WhatsApp messages obtained by Politico show Joel Greenberg, the former "wingman" of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), in a state of panic after he was arrested last June on a host of criminal charges.
As Politico reports, the messages show that Greenberg was scrambling to figure out exactly what federal investigators knew about his allegedly illicit activities, including using his Venmo mobile payment account to pay for sex from a woman who at the time was 17 years old.
"I'm trying to let everyone know who came into contact with any of these girls that the feds are going through my Venmo history and don't want anyone to be caught off guard," Greenberg wrote to an unidentified friend in one message.
"Absolutely positively leave my name the f*ck out of any of this," the friend wrote in response. "I'm serious about this Joel."
Greenberg also told this friend that "everyone is going to need a lawyer" to deal with the repercussions of Greenberg's arrest, but the friend again pushed back and told him he had nothing to do with any of his schemes.
"I have nothing to do with any of this and think it is incredibly uncool you are trying to lawyer me up to be a part of it, Joel," he wrote.