Gaetzgate Smoking Gun Uncovered
April 29, 2021 8:37 PM   Subscribe

The Daily Beast has obtained a confession letter that Joel Greenberg wrote after asking Roger Stone to help him obtain a pardon.
“My lawyers that I fired, know the whole story about MG’s involvement,” Greenberg wrote to Stone on Dec. 21. “They know he paid me to pay the girls and that he and I both had sex with the girl who was underage.”
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock (88 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
These guys are not the sharpest tools in the shed.
posted by medusa at 8:47 PM on April 29 [20 favorites]


Maybe for context I should make clear that this is appalling and criminal and disgusting, and I think I'm slightly in shock because my brain is just fixated on how stupid they are. So stupid.
posted by medusa at 8:56 PM on April 29 [22 favorites]


This story is so gross.
How many people SHE had put in danger? And they make HER apologize!?
The GALL of these imbeciles.

I'm also chuckling at the Bitcoin exchange. The way they quote it in the article makes it seem like Roger Stone is just pretending to know what Bitcoin is. "Yes I understand all of this."
posted by shesdeadimalive at 8:58 PM on April 29 [31 favorites]


I'm struggling to understand. In what world does it make any sense at all to hand Roger Stone, of all people, evidence he can use as leverage against you forever? I mean, yeah, "these aren't the brightest guys and things got out of hand," sure, but this is crazy enough to make me doubt the story.
posted by SPrintF at 9:10 PM on April 29 [10 favorites]


They are all creepy idiots who feel they are special.
posted by Windopaene at 9:13 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


Looking forward to seeing Roger Stone going down for being an accomplice to sex trafficking, as well as influence peddling.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:15 PM on April 29 [47 favorites]


The entire thing just seems really.. blatant.
posted by firstdaffodils at 9:22 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


The last few years should have taught literally everyone to never trust Roger Stone, however those same years have taught us just how many people are inexcusably, incalculably stupid.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:25 PM on April 29 [14 favorites]


the congressman "was equally shocked and disturbed by this revelation," and "no further contact" was sought "with this individual until" some months "after her 18th birthday,” when the congressman asked the tax bro to "hit" her "up" by nickname while wiring money. shocked and disturbed i tell you.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:33 PM on April 29 [22 favorites]


Post also needs a "bitcoin" tag for buying a pardon for buying underage sex.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:34 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


Roger Stone is clearly the living avatar of the concept of betrayal, just as Giuliani is the avatar of entropy and Miller of sterile fanaticism.
In other times people would build temples to them. The deep underground, filled with fungi and the sound of maddening flutes kind of temple.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:38 PM on April 29 [65 favorites]


also notable, among stone coms to greenberg: "I will have an answer by Saturday as to whether you have a viable shot for justice and how to go about it.”

a viable shot for justice. a month later: "I hope you are prepared to wire me $250,000 because I am feeling confident."
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:40 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


I am not Matt Gaetz’ lawyer, and this is in no way legal advice for Matt Gaetz, but for the life of me, I cannot understand why Matt Gaetz wasn’t on a plane a month ago.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:42 PM on April 29 [24 favorites]


I can't help but wonder how the women involved in this are faring. It's gross enough reading about these men, let alone being caught up in their awfulness.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 9:43 PM on April 29 [53 favorites]


Seeing Roger Stone pop up here in this role really made me take seriously the notion that his racket really is to collect damaging information and exert leverage that way. Perhaps even at the behest of Trump. It's really hard to explain why they're talk in this kind of detail otherwise.

Donald "Pee Tape" Trump. Maybe he really knows this business.

Bad to speculate without evidence, but heck, if I have to do that once per year, maybe now's the time.
posted by brambleboy at 9:47 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


So why isn't it being used as leverage?
posted by Sterros at 10:14 PM on April 29


HELLO LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY CRIMING AND CONSPIRACY TO CONCEAL MY CRIMING AND THE BRIBE WHICH YOU HAVE AGREED TO PERVERT THE COURSE OF JUSTICE FOR.
I WOULD LIKE A PARDON FOR ALL CRIMING ON THIS LIST PLEASE:
1) (a) (i) …
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:26 PM on April 29 [60 favorites]


Roger Stone has that ghastly Nixon tat on his back, and I'm starting to suspect he's got a Teflon skillet inked on his ass.

