New Evidence Shows Matt Gaetz Might Be Skeezier Than We Thought

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Pocket
WhatsApp
New Evidence Shows Matt Gaetz Might Be Skeezier Than We Thought

Matt Gaetz isn’t having a great week. It just got worse.

The House Ethics Committee, which is investigating Gaetz for illegal drug use as a member of Congress, received a sworn statement alleging that Gaetz attended a 2017 party in Florida where cocaine and MDMA use occurred, ABC News reported Friday. The statement also alleges that the girl at the center of a Department of Justice investigation into Gaetz attended the party and was seen naked.

The Justice Department began investigating Gaetz in 2020 over allegations that the Florida representative had paid a convicted sex trafficker to have sex with the girl, who was 17 at the time. It concluded the probe in 2023 and declined to charge Gaetz.

Gaetz has denied using drugs as a member of Congress. But, according to Oklahoma Senator Markwayne Mullin, he has bragged to co-workers about taking erectile dysfunction medicine–energy cocktails to “go all night.” He also allegedly, while standing on the House floor, showed colleagues nude photos and videos of women he had slept with.

The Florida Republican made headlines earlier this week after he and Wisconsin Representative Derrick Van Orden traded insults amid House GOP chaos over foreign aid packages. He also drew the ire of another colleague, New York Representative Mike Lawler, who on Thursday charged him and his “seven useful idiots” with sowing division in the Republican caucus by moving to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

McCarthy, for his part, has pointed to his refusal to shut down the ethics investigation into Gaetz as the motivation behind Gaetz’s October motion to vacate. Gaetz has admitted as much privately.

Whatever the ethics probe turns up, it’s clear that his colleagues in the House are sick of him.

Read more about Matt Gaetz:

Trump Media & Technology Group CEO Devin Nunes got told off Friday for his company’s terrible stock performance in a blistering statement that puts Donald Trump’s angry Truth Social barbs to shame. 

Nunes, a former congressman who helms Trump’s social media venture, wrote a letter to the CEO of NASDAQ, Adena Friedman, asking her to prevent “naked short selling,” a technique used to try to benefit from an asset declining in value. Nunes asked Friedman to make sure trading firms disclose whether they are short-selling $DJT stock.

Truth Social’s stock value has plummeted since it debuted on the stock market a few weeks ago. As of Friday, it is worth about $35 a share, half of its initial price.

Citadel Securities, one of the firms named in the letter, had some choice words in response to Nunes’s complaint.   

“Devin Nunes is the proverbial loser who tries to blame ‘naked short selling’ for his falling stock price. Nunes is exactly the type of person Donald Trump would have fired on The Apprentice. If he worked for Citadel Securities, we would fire him, as ability and integrity are at the center of everything we do,” the firm said in a statement, the likes of which is not usually heard on Wall Street. 

Screenshot of a tweet
Screenshot

Trump Media fired back with a statement of their own. 

“Citadel Securities, a corporate behemoth that has been fined and censured for an incredibly wide range of offenses including issues related to naked short selling, and is world famous for screwing over everyday retail investors at the behest of other corporations, is the last company on earth that should lecture anyone on ‘integrity,’” a spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal.

Naked short selling, an illegal practice, differs from conventional short selling, which is when traders borrow stock shares before selling them, hoping to profit later by buying back the stock at a lower price. In naked short selling, a trader never follows through on the promise to borrow. This can severely hurt a company’s stock price, and there is no shortage of people who would want to see Trump’s stock fail. 

But the former president’s social media venture might not need the help. While its stock price was slightly up today, it has plummeted since its initial public offering a few weeks ago, hurt by the news that two of its investors were arrested for insider trading as well as poor revenue numbers reported from its SEC filings. Trump is legally barred from selling any shares in Trump Media for six months without board approval, and who knows what the company will be worth by the time he decides to sell.

Read more about Trump’s media venture:

Donald Trump fired off an all-caps rant on Truth Social Friday about his presidential immunity Supreme Court case—despite sitting in the courtroom for his hush-money trial as the posts went up.

