Beyond the George Floyd trial (actually, real title the Derek Chauvin murder trial), the biggest item to hit the news cycle today is the nasty shit on that nasty shit Matt Gaetz
Matt Gaetz is under federal investigation "over whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him … [and] investigators are examining whether Mr. Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws" https://t.co/eegc9NZhTg
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 30, 2021
Gaetz has been an asshole a way-long time, and since he’s such a T-Rump bootlicker/ass-wipe, this is not really a surprise, though, it does make one slightly nauseous and ramps-up the shitheel-level of his ugliness. He represents where I grew up, graduated high school, the Florida pandhandle — despite the area always being kind of conservative, it’s a shit-faced shame they elected someone of the lowest form of cruel idiocy.
Some background via New York Magazine this evening:
Investigators are reportedly looking into whether or not Gaetz had a sexual relationship with the teenager approximately two years ago and whether he paid her to travel with him, an act which could violate federal sex trafficking laws which make it illegal to coerce someone under 18 to travel across states to have sex in exchange for payment.
“The Justice Department regularly prosecutes such cases, and offenders often receive severe sentences,” the (New York) Times reports.
In an interview with the Times, Gaetz said that his lawyers had been in contact with Justice Department officials, who informed him that he was the subject of a federal inquiry — though he insisted he is not a “target” of prosecutors.
“I only know that it has to do with women,” Gaetz said.
“I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward.” (The report came on the same day of an apparent leak from his camp that he was considering an early retirement from Congress to seek a role on the conservative network Newsmax.)
Gaetz told Axios shortly after the Times story that “allegations of sexual misconduct against me are false” and are being leveled against him as part of a “extortion scheme” being run by a former DOJ employee seeking to make the investigation go away for $25 million.
Axios said Gaetz shared “screenshots of text messages, emails and documents outlining the alleged extortion scheme,” which hasn’t been confirmed.
Matt Gaetz: "I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I've dated. You know, I've paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner. I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not." https://t.co/ZFbZaZ8ice
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) March 30, 2021
According to the Times, the inquiry into Gaetz was opened by the Justice Department in the final months of the Trump administration, prior to the resignation of Attorney General William Barr in December.
Times sources said that the investigation was related to a broader inquiry into Gaetz’s political ally Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector in Seminole County north of Orlando, who was indicted by federal prosecutors in Florida last August on charges including child sex trafficking.
Around the time of the indictment, federal officials seized Greenberg’s phone and laptop, on which they said they found evidence that Greenberg was making fake IDs for himself and a teenage girl.
Greenberg pleaded not guilty to the charges and is in jail awaiting trial.
Gaetz, a close ally of former president Donald Trump, was elected to Congress in 2016, meaning whatever conduct he engaged in would have occurred while he was in Congress.
In his first year as a representative, he was the only member of Congress to vote against a law granting the federal government more resources to combat human trafficking.
As if of a coincidence — Axios with a scoop earlier today: ‘Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has privately told confidants he’s seriously considering not seeking re-election and possibly leaving Congress early for a job at Newsmax, three sources with direct knowledge of the talks tell Axios.‘
And to top off the legal matters:
In one tweet thread Rep. Gaetz has managed to make every defense counsel and every prosecutor in the land simultaneously mutter WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? https://t.co/sJfBnI2YDG
— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) March 30, 2021
Gaetz, like most right-winged MAGA hatters, is an idiot, as I’ve said previously.
Republicans are really, really turds. No only are they trying to supress voting all over the country, lie about the ‘crisis’ at the southern border, and will whine all day about being a victim of cancel culture, they’l take credit for shit they voted against.
There’s no real work in being a GOPer except being a motherfucking liar:
Would you say these things were made possible by democratic legislation? The same democratic legislation you voted against? https://t.co/HJeGJWVo3B
— Molly Jong-Fast? (@MollyJongFast) March 30, 2021
(Illustration: ‘National Buffoons,’ by Daryl Cagle, found here).