Legal experts, including former federal prosecutors, appear in agreement that U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is likely to be facing a good deal of trouble from the Dept. of Justice after an NBC News report reveals his ex-girlfriend testified before a grand jury in his ongoing sex trafficking probe Wednesday and is in talks for an immunity deal.
NBC News’ Marc Caputo reports this is “a major development that suggests the Department of Justice may be moving closer to indicting him.”
Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend “has been in talks for months with prosecutors about an immunity deal. Under a possible deal, she would avoid prosecution for obstruction of justice in return for testifying in the investigation into whether Gaetz in 2017 had sex with a 17-year-old female for money and whether months later he and others violated a federal law prohibiting people for paying for prostitutes overseas.”
Based on the NBC News report legal experts are saying it’s likely time is running out for Gaetz.
“Significant,” says former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, now an NBC News National Security Contributor. “Expect some public drama from Gaetz,” he warns.
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, the well-known NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst and law professor adds, “Matt Gaetz seems to be moving closer to being indicted-locking in the girlfriend’s testimony under oath before the grand jury is a critical step.”
Another former U.S. Attorney, Harry Litman, says “given what we know from [Gaetz’s] buddy [Joel] Greenberg about his MO,” the Florida Congressman’s ex-girlfriend “could provide very damning testimony.”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti is even more definitive.
“Prosecutors would not ‘lock in’ Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend’s testimony before the grand jury unless they were getting close to wrapping up their investigation and expected that investigation to result in an indictment,” Mariotti explains. Asked his estimation for an “ETA,” he responds:
I don’t know for sure. But prosecutors don’t want to have witnesses lock in their testimony if they’re still gathering other evidence. They want to make sure they can use all the evidence to refresh the witness’s memory in order to minimize inconsistencies or mistakes.
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) January 12, 2022
Attorney Aaron Parnas appears more convinced things are moving quickly: “This shows me that the timeline for indictment has likely sped up.”
Meanwhile, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen took something of a victory lap on reading the news:
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) January 12, 2022
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Insider Trading? Madison Cawthorn Implicated in ‘Pump-And-Dump Cryptocurrency Scheme’: Report
U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is being implicated by two well-known watchdog groups in what is being called a possible illegal insider trading “pump-and-dump cryptocurrency scheme.”
The right-wing Washington Examiner broke the story, reporting that the North Carolina Republican “may have violated federal insider trading laws.”
Cawthorn repeatedly appeared to promote a cryptocurrency’s “meme coin” called “Let’s Go Brandon,” a direct attack on President Joe Biden.
“On Dec. 29, the beleaguered North Carolina congressman posed at a party with James Koutoulas, a hedge fund manager and the ringleader” of the LGB cryptocurrency coin, The Examiner reports.
“LGB legends. … Tomorrow we go to the moon!” Cawthorn, who has stated publicly he owns the cryptocurrency, posted on Instagram in response to the picture posted on Koutoulas’s Instagram page.
The next day, LGBCoin did exactly as the lawmaker predicted.
“This looks really, really bad,” Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette told The Examiner. Hedtler-Gaudette is the government affairs manager for the federal watchdog group Project on Government Oversight (POGO). “This does look like a classic case of you got some insider information and acting on that information. And that’s illegal.”
Another watchdog group says Cawthorn may have committed an illegal act that could land him in jail.
“Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, said if Cawthorn purchased LGBCoin before Dec. 30 with nonpublic knowledge of the cryptocurrency’s pending deal with Brown, that would constitute insider trading, a federal crime that can involve prison time,” The Examiner adds.
Here are a few of the appearances Cawthorn and Koutoulas made together:
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Amazing to see Patriots like this shouting us out!@jameskoutoulas and @CawthornforNC going strong at this weekend American Freedom Tour event in Fort Lauderdale!#letsgo #AFT #Freedom pic.twitter.com/jhtXP8nXjt
— LetsGo Brandon (@LetsGo) March 22, 2022
— James Koutoulas (@jameskoutoulas) December 5, 2021
‘Now, I Understand’: Parents Outraged After Shootout During Kids Baseball Game Leaves Children ‘Traumatized’ (Video)
Parents in North Charleston, South Carolina are outraged after a gunfight during a children’s baseball game Monday night sent young players running for their lives. One parent says he heard between 50 and 75 shots. Police say no children were reported physically injured, but the emotional toll is already evident.
