Earlier today Joe Ellicott, a right wing political pundit in Florida, pleaded guilty on multiple charges – and his attorney confirmed that Ellicott has been cooperating against Matt Gaetz. This now gives the DOJ three cooperating witnesses against Gaetz – Ellicott, Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend, and Joel Greenberg – meaning they can corroborate each other’s testimony at trial. The news felt like the final nail in the coffin in terms of taking Gaetz down. The only remaining question was what they’ve specifically got Gaetz nailed on. Now that answer is starting to become more clear.
The Daily Beast is reporting tonight that after Gaetz and Joel Greenberg each paid a young woman for sex, Greenberg learned that she was in fact an underage seventeen year old girl. Greenberg then called Gaetz on the phone and informed him of this – while Ellicott was in Greenberg’s office. This matters because it means that Ellicott can confirm Greenberg’s version of the story, meaning a trial jury won’t have to merely take a confessed underage sex trafficker like Greenberg at his word when he testifies.
According to the Daily Beast’s reporting tonight, while Gaetz did cease having sex with the underage girl once he learned she was underage, he did resume paying her for sex shortly after she turned eighteen. So much for remorse.
Keep in mind that the DOJ has already charged Joel Greenberg with underage sex trafficking, for doing the same thing that Matt Gaetz is alleged to have done. So it now seems likely that the DOJ will indeed indict Gaetz not just on ancillary charges such as prostitution or obstruction of justice, but also with underage sex trafficking. Gaetz still insists it never happened. But if he goes to trial, he’ll be up against multiple cooperating witnesses who insist it did.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report