UPDATE: Greenberg strikes a deal: Joel Greenberg has agreed to plead guilty to six federal crimes, including sex trafficking of a child, in a deal that calls for him to cooperate with federal investigators - likely in the investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
The drumbeats of federal officers are getting stronger by the day. Matt Gaetz appears to be in even more peril after news broke that his wingman and long time friend, Joel Greenberg, appears to have struck a deal with prosecutors to potentially lower his sentence. What does that mean? We don't know yet - but it usually involves giving something of value to the prosecutors - evidence of other crimes, flipping on co-conspirators, etc. To get caught up on the previous NINE posts, click here.
Politico reports that federal investigators are "discuss[ing] a potential immunity arrangement with his former girlfriend and have struck a tentative deal with his one-time “wingman” who will likely plead guilty."
The DOJ's Public Integrity Section is also reportedly continuing to interview witnesses who could provide incriminating evidence against Gaetz personally. One witness told Politico that "prosecutors spent two hours asking questions about whether Gaetz or others in his circle had sex with a 17-year-old girl in 2017." As Gaetz's wingman, Greenberg is a prime witness against any potential crimes Gaetz may have committed. Federal investigators have reportedly "interviewed more than a dozen people in the case." Two close friends of Gaetz's ex-girlfriend told Politico that she is "in talks to be a witness for the prosecution but she wants an immunity deal for possible obstruction." She is not the 17-year old who Gaetz is alleged to have had sex with while she was a minor. Another source reports that the sex-trafficking victim was "100 percent" talking to prosecutors about Gaetz.
Obviously, Gaetz denies everything. Harlan Hill, the 1800's wooden doll boy come to life, told Politico:
If the alleged victim - the woman who was 17 at the time of the crime - testifies against Gaetz, it greatly increases the likelihood of him being charged with sex trafficking a minor. Gaetz and Greenberg reportedly attended parties with young women, some just over the legal age. These women were paid via cash apps such as Venmo, and many of them report being given excessive amounts of alcohol and illegal drugs.
Greenberg is facing a slew of charges (33 counts!), including: sex trafficking of a child, identity theft, producing fake driver's licenses, stalking, fraud and making false claims against a political rival. So, making a plea deal where he provides crucial evidence of a sitting Congressman committing crimes would probably be in his best interest if he was trying to lower his time in federal prison. Greenberg's next court hearing is reportedly on Monday and it is expected that his plea deal will be presented to the court. We will know at that hearing if he has worked out a plea deal that involves providing evidence against a certain Florida Republican Congressman.