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Matt Gaetz’s ‘Wingman’ Joel Greenberg Granted an Extra 4 Months to Cooperate With Federal Prosecutors

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Joel Greenberg, the former Florida Republican tax collector and longtime friend and “wingman” of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has been granted an additional four months to cooperate with federal prosecutors. Greenberg was scheduled to be sentenced on November 18, but as Politico reports that has now been pushed to March.

Greenberg in May pleaded guilty to six federal charges, including the sex trafficking of a minor, the same crime Congressman Gaetz reportedly is being investigated for, although he has not charged. Gaetz maintains he is innocent.

“Federal prosecutors are examining whether Gaetz and Greenberg paid underage girls and escorts or offered them gifts in exchange for sex,” the AP reported when Greenberg pleaded guilty in May. “Investigators have also been looking at whether Gaetz and his associates tried to secure government jobs for some of the women, the people said. They are also scrutinizing Gaetz’s connections to the medical marijuana sector, including whether his associates sought to influence legislation Gaetz sponsored.”

Monday night Politico reported prosecutors that day told a judge that “Mr. Greenberg was a prolific criminal,” and he “was not alone.”

“This is an unusual situation in the number of different investigations and lines of investigation we are pursuing,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg added, saying they wanted the extra time “because of the need to follow up on some of these leads.”

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CRIME

‘Bags and Bags’ of Money Found Stashed in Bathroom Wall at Joel Osteen’s Megachurch: Report

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A plumbing repair at televangelist Joel Osteen’s megachurch in Houston reportedly led to the discovery of “bags and bags” of cash and checks in a bathroom wall.

The discovery came several years after someone stole $600,000 in cash and checks from a safe at Osteen’s Lakewood Church, according to a report from KRPC Channel 2. The station suggested that whoever stole the money in 2014 may have hidden it in the bathroom wall.

A plumber named Justin, who works for a large contractor, told the station he got a call about a loose toilet at the church on Nov. 10.

“Justin said he started working on the toilet and had to remove the tile and insulation,” the station reports. “Once he removed the insulation, he discovered about 3,000 envelopes full of checks. Some had cash in it. Justin said he called the church’s maintenance supervisor and had to stay at the church for almost seven hours.”

READ MORE: Joel Osteen denounced as ‘grifting scumbag’ after his megachurch pockets millions in COVID-19 relief

Houston police investigators later questioned Justin and removed the rest of the wall, discovering “bags and bags” of money and checks.

“Justin said the church or HPD never thanked him or reached out to him about $25,000 reward money,” the station reported, referring to the reward that was offered following the 2014 theft. “Justin said he even called Crime Stoppers about reward money, but never heard back. He even tried reaching out to Joel Osteen but hasn’t heard back.”

A representative from the church confirmed the discovery in a statement.

“Recently, while repair work was being done at Lakewood Church, an undisclosed amount of cash and checks were found,” the church representative said. “Lakewood immediately notified the Houston Police Department and is assisting them with their investigation. Lakewood has no further comment at this time.”

In 2014, Houston police said $200,000 in cash and $400,000 worth of checks were stolen from a safe at the church. At the time, the church said the stolen money represented funds that were contributed during one weekend of services.

Watch KPRC’s report below.

 

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CRIME

Jan 6 Committee to Vote on Criminal Referral of Uncooperative Trump DOJ Official Jeffrey Clark

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The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol has announced it will vote on holding Trump-era Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark in contempt.

“According to a report released last week by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, there is credible evidence that, while serving as an official at the Department of Justice, Mr. Clark was involved in efforts to interrupt the peaceful transfer of power. Mr. Clark proposed delivery of a letter to state legislators in Georgia and others encouraging to delay certification of election results. Moreover, he recommended holding a press conference announcing that the Department was investigating allegations of voter fraud despite the lack of evidence that such fraud was present. Both proposals were rejected by Department senior leadership for lacking a factual basis and being inconsistent with the Department’s institutional role,” the committee announced on October 13.

 

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CRIME

Marjorie Taylor Greene Wants to Award Congressional Gold Medal to Rittenhouse

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A new bill was introduced Tuesday by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to award Kyle Rittenhouse the Congressional Gold Medal for “protecting the community of Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) riot on August 25, 2020.”

Rittenhouse was acquitted last week of all charges, including intentional homicide, stemming from a fatal shooting that involved two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A third protester sustained injuries from the incident.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest honor Congress can award an individual or institution, but it’s unlikely to go anywhere as there are currently zero co-sponsors.

“Kyle Rittenhouse deserves to be remembered as a hero who defended his community, protected businesses, and acted lawfully in the face of lawlessness. I’m proud to file this legislation to award Kyle Rittenhouse a Congressional Gold Medal,” Greene said in a statement.

Not to be outdone, a spokesperson for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who has offered Rittenhouse an internship with his office, told The Washington Post in response to Greene’s bill, “We are concerned that awarding Kyle with a Congressional Gold Medal will give him a big head during the internship with our office.”

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