Matt Gaetz is facing more specific allegations of misdeeds, based on stellar reporting from the Daily Beast, who have been breaking Gaetzgate related news on a continual basis. To get caught up on the previous 10 entries of Gaetzgate, please click here. You can click back through to get the full story, and see how this has evolved from broad allegations of misconduct to very granular and detailed allegations, with dates, times, participants and even a written confession letter from Gaetz's buddy, Joel Greenberg.
Daily Beast reports that Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, and this his date was "a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event," according to witnesses. Apparently Joel Greenberg, Gaetz's wingman and purveyor of escorts (both underage and of legal age) will "identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex."
So what is different about this woman, Megan Zalonka? Apparently she turned her escort/amateur instagram modeling into a "taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500." That would probably be frowned upon by legalistic folks.
Here is what went down. This "Trump Defender Gala" fundraiser was held in Orlando on October 26, 2019. Gaetz and Zalonka went together. After the party, they went back to Gaetz's hotel room where Zalonka laid out lines of cocaine on the (probably) dirty bathroom counter. Eww. Gaetz joined in snorting the cocaine. Off the bathroom counter. THE BATHROOM.
No one can confirm whether they had sex that night (eww — on Zalonka's behalf,) but sources report that Gaetz and Zalonka had an "ongoing financial relationship in exchange for sex" which just means he was a regular client of hers and that he paid her for sex frequently.
Gaetz claims that he has "never paid for sex," but apparently he wrote off the stay at the Orlando hotel as a campaign expense, which means his donors paid...for him to have sex. Gaetz's office had no comment, and directed reporters to contact his 1800s wooden boy doll come-to-life, Harlan Hill, to respond. Hill said, “Congressman Gaetz won’t be commenting on whether he dated or didn’t date specific women. The privacy of women living private lives should be protected.” That is not a denial of the reporting, just a refusal to comment.
To be clear: Paying women for sex is not "dating." That is paying a woman for sex. She is a sex worker, he are a customer. To be clearer, sex work is work, and this is not a statement shaming sex workers. It's a statement shaming liars like Gaetz.
Zalonka also had no comment. Joel Greenberg is expected to plead guilty to 6 felonies on Monday during his hearing, and he is also expected to be a cooperating witness against his good buddy, Gaetz.