accusation against him. “As for Hill, I know I have many enemies and a few friends. My support is usually outside Washington, DC and there is no other way.”

For more information, see The Daily Beast.

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