The downfall of Matt Gaetz
Here’s some irony for you: Joel Greenberg’s decision to cut a cooperating plea deal against Matt Gaetz is probably the only reason Gaetz hasn’t been indicted yet. Yes, you read that correctly.
Prosecutors let it be known to ABC News last month that they were looking to indict Gaetz in July. Yes, we’re getting near the end of the month, and yes, we still expect it to happen in July, unless prosecutors float something different to the media this upcoming week. But they already surely have a compelling case built against Gaetz by now – and the only reason they’re still padding the case is that Greenberg gave them plenty of additional Gaetz angles to work with.
The Feds never like to bring a criminal case unless they’re overwhelmingly likely to get a conviction. The more evidence and charges they can tack on, the better. Unless the suspect is an imminent threat, they’re not interested in “hurrying” things if it’s going to reduce the odds of conviction. So yeah, you can probably thank Greenberg for his cooperation causing the Gaetz probe to drag on even longer – but you can also thank Greenberg for increasing the odds that Gaetz will end up convicted.
Of course those who don’t understand how the criminal justice system works are yelling more loudly than ever that Matt Gaetz has “gotten away with it all.” And this is understandable, given the media’s penchant for pushing the narrative that if something doesn’t happen by this time tomorrow, it’ll never happen.
But really, what has Gaetz “gotten away with” by seeing his arrest delayed a bit? He went on a weird victory tour, holding events around the country, which the defeatists pointed to as evidence that Gaetz is magically winning. But this week we all learned that Gaetz actually lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on that tour – which isn’t surprising, given that he set the whole thing up as an grandiose attempt at convincing himself he’s somehow not going to be arrested, rather than as a viable fundraiser.
If Matt Gaetz is this self defeatingly out of control, imagine how badly he’s managed to incriminate himself over the past couple months. There were reports earlier this year that he and his ex-girlfriend tried to tamper with a witness in the case. That ex-girlfriend is now cooperating against him. If Gaetz has been contacting witnesses, or trying to abuse his position in Congress to obtain information about the case against him, that’ll just result in more criminal charges against him when the time comes.
Yet still, the “Matt Gaetz has gotten away with it all because he hasn’t been arrested yet” narrative persists. Nevermind that another Trump flunky, Tom Barrack, was arrested this week for crimes that he allegedly committed a few years ago. You don’t have to agree with how the criminal justice system works. But it’s crucial to understand how it works – so you’re not left saying absurd things like “Gaetz hs gotten away with it all” at a time when he’s on the verge of being criminally indicted.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report