Legal experts declared Rep. Matt Gaetz "toast" after reports one of his close friends will be pleading guilty in his case involving sex trafficking and other crimes.
"Joel Greenberg, a central figure in the ongoing investigation into Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, is likely to strike a plea deal with federal prosecutors, his attorney and prosecutors said in court Thursday, potentially putting additional legal pressure on the congressman," CNN reported Thursday. "Greenberg's possible cooperation with the Justice Department could provide investigators with key details as they work to determine whether Gaetz broke sex trafficking or prostitution laws himself."
Greenberg lawyer Fritz Scheller told reporters his client was "uniquely situated."
"I'm sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today," Scheller said.
"A plea deal doesn't necessarily mean cooperation in the Joel Greenberg case, but if it does end up being a cooperation deal, that's very, very bad news for Matt Gaetz," former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers tweeted.
Others thought it likely that Greenberg was cooperating.
"Bad news for Matt Gaetz if, as it surely does, this signifies his buddy is going to testify against him," former U.S. Attorney and MSNBC legal analyst Joyce Vance tweeted.
"What to make of the Greenberg hearing? Hoo boy. I represented defendants and cooperators at hearings like this one for 20 years," CNN legal analyst Norm Eisen noted. "My takeaway: Gaetz is in deep, deep trouble."
"Toast" was a word used by LA Times legal affairs columnist Harry Litman and Harvard Law Prof. Laurence Tribe.
Why insult toast? https://t.co/Tb0hu1fYzr— Laurence Tribe (@Laurence Tribe)1617907032.0