“President Trump should pardon Michael Flynn, he should pardon the Thanksgiving turkey, he should pardon everyone from himself, to his administration officials, to Joe Exotic if he has to,” Rep. Matt Gaetz told Fox in November, as he ranted about “bloodlust” by “the radical left” to take out anybody who supported the outgoing president.
Which hits just a little totally different in gentle of this previous week’s gusher of loopy tales a couple of federal investigation into potential sex trafficking of a minor by the Florida congressman. And now the New York Times is reporting that Gaetz “privately asked the White House for blanket pre-emptive pardons for himself and unidentified congressional allies for any crimes they may have committed” throughout the last weeks of the Trump administration.
In retrospect, he in all probability needs he hadn’t tweeted that any future scandal about him must be known as “Gaetzgate.”
“Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon,” the previous president stated this morning in one in every of his pretend Tweets. “It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him.”
Although the Times says that Gaetz approached “the White House,” what place staffers rejected the thought as setting a “bad precedent” — which isn’t precisely the identical factor.
And whereas the story notes that it was “unclear whether Mr. Gaetz or the White House knew at the time” that Gaetz was the topic of an FBI investigation into potential sex trafficking of a minor, Gaetz’s wingman Joel Greenberg was first indicted in June, so it’s a secure wager that the congressman felt the water rising by December when these pardon talks had been alleged to have taken place.
As for Greenberg, Politico has one other wild piece on the previous Seminole County tax collector and proud owner of the domain registration for OrlandoSugarDaddy-dot-com. Greenberg is presently staring down a 33-count indictment for inter alia identification theft, wire fraud, stalking, bribery of a public official, theft of presidency property, and sex trafficking a minor.
Politico studies that Greenberg is rumored to be speaking to the feds about his former buddy. If so, he’s in all probability acquired fairly a narrative to inform. And he’s not the one one.
Three Greenberg buddies — together with one who testified earlier than the federal grand jury investigation into Greenberg — informed POLITICO they personally heard him boast about his 2017 relationship with a then-17-year-old lady they declare went on to work in pornography.
She didn’t return a number of messages to POLITICO on her cellphone and social media accounts.
Greenberg’s buddies say he encountered the lady on SeekingArrangement. Gaetz wouldn’t focus on specifics of the case, however denies ever being on the web site or having sexual relations with the sufferer or any minor.
As a minor, this lady was clearly unable to provide consent, and her identification must be shielded because the sufferer of a sex crime. But if each reporter in DC and Florida already is aware of her title, the chances of this staying under wraps are principally zero.
It’s one thing to contemplate in gentle of the Times’ suggestion that “some Trump associates have speculated that Mr. Gaetz’s request for a group pardon was an attempt to camouflage his own potential criminal exposure.” As if nobody would discover his little sex crime drawback if he was marching arm and arm with half the Republican caucus.
Remember when President Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich was the most important scandal within the historical past of ever? Times have modified.
Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore what place she writes about legislation and politics.