So, Stone was probably a client, same as Gaetz? But Stone had such pull with Trump and the Party that Greenberg groveled for his help in getting pardoned, too? Stone attempted extortion (“I will review it with them and give you a budget. This is very doable and the time is now,” Stone wrote, &, in January, "I hope you are prepared to wire me $250,000 because I am feeling confident”), without success, and now there's written documentation and screenshots of the whole criminal enterprise made public... on the same day Federal agents execute search warrants on Rudy Giuliani's Manhattan home and office (CNN).
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:27 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


It's so half-arsed, that's what gets me. There's not even any attempt at being clandestine about crimes. Even Silvio Berlusconi would be embarrassed by this kind of amateur hour taking-notes-on-a-criminal-conspiracy stuff
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 10:30 PM on April 29 [18 favorites]


The thing that won it for me was the taking screenshots of Signal messages. Chef’s kiss.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:37 PM on April 29 [53 favorites]


I briefly (briefly) felt a twinge for Gaetz when, gross as the entire story was, he maybe hadn’t meant to rape anyone. This was immediately undone by learning that he made approaches to the same woman again once she was of age. He’s gross and awful, he wants to sleep with underage women without getting in trouble, the ostensible party of morals continues to have no bottom, and that’s all there is to him.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:57 PM on April 29 [10 favorites]


Please tell me this finally gets that used heroin needle of a human being Roger Stone behind bars.
posted by darkstar at 11:02 PM on April 29 [11 favorites]


Miller of sterile fanaticism

Has Miller been sighted or heard from since Trump left the White House? He seems to have vanished off the face of the earth.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:06 AM on April 30 [3 favorites]


I used to wonder just how bad it could get if nativist culture-war grift politics were implemented by people with a full set of competencies, rather than the gappy profiles (culture-war emote A-, opsec D+) that have tried.

I still do wonder how bad it could get, but also I'm thinking that being an incompetent bozo seems a real pattern within U.S. nativist grifting. They just... have never had to get their shit together? Incompetent Russian mobsters would have been dead several plays ago, maybe?
posted by away for regrooving at 12:11 AM on April 30 [5 favorites]


He seems to have vanished off the face of the earth.

We can only hope.
posted by eviemath at 12:12 AM on April 30 [4 favorites]


he maybe hadn’t meant to rape anyone.

yeah, no, my money is on 'perfectly fine with rape.'
Guy not only 'is the kind of guy who' but literally was a guy who - showed pictures (naked?) of women he has had sex with to other members of congress on the floor of the House of Rep's. So, insert famous M.Angelou quote here, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."
posted by From Bklyn at 12:49 AM on April 30 [24 favorites]


Here's an archived version of yet another probably paywalled story, in case you really need to read the grubby deets on Tweedledum & Tweedledummer.
posted by chavenet at 1:06 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


he maybe hadn’t meant to rape anyone

While at the same time maybe he hadn't meant to not-rape anyone, either.
posted by rhizome at 1:16 AM on April 30 [12 favorites]


Please tell me this finally gets that used heroin needle of a human being Roger Stone behind bars.

Needles full of heroin have maybe a 1:1 evil:good ratio in history. Roger Stone is a human #DIV/0! error on that metric.
posted by benzenedream at 1:31 AM on April 30 [21 favorites]


Greenberg thought writing a confession and delivering it to the most morally bankrupt person on the planet was a good idea. Speechless.
posted by cmfletcher at 3:27 AM on April 30 [16 favorites]


You forgot the part where he explained in detail to the underage girl that he paid to have sex with him and his buddies just how much power she had over him.

Greenberg continued in the handwritten draft that he “confronted” the then-17-year-old and explained to her “how serious of a situation this was, how many people she put in danger.”
posted by rdr at 3:46 AM on April 30 [13 favorites]


Greenberg thought writing a confession and delivering it to the most morally bankrupt person on the planet was a good idea.

In his mind that morally bankrupt person was on his side, part of his tribe.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:35 AM on April 30 [4 favorites]


Selfies featuring Trump associates and/or Trump-adjacent associates never fail to amuse me. You'd think at some point they would have picked up on the idea that somebody whipping out the front-facing camera is a signal that they should run very fast.
posted by emelenjr at 5:14 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Miller has sadly failed to fade away. He’s a constant go to for tsking commentary on how badly the Biden administration is failing the American people. Supposedly he was asked about Biden’s speech, which I believe he called “dry and lifeless” and sadly he wasn’t talking about his state before he feeds on the blood of the innocent.

