Text messages and Facebook messages obtained by ABC News show Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz’s wingman, Joel Greenberg, arranging meetings with women for himself and the congressman through “sugar daddy” websites.
Greenberg, who pleaded guilty in May to sex-trafficking of a minor and several other federal charges, reportedly has been cooperating with prosecutors. Investigators believe it was Greenberg who met women through online “sugar daddy” websites and then introduced the women to Gaetz, who also had sex with them.
According to ABC News, Greenberg “has provided investigators with years of Venmo and Cash App transactions and thousands of photos and videos, as well as access to personal social media accounts.”
In one of the text message exchanges obtained by the network, from 2018, Greenberg appeared to arrange payment for a woman and ask whether she took drugs.
“I have a friend flying in and we are trying to make plans for tonight. What are your plans for later.” Greenberg reportedly wrote to the woman, referring to Gaetz. “And how much of an allowance will you be requiring :)”
The woman responded by saying she had “a friend who introduced (her) to the website that (she) could bring,” adding that she typically charges “$400 per meet.”
Greenberg then sent the woman a photo of Gaetz taking a selfie with students at Pea Ridge Elementary and wrote, “My friend,” ABC News reports.
“Oooh my friend thinks he’s really cute!” the woman responded.
Greenberg told the woman that Gaetz was “down here only for the day,” and that “we work and and play hard.”
“Have you ever tried molly,” he wrote, referring to the drug MDMA.
The woman ask if Gaetz used the same website that he had used to meet her.
“He knows the deal :),” Greenberg responded, adding that he would book a “suite Downtown.”
In another Facebook message exchange, also from 2018, Greenberg organized a gathering involving Gaetz and women he had been paying for sex at the home of Jason Pirozzolo — the Florida hand doctor who is also a subject of the FBI’s sprawling probe — which he referred to as “our safe place.”
“You should come meet the group,” Greenberg wrote to an unidentified Florida media entrepreneur. “I think it would be a wise investment of time. You might already know Jason Pirrazolo … but I’d like for you to meet Congressman Matt Gaetz. Gaetz is a wild man, but great dude.”
Greenberg added that the gathering would include “6-7 chicks” and “just 3-4 guys.”
Gaetz has not been charged with any crime and has repeatedly denied allegations related to the ongoing federal probe.
In a statement to ABC News, Gaetz spokesman Harlan Hill said: “After months of media coverage, not one woman has come forward to accuse Rep. Gaetz of wrongdoing. Not even President Biden can say that. That others might invite people unbeknownst to a U.S. Congressman to functions he may or may not attend is the everyday life of a political figure. Your story references people the congressman doesn’t know, things he hasn’t done and messages he neither sent nor received. Rep. Gaetz addressed the debunked allegations against him — and their origin in an extortion plot — during his Firebrand podcast episode last week. People should download and watch.”
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Guilty on All Counts: Trump Organization Loses Big in Criminal Fraud Case
A jury has found thew crown jewel of Donald Trump’s real estate empire, The Trump Organization, guilty on all counts in a state criminal tax fraud case.
Calling it “a remarkable rebuke of the former president’s company and what prosecutors described as its ‘culture of fraud and deception,'” The New York Times reports the details include “conviction on all 17 counts.”
Charges include tax fraud, a scheme to defraud, and conspiracy and falsifying business records, but The Times says it is “hardly a death sentence for the Trump Organization.”
The Times adds the conviction comes “after more than a day of jury deliberations in State Supreme Court in Manhattan,” which “resulted from a long-running scheme in which the Trump Organization doled out off-the-books luxury perks to some executives: They received fancy apartments, leased Mercedes-Benzes, even private school tuition for relatives, none of which they paid taxes on.”
Donald Trump was not a defendant in the case, but the case will be front and center during his presidential run.
According to a press release from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, The Trump Organization and the Trump Payroll Corp. were convicted of the following charges:
- Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Criminal Tax Fraud in Third Degree, a class D felony, two counts
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, three counts
The Trump Corporation was also convicted of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony.
MSNBC reported the verdict on-air:
BREAKING: Trump Org. found guilty on all counts in a 15-year tax fraud scheme that prosecutors said was orchestrated by top executives at the company. https://t.co/MPjgQRmzjX pic.twitter.com/356LrhuK6u
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 6, 2022
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
Image via Shutterstock
15-Year Old Campaigning Door-to-Door for Raphael Warnock Shot Through Door– ‘No Indication’ Politically Motivated: Police
A 15-year old boy campaigning door-to-door for U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) was shot by a 42-year old man through the front door, according to Savannah Police who claim “there is no indication the shooting was politically motivated.”
The man was arrested after police responded to the shooting on Thursday around 5:35 PM, “and discovered a 15-year-old male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg.”
His injuries are not life threatening.
“According to the preliminary investigation, the teen was campaigning for Raphael Warnock for the upcoming run-off election when the incident occurred. While at the front door of one of the residences on Hartridge Street, the suspect fired a shot through the closed door, striking the teen,” according to the Savannah Police statement.
The 42-year old man “was booked into the Chatham County jail on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated battery.”
“I am saddened to learn about this incident,” said Sen. Warnock, who faces off against Herschel Walker in the U.S. Senate runoff Tuesday, as WSAV-TV reports. “I am praying for the victim and their family and wish them a full recovery.”
Watch the video from WSAV below or at this link.
In Trump’s ‘Special Master’ Appeal 2 of 3 Judges Are Ones He Appointed – and Both Previously Ruled Against Him
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.
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.
“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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