How Matt Gaetz got caught: Shocking texts reveal links to Joel Greenberg and expose request for duplicate IDs

Gaetz managed to secure a duplicate ID from Greenberg the texts reveal, leading investigators to Florida Congressman


                            How Matt Gaetz got caught: Shocking texts reveal links to Joel Greenberg and expose request for duplicate IDs
Matt Gaetz holds a phone to the microphone (Getty Images)
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Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz is currently under investigation for allegedly having sex with a minor. The investigation into him is part of a wider probe involving former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg. How Gaetz was roped into the investigation was a mystery, till now. Text exchanges between Greenberg and his employees reveal how Gaetz got himself involved in the probe, and it isn't looking good for him.

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Gaetz is under investigation by the Justice Department, with the Congressman denying that he had sex with a minor. He claims that the investigation was leaked by a former DoJ staffer, who extorted Gaetz for $25 million., Adding more fuel to the fire, Gaetz allegedly showed off images of nude women to coworkers in Congress. There are a lot of confusing threads to this story, and the plot only thickens with the latest reveal.

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The Daily Beast was the first to break the story when they got their hands on screenshots of text messages from Greenberg's phone. The texts show Greenberg using his tax collection agency to create fake IDs for Gaetz, which is illegal. Here's everything we know. 

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A selfie by Greenberg with Rep. Gaetz and Roger Stone. (Joel Greenberg via Twitter)

 

How Gaetz got involved

In 2018, Gaetz and Greenberg visited Greenberg's office in Lake Mary, Florida. After the late-night visit, Greenberg forgot to reset the alarm which the assistant branch manager noticed on Monday morning. The employee was also shocked to find the desk scattered with expired driver's licenses, instead of in the disposal basket as is routine. On reviewing the security footage, she alerted her boss who got in touch with Greenberg via text. It's unclear who the individual is that contacted Greenberg.

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"Did you happen to visit the Lake Mary Office on the weekend?" the person texts. Greenberg responds, "Yes I was showing congressman Gaetz what our operation looked like." He then adds a second text, "did I leave something on?" There are no further images of that conversation. A second conversation between Greenberg and a person named Amy has leaked, further detailing how Gaetz was involved. 

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On September 2, 2018, Greenberg texts, "Amy- is there anyway to assist one of our Congressmen in getting an emergency replacement ID or DL by Tuesday 2pm? His was lost yesterday and he’s got a flight Tuesday. Doesn’t have any other form of ID currently on him. Sorry to bother you on Sunday". It is unclear what Amy's first response is, but she follows up with two texts - "real ID compliant" and "who is it and what is his DOB". To that, Greenberg responds, "Yes, Congressman Matt Gaetz." This is followed up with two texts with Gaetz's date of birth and full name.

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Screenshots of texts sent by Greenberg showing Gaetz's connection. (Daily Beast)

 

It is unclear how Secret Service, who are investigating Greenberg, were directed to the texts. Daily Beast spoke to the source who provided the Service with the messages. The source says on learning of the conversations, the Service directed employees in January 2020 to print out the full conversation, using AT&T records. The records were then delivered to the Secret Service, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and an unnamed federal agency. 

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It is not known at this time why Gaetz wanted a duplicate ID,  but it could have something to do with the fact Greenberg allegedly makes fake IDs. Responding to the latest development, Gaetz has vehemently refused to resign. He reportedly told The Hill it is "very safe" to say he doesn't have any intention to quit. 

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