When Matt Gaetz went on a national tour this month, some took it as a sign that he was somehow magically going to escape the federal criminal investigation that was closing in on him. After all, the defeatist logic went, Gaetz wouldn’t be out there strutting on stage like that unless he knew he was magically going to get off the hook.
Of course nothing works that way, which is why that kind of defeatist logic nearly always results in predictions and interpretations that prove to be wildly incorrect. If anything, Gaetz was either trying to prove to himself that he was somehow not in trouble, or if he did understand what was coming, he was looking for one last hurrah while raising money on tour for his criminal defense.
We now know that because the Feds went ahead and gave Joel Greenberg a plea deal, even though he’s a confessed underage sex trafficker. Prosecutors don’t give a scumbag like that a cooperating plea deal unless they know for certain that the scumbag has the goods on other, more important scumbags. The kicker is that all along, Gaetz knew precisely how much dirt Greenberg had on him, even though we didn’t. So Gaetz presumably knew that Greenberg had enough on him to qualify for a deal. Yet Gaetz went on tour anyway, knowing this day was coming, and coming soon.
Here is Matt Gaetz’s last tweet before the Greenberg deal was formally announced: “People are saying the Strongsville GOP has never sold more tickets to an event in its history. Join me in Ohio Saturday!”
Gaetz should be hunkered down with the best lawyers he can afford, focusing on a criminal defense strategy that just might convince a trial jury of reasonable doubt, or figuring out how he can try to flip on even bigger fish. Instead he’s in Strongsville, Ohio, trying to convince us – or himself – that none of this is happening to him. Matt Gaetz is in the weeds.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report