He was also front and center blaming Biden for children in detention centers, which, while its fucked that the cages are still there, holy fuck is that some bullshit, the architect of the whole thing trying to condemn the following administration for not having yet dismantled the framework you built yourself.

As ridiculous as it is that somehow, through all of their blatant incompetence, Giuliani, Stone, etc still walk the earth free men, Miller at least seems vaguely to understand the concept of never being the guy on the phone okaying criminal conduct. I have a sinking feeling we’re going to be stuck with him for a long damn time.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:15 AM on April 30 [18 favorites]


Miller of sterile fanaticism

Has Miller been sighted or heard from since Trump left the White House? He seems to have vanished off the face of the earth.
St. Miller of Sterile Fanaticism has in fact just resurfaced Cit[ing] MLK in Lawsuit Accusing Government of Being Racist to White People.

So... yaay?
posted by abulafa at 5:16 AM on April 30


I'm confused as to who the Daily Beast would have obtained all this stuff from. A leak from the Feds? Stone? Greenberg?
posted by jabah at 5:19 AM on April 30 [4 favorites]


I'm glad I've been binging The Wire again of late, because Clay Davis is the only frame of reference that can possibly help me understand Roger Stone's position/grift in all of this.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:31 AM on April 30 [8 favorites]


I don't know where they got it, but I hope for their sake that they've vetted the hell out of their source(s). There are a lot of powerful people who would like to see The Daily Beast go the way of Gawker and Dan Rather, and this all seems a bit too neat and obvious for my Spidey Sense.
posted by Optamystic at 5:31 AM on April 30 [3 favorites]


On the other hand, it seems to have been picked up by The Daily Mail and Orlando Sentinel. Make of that what you will.
posted by Optamystic at 5:46 AM on April 30


this all seems a bit too neat and obvious for my Spidey Sense

These are the same guys who were paying for at the least politically incriminating services, at worst illegal, using publicly posted and viewable Venmo transactions. The current allegations do seem to be quite solidly consistent with past behavior that has been verified by multiple reliable sources. These guys really are that dumb and/or recklessly entitled.
posted by eviemath at 5:46 AM on April 30 [10 favorites]


The entire thing just seems really.. blatant.

a.k.a. the NORM.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 5:48 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


Greenberg thought writing a confession and delivering it to the most morally bankrupt person on the planet was a good idea.

You have to understand that many of these far-right idiots genuinely believe the things they say are fake news are actually fake news. They are so self-righteous and paranoid that they literally think that NYTimes and other "left" media is out to get them and their friends.

A normal person who understands how ethical media works thinks the truth is so obvious that those who rail against the truth must be lying. That's not always the case.
posted by dobbs at 5:49 AM on April 30 [5 favorites]


There's not even any attempt at being clandestine about crimes

a.k.a. the NORM. (sorry)
posted by Dressed to Kill at 5:50 AM on April 30


he wants to sleep with underage women without getting in trouble

I'm always reminded of this bile-inducing quote from Polanski, because many many men agree:

If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… fucking, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls! - Roman Polanski

Which always follows in my mind with this quote from Andrea Dworkin, antidote and prophet:


The first is that men don't really feel very good about themselves. How could you? The second is that men come to me or to other feminists and say: "What you're saying about men isn't true. It isn't true of me. I don't feel that way. I'm opposed to all of this."

And I say: don't tell me. Tell the pornographers. Tell the pimps. Tell the warmakers. Tell the rape apologists and the rape celebrationists and the pro-rape ideologues. Tell the novelists who think that rape is wonderful. Tell Larry Flynt. Tell Hugh Hefner. There's no point in telling me. I'm only a woman. There's nothing I can do about it. These men presume to speak for you. They are in the public arena saying that they represent you. If they don't, then you had better let them know.
- Andrea Dworkin
posted by Dressed to Kill at 5:55 AM on April 30 [67 favorites]


Nice to see this uprighteous shitstain is “praying” for the Lord to make this right. Because nothing makes the Almighty more likely to intercede than a conniving, bribing, sex-trafficking rapist.

