Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) listens during a committee hearing

Matt Gaetz’s “Wingman” Joel Greenberg Allegedly Wrote a Full Confession Letter

GaetzGate continues.

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Things have been awfully quiet on the Matt Gaetz front lately. Last we checked in, the Florida representative was still being investigated by the Department of Justice for allegedly having sex with and trafficking an underage girl. His Venmo history supported claims that he’d paid multiple of-age but very young women for sex, using his huge mess of a friend Joel Greenberg as a go-between.

We also learned that Gaetz has been accused of being an absolute nightmare of a creep, with alleged workplace behaviors ranging from showing colleagues nude pictures and videos of women he’s slept with to making a contest out of trying to sleep with staffers, married colleagues, and others.

Gaetz’s alleged illegal activities (and the subsequent revelation of the depths of his creepiness) came out as part of a larger investigation into Greenberg’s many, many alleged felonies, for which he’s already been indicted. It was suspected that Greenberg was looking to turn on Gaetz in order to make a deal with federal prosecutors.

According to a confession letter and text messages obtained by the Daily Beast, Greenberg was in fact working to make a deal, but it wasn’t with the DOJ. It was with longtime Trump ally/real-life Batman villain Roger Stone.

The texts show that Stone was trying to help Greenberg obtain a pardon from Donald Trump, who was then still in office. In addition to being friends, Greenberg also offered to pay Stone $250,000 for his help.

“Today is the day. We will know by the end of the day,” Stone texted on the morning of January 13th—one week after the Capitol riot and one week before Trump’s term ended. “I hope you are prepared to wire me $250,000 because I am feeling confident.”

(Stone, by the way, denied to the Daily Beast that he tried to help Greenberg get a pardon and said he never requested or received money from him.)

Greenberg clearly did not get that pardon and in the texts with Stone, both of the men express frustration and confusion over Gaetz’s (whom they refer to as Matt or MG throughout) refusal to get involved.

“One conversation with POTUS and he can get this done and it all goes away,” Greenberg wrote, noting that Gaetz was like a “son” to Trump.

Greenberg told Stone that his former lawyers knew everything and thought Gaetz was going to get involved.

“My lawyers that I fired, know the whole story about MG’s involvement. They know he paid me to pay the girls and that he and I both had sex with the girl who was underage. So naturally they think that is my golden ticket,” one text reads.

Not only did Gaetz not help Greenberg but in a January 30th text (after Trump left office and was therefore unable to issue any more pardons), Stone told Greenberg that Gaetz “actually told me not to help you.”

Stone wrote in one text that he was confused why Gaetz wasn’t helping but that he also knew the congressman would be “potentially damaged if the matter goes forward.”

Stone was obviously right about that. Gaetz didn’t help his friend and he’s still been outed for his alleged crimes.

In the texts and in the ultimately pointless confession letter Greenberg wrote (of which the Daily Beast obtained multiple drafts), he says that one of the many young women that the two allegedly paid in exchange for sex was 17, although he claims they weren’t aware of that fact and that when they found out, they “confronted” her, she “apologized,” and the men cut off contact … until shortly after she turned 18.

The issue with Gaetz is not that he allegedly paid for sex. It’s that one of the dozens of very young women he is accused of having paid for sex was actually a child, and he absolutely should be prosecuted for that. That he and Greenberg made that child apologize to them for their alleged sexual relationship is abhorrent.

And Gaetz’s alleged habit of paying teenagers (even those who are legally of age) for sex is entirely indicative of the other sleazy behaviors we’ve heard about from his colleagues—his disrespect for women and his efforts to exploit power imbalances.

Despite his alleged crimes and his alleged non-criminal misconduct, there’s still no plan to launch an investigation by the House Judiciary Committee—which, by the way, Matt Gaetz serves on.

(via The Daily Beast, image: Drew Angerer/GettyImages)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.