The Dept. of Justice’s investigation into U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz includes a trip the Florida Republican took with a marijuana merchant, physician, and donor who allegedly “may have paid” for airline flights, hotel stays, and escorts.
CBS News reports “investigators are scrutinizing a trip Congressman Matt Gaetz took to the Bahamas with Jason Pirozzolo, a marijuana entrepreneur, Orlando hand surgeon and donor to Gaetz.”
“Multiple sources familiar with the federal probe tell CBS News Pirozzolo and Gaetz traveled to the Bahamas in late 2018 or early 2019 and Pirozzolo paid for travel expenses, accommodations, and female escorts,” CBS’s Major Garrett reports.
“Investigators also want to know if Gates was accepting paid escorts in exchange for political access or legislative favors,” Garrett adds. “In a 2018 podcast Pirozzolo highlighted Gaetz’s push for legislation expanding federal cannabis research, something that could have been a boon to Pirozzolo and other marijuana merchants.”
Former federal prosecutor Arlo Devlin-Brown told CBS, “traveling across state lines is what creates a federal ‘hook’ for a prosecution.”
It “doesn’t matter” if Gaetz “personally paid them as long as he knows someone is doing that,” Devlin-Brown says. “If there’s evidence of a quid pro quo, that the Congressman was provided with benefits in return for him sponsoring some legislation that’s of interest to the donor, that’s a federal crime.”
“Investigators also want to know if Gaetz was accepting paid escorts in exchange for political access or legislative favors,” Garrett reports.
Gaetz has denied the allegations.
NEW: CBS News has learned that investigators are scrutinizing a trip Rep. Gaetz (R-FL) took to the Bahamas with Jason Pirozzolo, a marijuana entrepreneur and donor.@MajorCBS reports that investigators are looking into whether female escorts on the trip were illegally trafficked pic.twitter.com/AjNRRoLczW
— Norah O’Donnell 🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) April 8, 2021
Image via Instagram
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
New York AG Finds ‘Significant Evidence’ Donald Trump Committed Fraud — and Files Motion to Force Him to Testify
The New York attorney general’s office filed a motion Tuesday aimed at forcing former president Donald Trump to testify as part of an ongoing probe into his company’s financial dealings.
In addition to the former president, the motion seeks to compel the testimony of his son Donald Trump Jr. and daughter Ivanka Trump, as well as the production of documents. According to a news release from the AG’s office, “each of the individuals was directly involved in one or more transactions under review.” The release notes that earlier this month, the Trumps filed a motion seeking to quash the interviews. Tuesday’s filing by the AG’s office opposes their motion.
“Since moving to compel the testimony of Eric Trump in August 2020, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has collected significant additional evidence indicating that the Trump Organization used fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions,” the release states. “While OAG has not yet reached a final decision regarding whether this evidence merits legal action, the grounds for pursuing the investigation are self-evident. The OAG filed today’s motion to get necessary testimony and evidence from high-ranking corporate personnel with close involvement in the events under investigation to determine, among other things, their relevant knowledge about those events.”
Attorney General Letitia James said: “For more than two years, the Trump Organization has used delay tactics and litigation in an attempt to thwart a legitimate investigation into its financial dealings. Thus far in our investigation, we have uncovered significant evidence that suggests Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization falsely and fraudulently valued multiple assets and misrepresented those values to financial institutions for economic benefit. The Trumps must comply with our lawful subpoenas for documents and testimony because no one in this country can pick and choose if and how the law applies to them. We will not be deterred in our efforts to continue this investigation and ensure that no one is above the law.”
Image: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
‘Absolutely’ Enough Evidence to Charge Electoral College Fraudsters Says Michigan Attorney General
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says there is “absolutely” enough evidence to charge the 16 alleged fraudsters who are accused of attempting to sign and submit a fake, forged 2020 Electoral College “certificate” representing themselves as the legal electors, claiming falsely that Donald Trump won their state in the 2020 election.
Nessel has requested the federal government investigate and prosecute the group of 16 Republicans, but said in a Tuesday press conference if they won’t she will.
