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Republicans are starting to respond to questions from the press about Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and allegations that he was involved in a sex trafficking scandal with a former Republican tax collector.
In recent news, it was revealed that Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg has been cooperating with the Justice Department since last year on issues involving Gaetz. Greenberg has since agreed to plead guilty to charges against him, leading many to believe there was a plea agreement that involved Gaetz. Greenberg's lawyer made it clear, "I'm sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today."
In a Politico report Tuesday, Republican officials either dodged questions, denied knowing anything about the accusations or employed the "wait and see" approach.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), for example, was one Republican who dodged, saying that he didn't "want to be drawn into talking about that."
By contrast, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), pretended not to know anything about it, saying he must see "what the facts are" before he could comment. Yet, he made it clear he did know the details when he explained there haven't "been any formal DOJ action yet," then claimed, "obviously we're watching it close." So much for not knowing "what the facts are."
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) took the "I don't know," approach as well, according to questions from CNN's Manu Raju.
Marco Rubio told me “I don’t know anything about the case” when asked if he stands by fellow FL Republican, Matt Ga… https://t.co/dAXAE2c5xS— Manu Raju (@Manu Raju)1618354649.0
Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), on the other hand, is hedging his bets, calling the allegations "serious," but refusing to say what should happen to Gaetz if he is indicted. "We will deal with everything as they come."
But one of the most amusing came from an unnamed Republican asked by reporters to respond in the hallway.
"Who?" the lawmaker joked.
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former federal prosecutor Elie Honig called the new report that former Florida county tax collector Joel Greenberg is cooperating with the DOJ against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) since last year, "the worst news Gaetz can possibly get."
"Matt Gaetz is not able to claim this is some kind of witch hunt, although he started down that road," said Honig. "What happens when you interview a cooperator? Where can I find evidence to back you up? I am not going to take Joel Greenberg on his words. Where is the document or if there is e-mails?"
Honig also suggested the investigation will not take much longer to conclude.
"How long do these investigations take? Not weeks but also not years," said Honig. "If you do the math, and the reporting is cooperation started last year in 2020, usually a matter of months. Investigators have to gather this stuff up, but we are talking months here."
Elie Honig discusses implications of Joel Greenberg's cooperation against Matt Gaetz www.youtube.com
After harsh news in Matt Gaetz investigation critics say he'll 'go to prison long before Hillary ever will'
The New York Times and Orlando Sentinel revealed Tuesday that former tax collector Joel Greenberg was cooperating with the Justice Department in the ongoing investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
Gaetz has maintained that he is innocent of all allegations and that they are politically motivated. He has further said that he is being targeted by the Justice Department in an extortion plot around the allegations. Each time the scandal has been mentioned, Gaetz has used that scheme as an excuse. But in the past weeks, Americans learned that Gaetz gave money to Greenberg, who then gave it to three different women. The description for the money was "school" and "tuition." Gaetz hasn't explained why he was giving young women tuition money.
It prompted many to theorize that Gaetz will be done in the coming weeks and his resignation will come long before his next reelection. Only time will tell.
See the comments from folks below:
Why is Rep Matt Gaetz still on the House Judiciary Committee, which has oversight over the Department of Justice th… https://t.co/evBdjBojXJ— Ted Lieu (@Ted Lieu)1618353958.0
Long story short... Matt Gaetz will go to prison before Hillary ever will. Suck it MAGA.— 💀DeathMetalViking💀 (@💀DeathMetalViking💀)1618355817.0
Hey QAnon, why aren't you after Gaetz?
— David Gilchrist (@DavegFla) April 14, 2021
Matt Gaetz: I got myself into this, and I'll most likely will get myself even deeper into this.— 𝓛𝓪𝓾𝓻𝓪 '𝓜𝓪𝓭 𝓔𝔂𝓮' 𝓜𝓪𝓬𝓢𝓲𝓷𝓲𝓼𝓽𝓮𝓻 (@𝓛𝓪𝓾𝓻𝓪 '𝓜𝓪𝓭 𝓔𝔂𝓮' 𝓜𝓪𝓬𝓢𝓲𝓷𝓲𝓼𝓽𝓮𝓻)1618358725.0
Matt Gaetz has a minor problem.— Mike Dominy 👮🏻♂️🇺🇸 (@Mike Dominy 👮🏻♂️🇺🇸)1618358683.0
Wait...you're still tweeting your defense haha? Thought you'd be hiding out in a Pizza Parlor or something...
— DDG (@DDG97560547) April 14, 2021
In addition to Matt Gaetz and Florida Republican Joel Greenberg, there's at least one other unnamed Republican official involved in this sex trafficking ring. This is a scandal with boundaries that are still growing. And it's not going to stop with Matt Gaetz.
— Candour99 (@Candour99) April 14, 2021
Look at you. A scared troll behind a computer willing to talk. Such a big boy with big hair and soon to be big jail time.
— Tony Scampanelli (@tonyscampanelli) April 14, 2021
👏 snitches 👏 get 👏 a reduced sentence.
— Dr. Zeus (@CraigFr57755100) April 14, 2021
Can someone make a vaccine that protects you from Matt Gaetz— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch.com)1618353544.0
Indicted sex trafficking fraudster Joel Greenberg has been cooperating w/ the DOJ against seditious perv Matt Gaetz… https://t.co/TiumeFceFX— Ricky Davila (@Ricky Davila)1618355526.0
Joel Greenberg has been cooperating with the Department of Justice since last year, admitting that he and Matt Gaet… https://t.co/OeV7dA1Ra3— Lindy Li (@Lindy Li)1618359188.0
So Joel Greenberg ALREADY FLIPPED on @mattgaetz 🤭 Matty, your ONLY way to seeing the free world in your old age is… https://t.co/TdUQEudnfY— Jim Stewartson, QAnon Eliminator, #RIPQ 🇺🇸🏴☠️ (@Jim Stewartson, QAnon Eliminator, #RIPQ 🇺🇸🏴☠️)1618354801.0
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