Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) could be charged as early as next month in a federal sex trafficking probe, according to sources.
The criminal probe has ramped up in recent weeks as investigators have started interviewing more women introduced to the Florida Republican through his friend Joel Greenberg, who pleaded guilty to sex trafficking, stalking, identity theft, wire fraud and conspiracy to bribe a public official, reported ABC News.
Greenberg is prepared to hand over evidence and testimony against Gaetz and others, sources told the network, and prosecutors could decide as soon as July whether to charge the congressman.
The former Seminole County tax collector admitted to sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl, who later went on to work in pornography, and introduced her to other "adult men," and a new round of target letters and subpoenas were sent out last month.
Investigators have recently turned their focus to contracts worth $1.5 million in taxpayer funds that Greenberg gave out through his former elected office, which an independent audit last year found to be unnecessary and wasteful.
'Apocalyptic': Former GOP lawmaker sounds alarm at lengths Republicans will go to win in the next election
Appearing on CNN on Friday morning, ex-Rep Denver Riggleman (R-VA) said new conspiracy theories being pushed by some of his former colleagues in Congress are pushing about the Jan 6th insurrection are just a taste of what is to come in future elections.
In a word, he called their efforts "Apocalyptic."
Speaking with "New Day" hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar, the former lawmaker -- who also spent time working with the NSA -- said he has been tracking comments by Republicans and watching the spread of social media platforms like Facebook.
"You told me that everything we just laid out there, particularly the false FBI stuff is akin to September 11th trutherism, just as dangerous but they're effective," host Berman began.
"It is very effective," the ex-GOP lawmaker replied. "I deployed to 911. we saw a lot of the 9/11 trutherism type of theories come out and when I saw the FBI thing from Tucker Carlson and DHS is now starting to be mentioned with the FBI and some of these conspiracy theories, it's out of the same playbook, that there's some kind of internal thing going on with the government, so obviously this isn't real. This is going out to the American people and specific groups and in this case they're going after MAGA."
"I did a search," he continued. "People say legitimate questions, we have to find out, when you see these types of things on Facebook and you do these searches -- this should scare the hell out of people. I think it will be used for 2022 and for fund-raising."
"What do Fox entertainers, some members of Congress, what do they get out of spreading this crap?" Berman pressed.
"You win your primary," Riggleman explained. "When you look at fund-raising and poll raising, you look across the spectrum, you see Marjorie Taylor Greene raising $3.2 million. It's even people in my district, they're automatically saying there are legitimate questions here, we have to answer these questions: 'was the FBI involved?" the base is believing this and you think that's how you win an election? the truth doesn't matter. that's why I've been screaming facts have to matter."
"This is very difficult because once it becomes a battle between good and evil, it's going to be almost apocalyptic," he added.
CNN 06 18 2021 06 08 01 youtu.be
CNN hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar on Friday took time to take apart seven conservative myths that have cropped up about the January 6th riots at the United States Capitol building.
First, Berman addressed the new talking point floated by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) that the rioters were merely taking a "tour" of the building when they entered.
He debunked this myth by showing a photo of Clyde himself rushing to set up a barricade on January 6th to keep the rioters from reaching Congress.
Keilar then debunked the myth that none of the rioters were armed, as federal prosecutors this week charged a MAGA rioter with bringing a semi-automatic weapon onto Capitol grounds.
Keilar also burned down the false claim that the riots were orchestrated by the FBI, which she noted was being spread of "Fox News B.S. ringmaster" Tucker Carlson.
"This conspiracy theory is based on references to unindicted co-conspirators in several indictments against Capitol rioters," she said. "Legal analysts, including our own Elie Honig... have called this legally impossible."
Other myths debunked by CNN were claims that the riot was a "peaceful protest," that rioters were secret antifa agents, that the rioters weren't really Trump supporters, and that former President Donald Trump will somehow soon be "reinstated" as president.
Watch the video below.
7 myths about the Capitol riots taken apart www.youtube.com
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