“It’s clear to me that this was not independent rogue actors that were unknowingly doing the same thing as they had done in many other states,” Nessel said, as Michigan Advance reports. “From a jurisdictional standpoint, we think it’s important because it allows for the federal authorities to determine if there was a conspiracy that was a multi-state conspiracy.”
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has reported that the forged, fake documents submitted to the federal archives by seven states were almost identical, down to the text and font. (The states Republicans submitted forged documents for are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.)
“I feel confident that we have enough evidence to charge should we decide to pursue that,” Nessel also said. “I think that it’s a better idea for the feds to pursue this.”
Last week Nessel told Maddow, “I think that you’re talking about a conspiracy, really, to overthrow the United States government.”
“They have committed, ostensibly, the most significant case of election fraud, ever, in our state’s history.”
MORE: Michigan A.G. Dana Nessel: “I think that you’re talking about a conspiracy, really, to overthrow the United States government.” pic.twitter.com/4gfLZCaSfH
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 14, 2022
‘Very Ominous Development’: Legal Experts Explain Matt Gaetz Ex-Girlfriend’s Deal Could Mean a Lot of Trouble
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz may be facing a lot of legal trouble after his ex-girlfriend was granted immunity. The Florida Republican who was convicted sex trafficker Joel Greenberg‘s “wingman” is reportedly being investigated by the Dept. of Justice for sex trafficking of a minor and obstruction of justice.
Last week Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend, whose name is not being released to the public, was granted immunity according to CBS News, and “full immunity” according to at least one legal expert, before she testified to a federal grand jury.
“She is viewed as a potential key witness, according to two sources familiar with the investigation,” CBS News reports. “One of the sources said she has information related to the investigation of both the sex trafficking and obstruction allegations.”
Former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman, now an LA Times columnist, writes: “This doesn’t happen casually to help further investigation. This rather happens when there is a target that the immunized witness has critical info to bring down. Very ominous development for Gaetz.”
He adds that even just requesting an immunity deal “is itself an elaborate process requiring sign off from Main Justice,” meaning top officials at the Dept. of Justice, up to or including the Attorney General. Gaetz’s former girlfriend “likely has significant information of Gaetz’s involvement in both the trafficking charge and the obstruction.”
“And further, only after elaborate Negotiations between the witness’s lawyer and the government designed to show the government just how much she can inculpate the target,” Litman adds, stressing how much worse this could be for Gaetz.
Another former federal prosecutor, now a law professor at George Washington University Law School also calls the immunity deal “ominous.”
This is correct. Granting immunity is not done lightly and it indicates the witness has something significant to offer. Ominous news for Gaetz. https://t.co/BWdK7wHsYS
— Randall Eliason (@RDEliason) January 18, 2022
- 'NO SHAME'2 days ago
‘You Singlehandedly Blocked the Emmett Till Antilynching Act’: Rand Paul Scorched Over His MLK ‘Commemoration’
- WTH?2 days ago
Lara Trump Thinks Microsoft Office Assistant ‘Clippy’ Is a Real Person Spying on Everything She Writes
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM3 days ago
Die-Hard MAGA Trump Supporters in Arizona Think ‘It’s Very Possible’ States Will ‘Decertify’ the 2020 Election
- 'WHAT'S THE NEXT LINE?'2 days ago
‘Performative Drivel’: Marco Rubio Mocked and Schooled After Taking MLK Quote Out of Context
- COMMENTARY1 day ago
Legal Experts Blast ‘Jerk Gorsuch’ for Refusing to Wear a Mask – Forcing Sotomayor to Stay in Chambers
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM1 day ago
Former Top FBI Official: ‘Concerning’ Ginni Thomas Signed Letter Saying Jan. 6 Participants ‘Have Done Nothing Wrong’
- 'STANDING ALONE'22 hours ago
Top Democratic Donor Groups Pulling Endorsements – and Funding – From Sinema and Manchin Over Filibuster
- PARTNERING WITH HATE AND ANTI-IMMIGRANT GROUPS2 days ago
‘Unprecedented’: Trump Tried to ‘Exert Extreme Partisan Influence Over the Census Bureau’ Docs Reveal