I’m not sure Greenberg is entirely right on WHAT kind of intervention a loving God would actually do here, because from my old catholic school days I’m left with the vague impression that God might do exactly the OPPOSITE of what Greenberg expects?
posted by caution live frogs at 5:58 AM on April 30 [5 favorites]


I don't know where they got it, but I hope for their sake that they've vetted the hell out of their source(s).

Me too, and it seems like they took some steps (handwriting expert, for example) to be careful. As for sources, iirc, Greenberg mentions his "former lawyers" in the story. I know lawyers are supposed to preserve confidences, but maybe on of them (or a staffer) was just too appalled at everything. Or, as someone noted on Twitter, maybe Greenberg is really pissed at Gaetz for trying to cut his own deal and ghosting his wingman.
posted by martin q blank at 6:22 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


So why isn't it being used as leverage?

What makes you think it isn't? This "leak" may be part of the leverage. Tip of the iceberg?
posted by Thorzdad at 6:45 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


It's so half-arsed, that's what gets me. There's not even any attempt at being clandestine about crimes. Even Silvio Berlusconi would be embarrassed by this kind of amateur hour taking-notes-on-a-criminal-conspiracy stuff

There's an element of stupidity for sure, but most of all it was pure entitlement -- they felt so entitled to their predatory and corrupt behavior that they didn't see a need to hide anything. That says a lot about the environments they grew up in and were working in, I think.

I briefly (briefly) felt a twinge for Gaetz when, gross as the entire story was, he maybe hadn’t meant to rape anyone. This was immediately undone by learning that he made approaches to the same woman again once she was of age. He’s gross and awful, he wants to sleep with underage women without getting in trouble, the ostensible party of morals continues to have no bottom, and that’s all there is to him.

I would bet lots of money that his internet search history is full of phrases like "barely legal" and "lowest age of consent."
posted by Dip Flash at 7:01 AM on April 30 [12 favorites]


Miller has sadly failed to fade away.

All you'd have to do is say, "hm, kind of stuffy in here" and dramatically yank open the blinds, and yet no one has figured it out.

Some progressives make fun of those who lament the death of norms for having been out of touch with the depth of political evils in the first place, and that can be a fair criticism. But this is a new thing in American politics -- this absolute brazening out of the worst crimes, lying about them in a way that is not even meant to convince, the fascist dedication to the malleability of truth. As evidenced by Cuomo, even Democrats will be adopting this position in the future, although hopefully not so much (both out of dignity and out of less committing crimes in the first place). I don't like it, but if it works, it will become the new strategy.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:17 AM on April 30 [15 favorites]


All you'd have to do is say, "hm, kind of stuffy in here" and dramatically yank open the blinds, and yet no one has figured it out.
posted by Countess Elena

I see what you did, there.
posted by Optamystic at 7:20 AM on April 30 [3 favorites]


This story still (10:15 EDT) hasn't made it to the NYT or Washington Post, more than twelve hours since Daily Beast reported it.
I want to believe, but I'm cautious.
posted by cheshyre at 7:25 AM on April 30 [3 favorites]


Reagan's 11th commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican, has destroyed the Republican party. When Gaetz passed around naked photos to other Congressmen (and I suppose, only men), of young women he laid, he should have been exposed and booted out. I think it's sick how much of this focuses on whether one or more was 17. The Congressmen who knew and let this slide should also be booted out.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:26 AM on April 30 [17 favorites]


These men have had decades of privilege and knowing they can get away with anything (until they couldn't) to make them "dumb." Think about where the dumb comes from: for many of these men, they just don't face consequences. Might you be a little careless if your zipline-from-the-ceiling, make off with the prized diamond routine, had worked 188 consecutive times?

The trouble is, each drop of toxic, rotten greed and meanness is polluting the pond of US humanity and beyond. This "dumb" makes all of us a little less smart, in my view. Here we are typing about these evil leeches, we could be thinking about.. creating something good. But we are not, at this moment in time.
posted by elkevelvet at 7:42 AM on April 30 [14 favorites]


The current allegations do seem to be quite solidly consistent with past behavior that has been verified by multiple reliable sources. These guys really are that dumb and/or recklessly entitled.

