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‘This Detail Is Huge’: Matt Gaetz’s Venmo Receipts Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg

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On Thursday, following reports that the Florida tax official at the heart of the sex trafficking investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is negotiating a plea, and the revelations that Gaetz used Venmo to send $900 to that official who passed it along to three teenage girls, Daily Beast reporter Jose Pagliery walked through the implications on MSNBC.

“So in all of this, what we’ve heard is that there’s a federal investigation that extends to the congressman, right?” said Pagliery. “Key to that would be any evidence of payments that would have been made from that congressman to his friend, this tax collector in Florida. Now, what we have gotten ahold of at the Daily Beast are proof of Venmo payments that Matt Gaetz did way back in 2018 — and it’s worth telling the story. Overnight, late at night, the congressman sends two separate payments via Venmo to his friend. The first one is titled ‘test.’ The second one says ‘hit up,’ and it names a person we’ve now determined is a teenage girl.”

“This is pivotal because hours later, as we reported, Joel Greenberg turned around and made three payments totalling $900 to three women,” continued Pagliery. “This detail is huge. What we were able to find is one of those young women is now a porn star. We have not revealed her name because she was so young at the time. But what my colleague and I have been able to do is get ahold of financial payments that directly tie Matt Gaetz to Joel Greenberg, and very quickly turn around and have girls’ names on them.”

“Okay. So there’s a bunch of stuff here,” said anchor Chris Hayes. “Let me just sort of take them in turn. Obviously under the law it is illegal to pay for sex. Matt Gaetz says he has never paid for sex, right? But it doesn’t get you out of legal jeopardy if your buddy pays for sex and then you pay your buddy the same amount.”

“That’s right,” said Pagliery. “That’s part of a conspiracy. Now, what we have here, and it is worth going through the detail. We got hold of Venmo payments. As anybody who uses Venmo knows, when you pay anyone anything, you have to explain what that thing is for. We have to ask, why would a sitting congressman be making two payments, one of which says to hit up, it says ‘hit up’ and it mentions a girl’s name, a name that hours later receives money from that same person who got that money. And so that’s what we got here. We got Venmo transactions that definitively tie him to them. We have more coming because we don’t just have these financial transactions.”

Watch below:

 

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CRIME

In Trump’s ‘Special Master’ Appeal 2 of 3 Judges Are Ones He Appointed – and Both Previously Ruled Against Him

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Last month a three-judge panel overruled a federal judge Donald Trump not only appointed to the bench but hand-picked to hear his case surrounding the Dept. of Justice executing a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago resort and residence and retrieving thousands of White House items and documents, including hundreds of classified and top secret documents.

Trump has appealed their ruling, and on Tuesday a three-judge panel at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals was selected to hear his case.

Two of the three he appointed. Both have previously ruled against him.

READ MORE: Far Right J6 Rioter Who Attacked Pelosi’s Office ‘Surprised’ as Judge Sends Her Directly to Jail After Verdict: Report

The judges, according to Politico’s Josh Gerstein, are William Pryor Jr. (Bush 43 appointee), Britt Grant (Trump appointee), and Andrew Brasher (Trump appointee.).

“BUT,” Gerstein stresses, “Grant & Brasher joined in earlier ruling against him on MAL,” referring to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago case against the United States of America in which he both claims he is the rightful owner of the documents because they are personal, and he declassified them all. (Both claims cannot be true.)

As The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell puts it, “Really unfortunate for Trump to have drawn 2/3 judges for oral arguments before 11th Circuit today who ruled that Cannon ‘abused her discretion’ in granting him a special master.”

Back in September a three-judge 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel temporarily blocked Judge Aileen Cannon’s ruling barring the Dept. of Justice from using about 100 classified documents. Trump had requested the court block DOJ from accessing those documents.

READ MORE: The GOP Ran on Gas and Grocery Prices. Their Top Priority After Taking the House? Hunter Biden’s Laptop.

“We cannot discern why plaintiff [Trump] would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings,” the three-judge panel said, as Bloomberg News had reported.

As Bloomberg’s Zoe Tillman reports, in today’s trial, which begins at 2 PM ET, DOJ will argue “to free thousands of documents seized from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate from a review that’s kept them out of investigators’ hands for months.”

For those interested, oral arguments can be heard via the 11th Circuit’s government website, here.

Image via Shutterstock

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CRIME

Hate Crime and Murder Charges Filed Against Club Q Suspect in Anti-LGBTQ Mass Shooting

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Colorado prosecutors have filed hate crime and murder charges against the suspect in Saturday night’s anti-LGBTQ mass shooting. Five people, including employees of the LGBTQ nightclub Club Q were killed, another 25 were injured. The suspect is believed to have used an AR-15 style rifle.

“Colorado court records show that Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, was charged with five counts of murder and five counts of bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury. A Colorado judge granted prosecutors’ request to seal court records related to Mr. Aldrich’s arrest until the conclusion of the investigation,” The New York Times reports.

