A banner reading “Tick Tock Matt Gaetz” was flown above a US District Court in Orlando, Florida as the GOP congressman’s ally Joel Greenberg pleaded guilty to sex trafficking a minor, among other charges, potentially aiding prosecutors in a related investigation involving the Republican lawmaker – a close ally of former president Donald Trump.
Greenberg appeared in court on Monday after admitting to introducing a “minor to other adult men, who engaged in commercial sex acts” with her, according to a plea agreement filed on 14 May. The other men were not named.
The former Seminole County tax collector also pleaded guilty to five other felonies, including aggravated identity theft and wire fraud, in addition to the trafficking charge, as part of an agreement to dismiss the other 27 counts against him.
In exchange, he has agreed to cooperate with the US Department of Justice “in the investigation and prosecutions of other persons, and to testify” in related proceedings.
In the event that he provides “substantial assistance” in those cases, he may be eligible for a more lenient prison sentence than what is outlined in federal sentencing guidelines, according to court documents.
Gaetz is reportedly the focus of a Justice Department investigation over an alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl, and whether he violated federal sex trafficking laws by allegedly paying her to travel with him.
In a speech in Ohio on Saturday, Mr Gaetz said he is “being falsely accused of exchanging money for naughty favors.”
We are flying this banner around the Orlando Federal Court where Matt Gaetz’s wingman Joel Greenberg is pleading guilty to sex charges. Tick Tock Matt Gaetz, time is running out ⏳. pic.twitter.com/gxdtPFcQPY
— Remove Ron (@RemoveRon) May 17, 2021