On Thursday, following the news that former Florida tax official Joel Greenberg had cut a plea deal in the case that led to the sex trafficking investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Florida attorney Dave Aronberg broke down why Gaetz could now be in serious trouble.
"This is devastating news for Matt Gaetz," said Aronberg. "Matt Gaetz's defense is number one, he has never paid for sex, number two, he has never had sex with an underage girl. Greenberg's testimony could totally destroy those defenses, especially if he has incriminating messages from Gaetz."
"When it comes to child sex trafficking, the laws are so broad, powerful, and the sentences are so harsh, so tough," said Aronberg. "And rightly so, because we're talking about a very serious crime. You don't even need to show sex with a minor. It's enough if Gaetz enticed a girl to have Greenberg. It's enough if he paid for the hotel room. It's enough if he provided her with the drug ecstasy. It's enough if he stood at the airport with a sign with her name and drove her to the hotel. Any of those things would be enough to charge and possibly convict Matt Gaetz of child sex trafficking."
"If he does cooperate, pleads guilty, fully cooperates, spills the beans, says everything he knows, the goal for him would be to get a reduced sentence?" said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "He would get a reduced sentence, right?"
"Correct. He would get a reduced sentence," said Aronberg. "And he would benefit from the fact that not only would he be the first one in the door, but also he is a local tax collector. He's not quite the big target as a member of Congress is. So, yeah, Matt Gaetz needs to switch to decaf. At any moment, a federal official could be knocking at his door with a pair of handcuffs. You know Matt has been losing a lot of sleep since Joel Greenberg was arrested last year. As the investigation has unraveled, you see more and more information. Greenberg is a walking crime machine. He's like the perfect person to flip, because he's facing up to life in prison. This is his only way out of it. And I think it is inevitable that he is going to flip against Matt."
Dave Aronberg on Joel Greenberg's plea deal youtu.be