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Matt Gaetz and the Privilege of Power

Rumors circulating about my opponents’ legal troubles point toward federal officials declining to prosecute alleged sex trafficker Matt Gaetz before the November 8 election.

The same story ran a year ago, published by disgraced former Politico reporter Marc Caputo, to keep Gaetz’ fundraising going while he was MIA.

According to the most recent reprint of this story, attorneys believe the victim, a teenage girl whom Gaetz likely paid for sex while she was still underage, and Joel Greenberg, convicted sex trafficker, have “credibility concerns.”

Simply put – the case against Gaetz in which the two witnesses – the victim and the accomplice – provide the key evidence may not be successful, those who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the Washington Post.

Even though they believe he is likely guilty of the charges, Gaetz’ lawyers could argue that the victim and former-friend-turned-informant have a “grudge” against the perpetrator.

No kidding. Victims usually hold “grudges” against those who hurt them. Greenberg ratted on Gaetz to lighten his sentence. Nothing personal about it.

Gaetz has already spent hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars on his criminal defense, hiring the same attorney Jeffery Epstein and other sex traffickers have used in the past. Using campaign dollars for criminal defense is a violation of federal law. Gaetz’ tried to circumvent the law by claiming he paid Epstein’s attorney for “consulting,” though whether charges will be filed for the violation remains to be seen.

Federal officials released a statement earlier this year saying they would not comment on whether they planned to indict Gaetz for sex trafficking minors until after the election, a policy enacted after 2016 to avoid any perceived interference of investigations with federal elections.

We live in a country where justice weighs heavily on those without power, money or connections, while those entrusted with preserving our democratic ideals seem to be above the law.

Compare the press around Matt Gaetz' documented crimes against the politically-motivated persecution I've endured at the hands of the state.

Attacking the credibility of victims is a vile tactic employed by rapists, abusers and criminals throughout time. The only evidence that should matter are the facts of the case.

There is no denying that Gaetz sent Greenberg $900 with a memo to “hit up [redacted victims name],” which Greenberg then immediately gave to three victims.

There is no denying that Greenberg is a convicted sex trafficker who was Gaetz’ self-professed “wingman” for years.

There is no denying that Gaetz and Greenberg harassed female colleagues while in office, including Anna Eskamani, who came forward last year with a voicemail both men left while intoxicated and on drugs.

There is no denying that Gaetz’ was the lone “nay” vote in Congress on a 2017 bill to crack down on human and sex trafficking, and voted “nay” again when the bill came up for renewal in 2022.

There is no denying Gaetz’ reputation for paying for sex, having sex with young men and women, and drug and alcohol abuse.

Making plea deals with convicted criminals to help capture other criminals happens every day in America – we don’t catch those at the top if those underneath them refuse to talk. Convicted criminals and those taking plea deals always have credibility issues, but the evidence they bring forward should be considered regardless of personal vendettas or personal history.

To deny justice to his victims – to deprive them of their day in court – would send a message to victims everywhere that even if you come forward, even if you tell the truth, even if you did everything right, powerful men will always get away with their crimes.

If being at the top means you are exempt from our laws, that victims never get their day in court and that justice is denied, then our system has failed.

We will keep faith that our justice system will not allow Gaetz – someone as lowly, sick and seemingly guilty of all he’s been accused of – to avoid accountability because of the office he holds.

And we plan to make sure he won’t hold that office for much longer.

We need to elect people who throw sex traffickers in prison as I did, not men like Gaetz who commit those crimes, vote against prosecuting those crime, and use their money and power to evade justice.

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While the rest of America moved forward Tuesday, Florida took a giant leap back. Words cannot express how shocked and disappointed we all have been to watch the election unfold in our beautiful state.

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