And that is why, as noted upthread, Gaetz wasn't on a plane a month ago. Because in the position that he has reached -- one of the 500 most prominent politicians in charge of making federal law, determining national budgets and allocations of funds, and helping to determine the fates of many Americans -- he is of the belief that he is entitled to these dubious "services." It is not that every Congressperson chooses to partake of them, mind you, but rather that if one chooses to dabble on the darker side of the tracks, they are most certainly available.

And he believes that he will get away with all of this, completely free and clear, because he has been doing what others in his role have been doing (abusing the power he holds for personal benefit). He has been sucking up to whom he views as the right people -- serial liars, cheaters, abusers and criminals who scoff at the law and never face meaningful consequences, or at least always wriggle out from under them. While Trump himself may be out of the limelight, his influence remains strong enough over the Republican Party that Gaetz is sure that being a 99% Trump suckup renders him immune to consequences, because those he has been loyal to will surely bail him out.

It remains to be seen if he is wrong.
posted by delfin at 7:51 AM on April 30 [6 favorites]


I'm confused as to who the Daily Beast would have obtained all this stuff from. A leak from the Feds? Stone? Greenberg?

I'm wondering that too. Not because I doubt the truth of the story but because there's usually a more interesting story behind the leaks. In corporate negotiations stuff leaks all the time ("Google about to acquire company X...") and it's almost always one side or the other using the press to try to get some leverage for an advantage in the negotiation. I'm less clear on what the usual dynamics are in this kind of political leak but I'm gonna guess it's something more complex than just a do-gooder who really wants the true awful story to come out.

Then again it could be exactly that, specifically Greenberg's former lawyers. Enormous risk they're taking if so, but also good for them. Another possibility is some secretary or PR flak or other Greenberg helper. As everyone's noted, no one involved in this case seems particularly smart. (Although I reserve judgement on Stone, he's been at this kind of sleaze and grift a very, very long time.)

There's also the risk that these documents are false and were planted with the Daily Beast to ratfuck the whole investigation. cheshyre's observation that the NYT and WaPo haven't touched the story yet is important here; in general for this kind of story they would be doing some sort of independent verification of the facts. That takes time and occasionally reveals some problems with the original story. OTOH the Daily Beast folks seem to be being very careful and disclose some of their verification methods (the handwriting analysis). Any competent reporter knows to handle anonymous sources in a story like this very carefully, to understand their motives and veracity. Still... I sure hope they got this right.
posted by Nelson at 8:01 AM on April 30 [5 favorites]




for the life of me, I cannot understand why Matt Gaetz wasn’t on a plane a month ago.

He's never faced consequences for his actions before, why should now be any different?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:40 AM on April 30 [8 favorites]


IOKIYAR
posted by saturday_morning at 8:47 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Wow, yet another situation in which several men who were deemed "creeps" by women turn out to be sexual predators.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:02 AM on April 30 [9 favorites]


So why isn't it being used as leverage?

What makes you think it isn't? This "leak" may be part of the leverage. Tip of the iceberg?


The message specifically said "... how serious of a situation this was, how many people she put in danger."

My emphasis. This may be a threat to someone higher up. Senatorial, perhaps.
posted by pseudophile at 9:02 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


There is a speculative column in the WP now explicitly stating they've seen and verified nothing so there's that.
posted by riverlife at 9:05 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


This is indeed shockingly stupid, but then I remember how many times I have been shocked at how stupid people can be, and I tell myself to revise my expectations.
posted by bq at 9:07 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


U.S. sues Trump ally Roger Stone, alleging he owes about $2 million in unpaid taxes (April 16, 2021)
Pretty sure Stone or a Stone associate is the the source for the Daily Beast story.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:45 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Washington Post: The Matt Gaetz scandal takes a strange new turn. Aaron Blake writing for "The Fix", an analysis column. As riverlife says this is fully speculative; it says "the Daily Beast is saying this and if it's true here's what it could mean".
posted by Nelson at 10:05 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


I agree caution is warranted until fully confirmed, but my reaction was "I had never thought about it, but *of course* this is exactly what Roger Stone would do, get people to provide him blackmail material in case they ever turn on him."
posted by tavella at 10:06 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


In what world does it make any sense at all to hand Roger Stone, of all people, evidence he can use as leverage against you forever? I mean, yeah, "these aren't the brightest guys and things got out of hand," sure, but this is crazy enough to make me doubt the story.

