I haven’t run any of this down myself, but I’m throwing it out there/here because the truth is generally always worse with these guys than any of the rumors:
The story of how @mattgaetz became a target of the Trump justice department is even crazier and weirder than you can imagine.
It involves blockchain, blatant fraud by a local tax collector, and a scheme to steal people’s government ID.
This is NOT AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE. 2/ Northeast of Orlando in 2016, Seminole County replaced their tax collector with a 31-year-old friend of @mattgaetz named Joel Greenberg.
I know you think you saw corruption in the Trump era, but the things Greenberg is alleged to do will truly blow your mind. 3/ First, he went about blowing $1.9 million dollars in your money hiring the groomsmen from his wedding to work for him.
He then spent $384,000 of taxpayer money on body armor, guns, ammo, and a freaking drone.
Then he MANDATED that his pals had to wear guns at the office. 4/ Then @mattgaetz’s friend SET UP A BLOCKCHAIN COMPANY inside the taxpayer funded office.
A private blockchain company.
Then he spent $65,860 of taxpayer money on COMPUTER EQUIPMENT for the private blockchain company.
And wait. It gets better. 5/ HE LITERALLY SET THE OFFICE ON FIRE INSTALLING THE EQUIPMENT.
This is where it gets weird. 6/ Then, Greenberg had an opponent for tax collector. So, he ran a Gamergate style disinformation campaign against him with bots and sock puppets to get him smeared as a white supremacist.
Coincidentally, he’s good friends with Roger Stone who has a history of these tactics. 7/ He also started accusing his opponent of rape through sock puppet accounts.
This is where the FBI decides to get involved. They trace the IP address to his house and show up to arrest him. And you’ll never believe what they found. 8/ They find three fake IDs in his wallet, and materials to manufacture more in his office. Where did all this come from?
Well, as tax collector sometimes people would have to surrender their licenses to him. He would pretend to destroy them, and would turn them into fake IDs. 9/ The is where sex trafficking charges come into the picture.
In the midst of this investigation, they find out Greenberg had been using the state database to get information about girls from 14-17 years old.
He would target them, and then form “sugar daddy relationships.” 10/ He would literally use the state database to get their photos, their vehicle information.
After forming the “sugar daddy” relationship with these girls, he would give them gifts in exchange for “companionship.” Hmmmm. Interpret as you will. 11/ Anyway, the reason he was collecting all those IDs was to give the girls fake identification to traffic them across state lines.
He then turned it into an operation for commercial sex acts. 12/ He’s in jail now, thank God. And he was indicted again on these charges yesterday. (Reminder: Innocent until proven guilty. These are allegations.)
So, this brings us to @mattgaetz. In the course of investigating Greenberg, Congressman Gaetz came under scrutiny too. 13/ It was reported yesterday that Trump’s attorney general William Barr was so convinced of the credibility of the charges being brought against Matt Gaetz he started dodging any meeting where he would be present.
Presumably because Gaetz would pressure him to drop it. 14/ So what did Trump’s Justice Department find on Gaetz? At the center of the investigation was a 17-year-old girl Gaetz had a relationship with. She was reportedly trafficked across state lines.
These cases are frequently prosecuted and usually carry aggressive sentencing. 15/ This brings us to Nestor. The bizarre story of the child from Cuba who started living with Gaetz around the age of 12.
Gaetz says he is his son, yet no records show he is adopted. It’s a very disturbing overall picture.
Anyway. All this was reported by the @orlandosentinel. 16/ The case against Greenberg started with an allegation he was using sock puppets to accuse his opponent of rape. God only knows what they found on Gaetz to make William Barr continue prosecuting this case.
ETA: Here’s the Orlando Sentinel story this is all based on.