After a couple weeks of nonstop headlines about the Matt Gaetz scandal, the new information coming out about it seems to have dried up a bit of late. Some folks out there will take this as a sign that the case against him has fallen apart, or that his scandal is going to be forgotten, or that – in the tired words of every fatalist out there – he’s “getting away with it all.”
But nothing works that way. Keep in mind that the federal criminal probe into Matt Gaetz has been going on in secret for months. What we witnessed on the outside of things was the media getting wind of the scandal, printing everything it could initially learn on the surface, and going a bit quiet while it digs deeper into the scandal and tries to learn more.
Meanwhile the Feds just made the big breakthrough they cared about, getting Gaetz’s associate Joel Greenberg to agree to cut a plea deal against him. So now the Feds will be tracking down all of the leads, evidence, and communications that Greenberg gives them about Gaetz – and again, that kind of thing plays out behind closed doors, except when the media finds a way to get wind of certain developments.
So if the publicly visible trail on Matt Gaetz goes cold for a bit, whether it ends up being a few days or a few weeks, it’s absolutely not a sign that the whole thing has gone away and that Gaetz is off the hook. Federal criminal investigations simply don’t work like that.
If anything, this is the relative calm before the storm. The avenues the Feds are investigating in the Matt Gaetz scandal are as varied as they are explosive. In the end, this whole thing is likely going to end up being far uglier than it has been up to this point. Federal probes don’t just go away, simply because they’ve disappeared from the headlines for stretch.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report