Patrons bravely were able to subdue the suspect, hitting him with his own gun. Police arrived minutes after the first 911 call. The suspect was hospitalized and is in custody.

MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner says prosecutors have responded quickly with the bias crime charge.

READ MORE: ‘Blood on Your Hands’: Critics Blast Boebert for Spreading Anti-LGBTQ Hate and Lies After Club Q Mass Shooting

“Members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community in and around Colorado Springs said Club Q had felt like a haven in a conservative city long known for anti-gay activism,” The Times adds.

“This club was a refuge for our community,” Bird Berg, 31, a produce manager at a grocery store who attended a vigil with her wife, said. “I’m completely devastated.”

Two patrons are beg hailed as heroes after disabling the suspected shooter.

“One customer took down the gunman and was assisted by another,” Matthew Haynes, one of the club owners, The Times reports separately. “He saved dozens and dozens of lives. Stopped the man cold. Everyone else was running away, and he ran toward him.”

CNN reports investigators have yet to identify the suspect’s motive. Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez says the suspect “has determined not to speak to investigators.”

READ MORE: Mass Shooting Suspect Was Subdued by Patrons at Colorado LGBTQ Club Where 5 People Were Killed: Police

Aldrich, CNN adds, “was arrested in June 2021 in connection with a bomb threat which led to a standoff at his mother’s home, according to a news release from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at the time and his mother’s former landlord. Colorado Springs is in El Paso County.”

No charges were filed in that case.

Chief Vasquez spoke with CBS Mornings earlier today. Watch video below or at this link.

 

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CRIME

Mass Shooting Suspect Was Subdued by Patrons at Colorado LGBTQ Club Where 5 People Were Killed: Police

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A man entered the LGBTQ nightclub Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, just minutes before midnight on Saturday and “immediately” began shooting before patrons bravely intervened to subdue him, police said at a Sunday morning press conference. Five people were killed and at least 18 people were injured. It was the 601st mass shooting in America this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

FBI agents are already on scene, as is the U.S. Attorney for Colorado, Cole Finegan, who appeared at Sunday morning’s press conference promising “the person who did this” will be “brought to justice.”

District Attorney Michael Allen identified the suspect as Anderson Lee Aldrich, who is hospitalized but in custody, CNN reports. A police spokesperson reported the first 911 call came in at 11:56 PM local time, and within minutes police were on the scene at Club Q, and handcuffed the suspect within two minutes of arriving.

Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said they have not yet determined if the attack on the LGBTQ club was a hate crime, but did say two guns, including a long gun, were found on the scene.

An FBI agent said the mass shooting was being investigated through the “lens” of a possible hate crime.

MORE NEWS: Whistle-Blower Says SCOTUS Leaked 2014 Anti-Abortion Ruling to Religious Leaders Weeks Before It Was Made Public

Club Q was to host a drag queen Sunday brunch and observe Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is today. TDOR honors and memorializes transgender people who have been murdered in transphobic attacks.

“Let’s prep for a fantastic Sunday Funday!” the Club wrote on its Facebook page. Sunday evening the club was to have “an all stars cast of our freshest faces!” and said, “We’re celebrating Transgender Day of Remembrance with a variety of gender identities and performance styles!”

After the attack, on their Facebook page Club Q wrote they are “devastated by the senseless attack on our community. Our prays and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends. We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”

Colorado Governor Jared Polis, who is currently in COVID quarantine issued a statement saying, “The Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs was horrific, sickening, and devastating news to wake up to. My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured, and traumatized in this horrific shooting. I have spoken with Mayor Suthers and clarified that every state resource is available to local law enforcement in Colorado Springs. We are eternally grateful for the brave individuals who blocked the gunman, likely saving lives in the process, and for the first responders who responded swiftly to this horrific shooting. Colorado stands with our LGTBQ Community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn.”

MORE NEWS: Elie Mystal Explodes on ‘Idiot’ Merrick Garland With 3 Basic Facts Attacking ‘Self-Serving’ Special Counsel Appointment

Researcher and political scientist Jay Ulfelder noted Sunday, “Since early 2021, the right has increasingly mobilized against the queer community, with drag shows being a particular focal point.”

Just hours after the mass shooting the anti-LGBTQ right-wing extremist social media account Libs of TikTok tweeted a post about a Colorado Springs organization that it says “teaches kids how to become drag queens and helps kids ‘safely experience the art of drag on stage.'”

In June the Twitter account of Libs of TikTok was temporarily “locked” over a thread attacking drag shows that allow children, claiming they “sexualize children.”

In August NPR reported that Libs of TikTok has “gained prominence and influence in right-wing circles over the last year as conservatives increasingly try to use anti-LGBTQ sentiment to gain support.”

Democratic lawmakers across the country and other public figures are speaking out and offering condolences in the wake of the mass shooting.

 

 

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