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DODGED: Despite implications, Florida congressman escapes child sex-trafficking charges

DODGED: Despite implications, Florida congressman escapes child sex-trafficking charges

SWINE FEST: Women can't stop throwing drinks in Matt Gaetz's face

Despite being implicated by his alleged co-conspirator, who has been sentenced to 11 years in prison, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz will not be charged with child sex trafficking, the Department of Justice has decided.

Charging decisions are based on a number of factors, beyond mere evidence.

The public has already seen some of the evidence the Justice Department considered, including Venmo receipts said to implicate him in payments made to very young women.

Joel Greenberg, who pled guilty and was sentenced to 11 years for crimes including child sex trafficking, reportedly spilled his guts to prosecutors about co-conspirators, including Gaetz.

Initially, Gaetz himself tried to publicly combat the allegations, appearing on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show to tell a series of stories that fell far short of making him sound more innocent, including one in which he seemed to suggest that Carlson had met with someone connected to the case. (Clips at the end of this page.)

Since then, Gaetz has largely been quiet about the allegations, although he continues to deny them, and insist that the whole story came from a blackmail attempt.

Ultimately, it seems that concerns about whether a jury would believe Greenberg and other witnesses (including a radio DJ who agreed to testify) swayed the DOJ into a decision not to prosecute. From CNN:

“Senior [DOJ] officials reached out to lawyers for multiple witnesses on Wednesday…to inform them of the decision not to prosecute Gaetz…the final decision not to move forward with charges came from senior department officials.”

Venmo transactions Gaetz allegedly made to Greenberg became public in 2021, when the Daily Beast reported on them, along with memo lines attached to the transactions, asking Greenberg to contact one of the alleged victims.

Among other things, Gaetz was alleged to have transported a 17-year-old girl across state lines for the purposes of sex — also known as child sex trafficking.

In one carefully-worded statement to Carlson, he seemed to admit to most of this allegation, declaring that it’s perfectly legal to pay for travel and accommodations for someone you’re dating who is “of legal age.”

The questionable part comes in how one defines “of legal age” — while state laws on the age at which one can consent to sex with an adult (Gaetz will be 41 this year) vary, and a 17-year-old, for instance, may be over the age of consent in some states, it doesn’t change that paying for her to cross state lines could still fall under Federal sex trafficking statutes.

Unfortunately, without an indictment, neither prosecutors nor Gaetz will have a day in court to prove innocence or guilty.

Check out Gaetz’s attempts to do so in the court of Fox News Opinion below.

He even produces a new allegation against himself that hadn’t been made publicly at the time — that he was photographed with child prostitutes (the correct term being child sex abuse victims) — which he also denies.

Stephanie Bazzle
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

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