House Ethics Committee investigators examining U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz and allegations he had sex with an underaged teenage girl have obtained the cooperation of the star witness in the U.S. Dept. of Justice's investigation into the Florida Republican Congressman.
A lawyer for Joel Greenberg, the former close friend and "confidant" who Gaetz once described as his "wingman," says his client "has and will cooperate with any congressional request," The New York Times reported Friday.
Attorney Fritz Scheller "said he provided documents to the committee related to claims Mr. Greenberg has made about Mr. Gaetz. Mr. Greenberg previously told federal investigators that he had witnessed Mr. Gaetz having sex with a 17-year-old girl," The Times noted.
Greenberg, a former Florida Republican tax collector who is now serving an 11-year sentence for "an array of crimes, including sex trafficking a minor," The Times reported in 2021, "had previously cooperated with a Justice Department investigation into whether Mr. Gaetz had engaged in sex trafficking of a minor, a federal offense that carries a minimum of 10 years in prison."
After sentencing, Greenberg’s own attorney chastised the Dept. of Justice, saying he was “disappointed” after all the evidence his client provided, that others were not prosecuted.
Greenberg “pleaded guilty ... to six of the 33 federal charges he was facing, including charges of stalking, identity theft, wire fraud, and conspiracy to bribe a public official, as well as one charge of sex trafficking,” ABC News reported at the time.
“Mr. Greenberg has told federal authorities that he witnessed Mr. Gaetz have sex with the 17-year-old girl and that she was paid," The New York Times reported in 2022. "In documents filed in connection with Mr. Greenberg’s sentencing, the Justice Department said he had ‘provided truthful and timely information’ that led to the charging of at least four other individuals and ‘provided substantial assistance on other matters’ that the government would address only in a sealed filing.”
Scheller, who was also Greenberg's attorney in 2022, had blasted DOJ in a memo, writing: “If the Government is so concerned with general deterrence, then why hasn’t it prosecuted the other individuals, including public figures, who were also involved in Greenberg’s offenses?”
“Perhaps the DOJ are master strategists far beyond the capabilities of the undersigned. Or perhaps the DOJ is like Nero fiddling away as Rome burns.”
Scheller also had told reporters, “I’m shocked – I am disappointed by a number of prosecutions that haven’t been brought.”
After pausing for a moment and saying he wanted to think about how he would answer a reporter’s question, Scheller said, “I think there’s a number of prosecutions that can be brought in the areas of the SBA fraud, the bribery and kickbacks, election fraud, and the sex cases.”
Watch Scheller's remarks from 2022 below or at this link.