Trump complained bitterly about the importance of presidential immunity to protect sitting and former presidents, one of his go-to lines of argument as insists that he should be shielded from criminal prosecutions.

Screenshot of a tweet
Screenshot

Trump simply can’t stop posting, despite having been warned by the judge presiding over the trial to stay off his phone, both inside and outside the courtroom. And it’s starting to hurt his case: On Thursday, Judge Juan Merchan refused to provide Trump’s lawyers with a list of the prosecution’s first three witnesses. 

This isn’t the first time Trump’s account has mysteriously posted while the former president himself was indisposed. During his defamation trial in January, his account made 30 posts disparaging E. Jean Carroll while he sat in court without access to his phone.  

If it’s not Trump behind these morning social media screeds, then who is it? It may be Dan Scavino, former White House deputy chief of staff and current adviser to the Trump campaign. Scavino ghostwrote many of Trump’s tweets during his time as president, and even though Trump no longer posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, the two maintain a close relationship that may include sharing access to Trump’s social media accounts. Trump recently joked that Scavino “could say, ‘I don’t like you voters, I don’t like you at all. I’m fed up with you. I can’t stand you.’ And that’s the end of my political career.” 

Regardless of who’s actually doing the posting, Trump’s Truth Social account has gotten him in trouble in a number of courtrooms as of late. He’s been accused by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of violating a gag order against attacking witnesses in the hush-money trial. Like any seasoned poster, though, Trump (or whoever he shares his account with) keeps posting through it. Maybe he’s just trying to juice the stock

Read about the case Trump is more concerned with:

Before he was an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spent nearly 30 years working as a senior attorney for an environmental activist group. Now those former colleagues are urging voters to steer clear of the presidential candidate. 

Nearly 50 of Kennedy’s colleagues from his time at the Natural Resources Defense Council  have come out against his candidacy, taking out full-page newspaper ads expected to run over the weekend in six swing states, The New York Times reported Friday.

“A vote for RFK Jr. is a vote to destroy that progress and put Trump back in the White House,” says the ad, which will run in Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

The ad comes as several other national environmental organizations wrote an open letter criticizing Kennedy for his political turn. 

“Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is not an environmentalist. He is a dangerous conspiracy theorist and science denier whose agenda would be a disaster for our communities and the planet,” the letter states.

Former colleagues and mentors were even more blunt when speaking to the Times. Gina McCarthy, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama, slammed Kennedy as an environmentalist “no more.”

“He’s against science, he’s against vaccines, he talks jibber jabber on climate. I don’t know what he stands for,” she said.

John Hamilton Adams, who co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council and hired Kennedy to represent the group, said in a statement, “I mentored Bobby as a young environmentalist. I do not recognize the person he has become. His actions are a betrayal to our environment.”

In response, Kennedy told the Times that the environmental movement “is making a mistake to settle for crumbs that have been given to us by the Biden administration.”

In another blow, Joe Biden was endorsed by 15 members of the Kennedy family at a rally in Philadelphia Thursday, following a White House visit in March.

“We can say today, with no less urgency, that our rights and freedoms are once again in peril,” Kerry Kennedy, one of Robert Kennedy Jr.’s sisters, said. “That is why we all need to come together in a campaign that should unite not only Democrats but all Americans, including Republicans and independents, who believe in what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature.”

Kennedy’s candidacy seems to be serving Donald Trump and the Republican Party more than anything else. His donors skew heavily to the right, and pro-MAGA ideologues keep publicly praising him. While a fundraiser in Los Angeles for his campaign earlier this month was packed with environmentalists, fans of the Kennedy political dynasty, and wealthy New Age hippies, the pushback from his family and environmental colleagues could discourage those supporters.

Maybe RFK Jr. should have stuck to environmental law:

Donald Trump is finding campaigning for the 2024 presidential election more difficult than his last time around, and his criminal trial in Manhattan is a big reason why.

Jury selection began this week, which means that Trump is required to be in the courtroom. He’d much rather be out on the campaign trail fundraising, and as The Daily Beast reported Friday, it’s starting to have financial consequences.

