In a report on Gaetz ally Joel Greenberg’s WhatsApp messages with a friend just days before Greenberg was indicted on sex trafficking charges last year, Politico writes that the former Florida county tax collector pushed Rep. Matt Gaetz to seek a Trump pardon for him.
The Florida county tax collector was five days away from a federal indictment for sex trafficking involving a 17-year-old — the same one Gaetz is now being investigated over — so Greenberg reached out to mutual friends on Aug. 14 last year and tried to enlist them in his defense, according to a WhatsApp chat shared with federal investigators and obtained by POLITICO.
He fumed that the prosecutor should be fired. He suspected that a political consultant “was the rat here.” He fretted that investigators had combed through his Venmo cash app history, fearing it led them to the former teen at the center of the case.
Greenberg went so far as to push Gaetz to use his influence with Trump for a pardon, according to two sources familiar with the discussions, including one who heard Greenberg say it repeatedly.
Asked about the request from Greenberg, Gaetz previously declined to confirm or deny that it occurred. But the congressman said he did not ask Trump to pardon Greenberg. Gaetz couldn’t be reached this weekend to discuss the WhatsApp messages that are the subject of this story.
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