The crook in question, Joel Greenberg, has quite the criminal and corrupt history, as The Daily Beast explains:
Greenberg used his stint as the elected Seminole County tax collector to enrich himself and turn the office into a criminal enterprise, hiring friends for no-show jobs and rewarding government contracts in exchange for kickbacks.
But since his arrest, Greenberg has pleaded guilty and helped local and federal law enforcement “uncover illicit real estate deals, embezzlement of federal COVID-19 paycheck assistance, and a local Republican scheme to run ‘ghost’ candidates.”
According to The Daily Beast, Greenberg “also 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.”
There’s this, too:
The Daily Beast 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. 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.
So, why hasn’t Gaetz been charged? The Washington Post reported in September that federal prosecutors have recommended no charges in the sex-trafficking probe. They concluded “a conviction is unlikely in part because of credibility questions with the two central witnesses, according to people familiar with the matter.”
One of those central witnesses is Greenberg. One of his credibility questions centers around the fact that he also admitted to sending letters falsely accusing a schoolteacher running against him of having had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student, The Post said.
In his memo arguing for leniency, Greenberg’s attorney, Fritz Scheller, ripped the prosecutors’ argument for “deterrence” of his client’s future crimes by questioning why, then, no arrest had been made of “the other individuals, including public figures, who were also involved in Greenberg’s offenses?” In other words, why hasn’t Gaetz been arrested, too?
In a footnote, Scheller complained that the U.S. attorney’s office in Florida has “brought multiple prosecutions” based on Greenberg’s cooperation, but not the Department of Justice. Then he sneered:
Perhaps the DOJ in Washington is still moving forward on its prosecutions. Perhaps the DOJ will return the prosecutions to the capable hands of U.S. Attorneys in the Middle District or the State of Florida. Perhaps the DOJ will appoint a special counsel to address those individuals that implicate broader national concerns. Perhaps the DOJ are master strategists far beyond the capabilities of the undersigned. Or perhaps the DOJ is like Nero fiddling away as Rome burns.
But just because prosecutors don’t want to go forward with sex-trafficking charges, that does not mean Gaetz is off the hook. In fact, the DOJ has hinted he’s not. The Daily Beast notes that the DOJ has acknowledged Greenberg’s help and cited his “substantial assistance on other matters discussed in the sealed supplemental memorandum regarding defendant’s cooperation.”
Don’t put away the popcorn just yet.