The former president, accused of a hush-money scheme involving porn star Stormy Daniels, has already missed a major House GOP fundraiser in Texas because of the trial schedule, and will likely be forced to cancel on similar events for the same reason. His legal fees have driven him to all kinds of shady grifting, and Joe Biden continues to outraise him.

Trump’s campaign has attempted to bridge the donation gap by scheduling fundraisers in nearby states. Trump will use his weekend outside the courtroom to attend a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, and the campaign has scheduled another in New Jersey on May 11.

Media attention hasn’t been a problem for Trump, even as he spends most of the day in a courtroom. He’s been posting on Truth Social so frequently that the judge has asked him to put away his phone, and a campaign stunt at a bodega made headlines. But for any candidate, especially one as cash-strapped and with as much prior name recognition as Trump, funding is the lifeblood of a campaign. With the trial now scheduled to run longer than the originally planned two months, his money problems won’t be going away anytime soon.

More on Trump’s mandatory attendance:

In an unusual move, Judge Juan Merchan has refused to disclose the prosecution’s first three witnesses in advance to Donald Trump’s defense team in his hush money trial.

Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass revealed the move on Thursday, in response to a request from Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche. Steinglass pointed out how much Trump posts about possible witnesses and even jurors, which has already affected jury selection.

“I can’t fault them for that,” said Merchan, agreeing with Steinglass. Merchan is no stranger to Trump’s posting history, as Trump has attacked his daughter in previous weeks, resulting in a gag order. Trump’s defenders have also made the ludicrous claim that he has a constitutional right to attack witnesses and jurors.

Merchan’s decision is an unusual one, according to legal analyst ​and former prosecutor Renato Mariotti, who noted that it could be more effective than a fine.

Screenshot of a tweet
Screenshot

Trump is facing 34 felony charges after allegedly paying off adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election to cover up an alleged affair. The witness list in the case is said to include several of his former employees from the Trump organization, as well as his longtime White House aide Hope Hicks.

The witnesses who might have the most damaging testimony include Daniels herself, as well as Trump’s former fixer and attorney Michael Cohen, who allegedly made the payments on Trump’s behest. Cohen and Daniels have both been on the receiving end of Trump’s angry Truth Social posts, especially since trial proceedings began.

Read about the effects of Trump’s many posts:

House Republicans are still going at it amid their continued failure to unite behind foreign aid packages. The newest target? Matt Gaetz.

Gaetz, who yesterday bickered with Wisconsin Representative Derrick Van Orden after the latter pushed to vacate Speaker Mike Johnson over his surprising Ukraine reversal, now faces more criticism from his own party, this time from New York Representative Mike Lawler.

Speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper Thursday evening, Lawler did not hold back when asked about GOP infighting over the aid bills.

“I look at this very simply,” Lawler said. “In October, the House was thrown into chaos by Matt Gaetz and seven useful idiots that teamed up with him within the Republican conference and 208 Democrats. And at this moment, when you see what happened in the aftermath of vacating the chair and Israel attacked in a terrorist attack a week later, to do that again would be detrimental to the country and global security.”

The United States has an obligation as leader of the free world to support our allies at this most critical juncture and to make it clear to our adversaries that we will not tolerate their actions and what they have done to undermine and destabilize the free world. pic.twitter.com/9JUmccTb8x

— Congressman Mike Lawler (@RepMikeLawler) April 19, 2024

Lawler’s “useful idiots” comment is not even the first inter-Republican dig at a colleague’s intellect this week; Gaetz responded to Van Orden’s “tubby” comment by calling him “not a particularly intelligent individual.” It’s also not the first time Gaetz has been singled out as the GOP’s chief agent of chaos. Last week, former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, whom Gaetz helped oust, speculated about Gaetz’s motivations for the October motion to vacate.

Johnson has looked overmatched as speaker, unable to control a caucus held hostage by hard-liners like Gaetz, who has not yet called for Johnson’s ouster, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has. As a result, he hasn’t just failed to get aid packages through Congress; he’s allowing intraparty feuds between pro-aid members like Lawler and holdouts to fester.

Read more about Republican infighting:

Donald Trump is not known for restraint when it comes to social media, particularly regarding people he doesn’t like. And when one of his lawyers tried to deny it during his hush-money trial Thursday, the judge called him out.

