Just because the media coverage of the federal criminal investigation into Matt Gaetz has tapered off this month, that doesn’t have anything to do with the trajectory of the investigation itself. With two cooperating witnesses in hand, we’ve been fully expecting prosecutors to end up indicting Gaetz before much longer. Now there’s news on that front.
This morning ABC News reported that the Feds are now planning to make a charging decision about Gaetz in July – a month which begins just twelve days from now. To be clear, this kind of inside information doesn’t get picked up by a gust of wind and randomly land on a reporter’s desk. Prosecutors have clearly given this story to the media because they want it out there. But why?
For one thing, if the probe is this close to completion, then the Feds surely already know whether they have enough to indict Matt Gaetz. And if they were coming up short, if anything they’d be leaking about how their witnesses are falling apart, so as to lower expectations and reduce the public backlash for when they don’t charge Gaetz. Instead they’re playing up the help that cooperating witness Joel Greenberg has provided. In other words, prosecutors are letting it be known that they plan to indict Gaetz within weeks. But again, why put this out there now?
The ABC story reveals that Greenberg’s cooperation has allowed the investigation to expand to include a whole bunch of Central Florida political figures, and even mentions some by name. Prosecutors could easily be sending a signal to those individuals that if they want to flip on Gaetz and help make the case against him more bulletproof, they only have a very short period of time remaining to do so.
This ABC article could also be seen as prosecutors letting Matt Gaetz know that he has a very short window of time remaining if he wants to cut a deal. But given that he’s the biggest fish in the Central Florida political scandal, and that some of the crimes he’s accused of are rather heinous, the only way Gaetz could get any real leniency is if he flips on Donald Trump.
There is no known active federal criminal investigation into Donald Trump. But earlier this month we pointed out that the Feds happen to be criminally pursuing Gaetz, Rudy Giuliani, Victoria Toensing, and a handful of other Trump associates who would make ideal inside witnesses against Trump if they do flip on him. So that’s worth watching as well. But mainly today’s news feels like an final call for anyone who wants to flip on Gaetz before he’s indicted.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report