Federal criminal investigations tend to move glacially slowly in the name of thoroughness, and they tend to operate in secret for as long as they realistically can. Just because the media gets word of an ongoing federal investigation, it doesn’t mean that investigation is going to suddenly move any more quickly.
Because of that, there’s not necessarily any reason to expect that Matt Gaetz will be indicted and arrested this week or even this month. Unless the Feds suspect that Gaetz is on the verge of committing even more crimes, they’d rather take their time and build the kind of overwhelmingly detailed criminal case that can all but guarantee a conviction.
All that said, Matt Gaetz is about to have a really bad week. Yes, it’ll be even worse for him than the devastatingly bad week that he just had. The thing about a federal criminal probe becoming public is that while it doesn’t necessarily force the Feds’ hand, it does tend to force the issue in terms of witnesses and people with evidence either going public or talking to the media.
We already saw some of this last week, with the New York Times getting ahold of receipts of digital cash payments that Gaetz allegedly paid in exchange for sex. Those receipts didn’t just get picked up by the wind and randomly land on a Times reporter’s desk. Someone involved in the Gaetz scandal, who had access to those receipts, gave them to the Times.
We’re likely to see a lot more of that kind of thing this upcoming week. If Matt Gaetz was indeed brazen and careless enough to leave a cash app trail, then he surely left a mountain of transactional evidence against himself out there. The people who have that kind of evidence will continue turning it over to the media. It’s just how these things work.
The big question this week is whether Matt Gaetz will promptly resign in order to get himself out of the daily spotlight, in the hope that the criminal probe will stop dominating the headlines. Gaetz insisted late last week that he wasn’t going to resign. But when people do resign, they always say that right up until the moment they resign. So we’ll see.
Gaetz will get indicted whenever he gets indicted. It would be foolish for any of us on the outside to try to guess the Feds’ timetable. But things will get far worse for Gaetz this week in the court of public opinion, which is what will help decide when his career will end.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report