Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat, has called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to remove Rep. Matt Gaetz from the House Judiciary Committee immediately over “an untenable conflict of interest.”
In his request, Lieu cited a report by the Daily Beast. The media outlet reported that a confession letter was allegedly written by Joel Greenberg that claims he and Gaetz paid for sex with multiple women including an underage teenage girl.
Dear @GOPLeader: Please remove Rep Matt Gaetz from the House Judiciary Committee immediately. The Committee has jurisdiction over the Department of Justice that is investigating Rep Gaetz, including allegedly for sex crimes with a minor. This is an untenable conflict of interest. https://t.co/H3ZzJYoCzs
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 30, 2021
The article includes portions of a confession letter that was allegedly written by Gaetz associate and former Florida politician Joel Greenberg. Greenberg was indicted back in August on charges of sex trafficking a minor.
“On more than one occasion, this individual was involved in sexual activities with several of the other girls, the congressman from Florida’s 1st Congressional District and myself,” a portion of the letter reads that references a 17-year-old girl.
“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,” the letter continues.
The Daily Beast reports that the confession letter was written by Greenberg after he spoke to Trump ally Roger Stone and asked for his help getting clemency from then-President Donald Trump.
Stone confirmed to the Daily Beast that he had Greenberg prepare “a document explaining his prosecution,” but he denies ever seeking a pardon on Greenberg’s behalf.
“I made no formal or informal effort in regard to a pardon for Mr. Greenberg,” Stone said. He then added that he had not requested or received “a penny” from Greenberg.
Stone’s comments appear to contradict screenshots of private messages obtained by the Daily Beast. The messages are from late 2020 and appear to show an exchange between Greenberg and Stone over an encrypted messaging app.
“If I get you $250k in Bitcoin would that help or is this not a financial matter,” Greenberg wrote to Stone, in one of the messages.
“I hope you are prepared to wire me $250,000 because I am feeling confident,” Stone later wrote back just days before Trump issued a wave of pardons and commutations for a long list of over 100 allies.
Greenberg reportedly wrote several drafts of the confession letter and they have been verified by a certified forensic document examiner and handwriting expert.
Greenberg describes in the letters his relationship with Gaetz and also confessed to paying young women for sex. He also claimed that Gaetz and others had sex with a minor.
“There was no further contact with this individual until after her 18th birthday,” Greenberg wrote in the handwritten draft of the confession letter.
Gaetz has not been criminally charged or accused of any wrongdoing by federal prosecutors. Gaetz has acknowledged that he is the subject of a probe, but denies having sex with a minor or paying anyone for sex. Gaetz has yet to comment on Lieu’s request.