Prosecutors warned Judge Juan Merchan that the former president would likely attack the prosecution’s witnesses against him during the trial, noting he appears to have violated his gag order seven times since the start of the week. Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche tried to promise his client would stop posting like that on social media, but Merchan saw right through it.

“That he will not tweet about any witness? I don’t think that you can make that representation,” Merchan said.

Merchan has a lot of evidence to back up that stance: Trump repeatedly attacks his critics on social media, dating back to his days on Twitter (now X). His posts on Truth Social have resulted in multiple gag orders against him, and he’s already attacked the prosecution, Merchan, and Merchan’s daughter in this case. He even posted Wednesday night about a liberal jury conspiracy he heard on Fox News.

The witnesses against him will likely include his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, as well as adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who allegedly received the hush money payment. Trump and Cohen have a long history of animosity, and we all know Trump doesn’t ever hold a grudge for a long time.

Trump already has been told off by Merchan for talking out loud in court, and has to attend a contempt hearing next week for alleged gag order violations. And, regardless of what his former attorneys say, witness intimidation and criticizing Merchan’s daughter are not protected in the Constitution.

Judge Juan Merchan has reason to be concerned:

During jury selection at Donald Trump’s hush-money trial on Thursday, a potential juror was excused for making an apt comparison: The former president reminded him of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The man, who is originally from Italy, said it would be “hard to be fair and impartial” because of the similarities.

Berlusconi and Trump do have some things in common: Both were business professionals who went on to be elected to political office, and both faced (and continue to face) criticism for unethical business practices, both in and out of office.

The major difference, though, is that Berlusconi seems to have been far more successful politically, as well as financially. He served as prime minister in four different governments for nine years, and he was the third-wealthiest person in Italy with a net worth of $6.8 billion when he died in 2023. His holdings included real estate (like Trump), the largest media company in Italy, and the soccer club AC Milan.

Like Trump, Berlusconi was also in legal trouble due to his business activities, with a long list of charges including fraud, false accounting, soliciting prostitution, bribery, and defamation. Unsurprisingly, he called these charges “judicial persecution” and said the goal was “subverting the votes of the Italian people.”

Trump, however, has never been upfront about his net worth, remarking in the past that it changes based on his daily mood. Lately, though, it seems to be dropping.

So far, Trump has only been elected to office once, and he didn’t even win the popular vote. And while Trump’s legal cases have only just begun, he can’t pretend to have the wealth and influence that Berlusconi used to skirt any serious legal consequences, regardless of the Republican Party’s influence over the Supreme Court.

Trump keeps taking hits during jury selection:

House Republicans traded personal barbs on Thursday as disagreements over foreign aid packages to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan threaten to throw the caucus into further chaos.

During a morning huddle around Speaker Mike Johnson, who has struggled to rally his party around the aid bills, Wisconsin Representative Derrick Van Orden got in Florida Representative Matt Gaetz’s face and called him “tubby.” Van Orden later confirmed the insult.

“He felt like he should call me a squish, and I wanted to remind anybody who has not been in combat and held his friend’s hand as they died being shot by the enemy really doesn’t have any business calling someone else a squish. And so, in fact, I did call him tubby and I stand by that,” he said.

Later, on the steps of the Capitol, Gaetz fired back at his Republican colleague who, along with Marjorie Taylor Greene, has called for a motion to remove Johnson from the speakership.

“The only thing I gleaned from [the exchange] is that Mr. Van Orden is not a particularly intelligent individual,” Gaetz said.

Gaetz led the charge in October to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, whom Johnson replaced. While Gaetz opposes the foreign aid packages, he has not called for Johnson’s ouster.

Johnson, physically and figuratively “surrounded by folks who have taken issue with his foreign aid plan,” reportedly “put his head in his hands and shook his head” on the House floor. The image sums up his brief time as speaker of the House. As for Gaetz, this is what he asked for.

Other Republican responses to the foreign aid package:

Read More

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Pocket
WhatsApp

Never miss any important news. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get notified about new articles