The Daily Beast

The Creepy, Disturbing Case That Ensnared Matt Gaetz

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The reported underage sex investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has suddenly thrust a lesser-known—and even stranger—criminal case into national prominence.

According to The New York Times, the probe examining Gaetz’s alleged payment for a 17-year-old girl’s travel alongside him actually derived from a previous U.S. Justice Department case against a Florida man named Joel Greenberg.

It’s unclear how Greenberg first became associated with Gaetz. Both were rising stars in Florida’s Republican Party in 2016. They took turns on stage at Donald Trump’s campaign stop in Sanford, Florida, on Oct. 12, 2016. Gaetz publicly lent his support for Greenberg, cheering him as “a disrupter” who should run for Congress. And then there are the selfies they took together with political operative Roger Stone in 2017, at AIPAC in 2018, and at the White House in 2019.

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