“Now, I understand we could walk down the street, something could happen. We could be at church, something can happen. One-hundred percent understand that,” Lori Ferguson told WCSC. “My kids asked me where the police were to protect them. They didn’t want to take a shower, in our own home, because now they’re traumatized by what happened tonight.”
She is also angered because although police came to the scene of the gunfight she says they didn’t even ensure the children were unharmed. Ferguson says, “nobody ever came and checked like, ‘Hey, are these kids okay?’”
Describing what happened, Ferguson says, “all of a sudden, boom, boom, and ‘Get down, everybody, get down!’ And you’re at a park. My kids are not with me directly and you just see everybody scattering,” she said. “And my son’s on the pitcher mound by himself and it was just the most traumatic thing as a mother, as a citizen of this city, that you just feel helpless. I felt completely helpless.”
Police spokesman Harve Jacobs issued a statement saying North Charleston Police are actively investigating and promised to “do everything in their power to locate and arrest the individuals involved in this heinous and reckless act.”
“Witnesses indicated that multiple vehicles pulled into the parking lot, where a physical altercation took place, followed by dozens of gunshots,” Jacobs said. “Several youth baseball games were underway when this incident occurred. This incident tonight had nothing to do with the Park, youth athletes, parents or coaches. Thankfully no injuries were reported.”
But rather than address the core problem, police say they “planned to meet Tuesday morning with city recreation staff to formulate a safety plan ‘to ensure that our city’s youth can feel safe when playing on our parks and playgrounds.’”
Responding to the shooting Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts said: “This shooting at a children’s baseball game in Charleston, South Carolina, isn’t an anomaly. This is America’s new normal, enabled by greedy gun lobbyists and lawmaker allies. And if they have their way, no one will be safe anywhere.”
BREAKING: Dozens of gunshots send children scrambling for cover during little league baseball game in N. Charleston
— ABC News 4 (@ABCNews4) April 26, 2022
UPDATE – 11:18 AM ET
Hillary Clinton weighs in:
Republican state legislators and governors could be a part of the solution to stop gun violence. But they’d rather sell out children’s safety for campaign contributions from the gun lobby. https://t.co/ANsPdvZlHP
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 26, 2022
Homophobic Passenger Faces Up to 20 Years After Allegedly Throwing Anti-Gay Slurs and a Phone at Flight Attendant: Report
First-class passenger Christopher Alexander Morgan was arrested at the end of a Delta flight after allegedly using anti-gay slurs against a flight attendant, refusing to follow directions, and throwing a glass of ice and an onboard telephone at the crew member.
Morgan called the flight attendant a “fag” and a “queer.”
He “said the flight attendant was homosexual and that this made him uncomfortable,” The Daily Beast reports, citing an affidavit that also “says Morgan admitted becoming angry at being denied another drink.”
Morgan was arrested on April 22 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. He is facing charges of interference with flight crew members or attendants, which can lead to up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
He “reclined his seat all the way back and refused to put on his seatbelt,” at takeoff, then later ordered an alcoholic beverage. When he wanted a second the flight attendant suggested a non-alcoholic drink instead, which “angered” him.
“Morgan said that he is homophobic and that it is possible he could have been intimidating to the flight attendants,” the affidavit concludes. “He said that his homophobia may have caused his temper towards the flight attendant to escalate and he admitted that he called H.D. a queer.”
Morgan denied the physical assault.
Another flight attendant guarded the cockpit door for the remainder of the flight, “out of security concerns for the flight crew,” says the affidavit.
Some weighed in on the disturbing report:
Beligerant drunk, Christopher Alexander Morgan, said the flight attendant was homosexual and that this made him uncomfortable.
We are seconds away from bigots with anger issues claiming it’s their “Religious Freedom” to assault gay people.
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) April 25, 2022
Can anyone guess how he voted in 2016 & 2020?
— G David Bilbrey (@GOOFY1946) April 25, 2022
This is part of the hate that has been unleashed by right-wing conservative “Christian” political rhetoric against my community. https://t.co/avZiXrqDre
— ????? ???? (@LanceUSA70) April 25, 2022
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