Friday, April 30, 2021

The Gaetz of Hell shall not prevail


So, per this Daily Beast story. sometime in late 2020 and early 2021 the former tax collector of Seminole County, Florida, Mr. Joel Greenberg, in a series of text messages exchanged on the Signal app with presidential ratfucker Roger Stone detailing some of the crimes he'd committed, including crimes committed in concert with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), for he would like to purchase a presidential pardon, for $250,000, if Mr. Stone was agreeable, in unmarked bills (well, in Bitcoin):

“From time to time, gas money or gifts, rent or partial tuition payments were made to several of these girls, including the individual who was not yet 18. I did see the acts occur firsthand and Venmo transactions, Cash App or other payments were made to these girls on behalf of the Congressman.”...

“If I get you $250k in Bitcoin would that help or is this not a financial matter,” Greenberg wrote to Stone, one message shows.

“I understand all of this and have taken it into consideration,” Stone replied. “I will know more in the next 24 hours I cannot push too hard because of the nonsense surrounding pardons.”

“I hope you are prepared to wire me $250,000 because I am feeling confident,” Stone wrote to Greenberg on Jan. 13.

Messages sent with Signal can be set to disappear after 24 hours, and Mr. Greenberg did, but took screenshots of them, as illustrated. He also composed several drafts of his confession letter, one of them handwritten, which Daily Beast got a handwriting expert to authenticate. He claims the 17-year-old had lied to him about her age, and he only learned about it later. He suggests he had been expecting Gaetz to get Trump to pardon him, and he and Stone can't understand why Gaetz won't help ("MG is like a son to POTUS... One conversation with POTUS and he can get this done and it all goes away"), and seems not to recognize that he too is in serious trouble (if, it's implied, Greenberg follows the lawyers' advice and flips on him). The pardon definitely wasn't granted—Stone blames White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and also hints at opposition from Jared Kushner and Rudy Giuliani—but it's not impossible that Stone got his quarter of a million. Stone denies that.

I guess Gaetz is fried now, which is a pleasant thought. I don't suppose Stone is in a worse position than he was—we learned in December that it's legal to sell your good offices in wangling a presidential pardon. I keep hoping one of these cases will turn up Trump himself taking a cut, which certainly would be illegal, but this isn't the one. 

I don't really have much to say. I'm posting it because NPR and NYTimes haven't got the story yet (though Orlando Sentinel and CNN both posted stories this morning) and because it's just too much fun to participate in the frying. 

(Steve says Gaetz will escape any consequences and maybe primary Rubio.)

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