When your entire life has been supported by privilege and prejudices that benefit you, you aren't going to know the contours of the system that taketh away as well it gaveth. The slippery parts, the parts where it's easy to fall off the edge, the parts where the system hurts you just for existing. People with no privilege? They know all the nooks and crannies, and sometimes people with almost no privileges start passing down the knowledge of those contours through generations.

Gaetz et all know nothing more about avoiding the law than what they've seen in movies and how their one friend told them how to act when they get pulled over with cocaine in their pocket.
posted by rhizome at 10:13 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


I like this bit: The three men—Greenberg, Stone, and Gaetz—all shared a friendship dating back several years, and Stone apparently couldn’t figure out why Gaetz wouldn’t help Greenberg get a pardon.

Gee, I know, how shocking, that one of these debauched, narcissistic fuckwads might somehow prove to be less that 100% loyal...
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:22 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]




Pretty sure Stone or a Stone associate is the the source for the Daily Beast story.

Why would Stone provide screenshotted evidence of himself soliciting a bribe, though?
posted by biogeo at 11:04 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


There's not even any attempt at being clandestine about crimes

a.k.a. the NORM. (sorry)


Gaetz father has been a part of Florida republican politics almost 30 years. Matt had a front row seat to all the shady shit his father and his republican colleagues were able to get away with. Gaetz is dumber than a bag of hammers but he's also a careful student and learned everything from his old man.
posted by photoslob at 11:09 AM on April 30 [7 favorites]


Why would Stone provide screenshotted evidence of himself soliciting a bribe, though?

The greatest form of betrayal is to betray oneself. It was the only peak he had left to climb.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:09 AM on April 30 [7 favorites]


"Pretty sure Stone or a Stone associate is the the source for the Daily Beast story."

- Why would Stone provide screenshotted evidence of himself soliciting a bribe, though?


Stone's signaling: I remain a major player with a metric shit-ton of information on all of you; I had enough dirt to get my own sentence commuted and finagle an 11th-hour pardon; btw, here's a picture of me, Greenberg & Gaetz from 2017 -- consider how long some of you have been using Greenberg as a go-to for various services; 250K was the going price for my assistance a few of months ago; mmmmaybe I can help you out, or damn you further, depending on what's found from the warrants served on Giuliani, and we all know he's been losing his mind and getting super-sloppy. If you need me, I'll be at my tailor's.

Roger Stone appears to rat himself out with some frequency, and he's always messaging when he does it. He was a "correspondent" for InfoWars, for chrissake.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:43 AM on April 30 [7 favorites]


I'm guessing Stone tried blackmail first and was met with: you'll never release it, it shows you're a criminal.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:11 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


50/50 that Gaetz appears on OANN tonight, loudly declaring that he's never had sex with a statue.
posted by delfin at 12:20 PM on April 30 [3 favorites]


This is exactly the kind of thing you'd expect would be true, and it may well be, but if it isn't, it can't be too surprising. It's one of that crowd's moves to plant a fake controversy that stirs up a lot of speculation and then once it has been discredited, it can be used as a cover to discredit the truth when the real story comes out a while later.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:24 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


You'll know it's true when you see the first "Gaetz - D, Fla" chyron on Fox.
posted by cmfletcher at 12:29 PM on April 30 [12 favorites]


Meanwhile, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Congress's QAnon conspiracy pusher, having gone to Washington and met an actual politician/child trafficker is going on tour with him.

If Greene is in an open relationship, that's none of our business.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:48 PM on April 30


Note that if this is from the Stone side, it has a lot faked up to make it look like it's from Greenberg's side. Stone wouldn't have had Greenberg's reported screenshots, or his multiple drafts of his My Crimings doc.

If it's Stone faking a Greenberg dump, that plane of four-dimensional ratfuckery is beyond my calculation of motives, frankly.
posted by away for regrooving at 1:57 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


I missing the point of committing bribery to get a presidential pardon for what appear to be state crimes. But now there’s bribery to add to the list. It’s amusing to imagine a pardon that included, “oh and also for the bribery led to this pardon.”
posted by sjswitzer at 3:19 PM on April 30


If skimming Stone's wikipedia page doesn't give a decent overview of his skullduggery, there's The Dirty Trickster (archived link) ("Campaign tips from the man who has done it all") New Yorker piece from May 23, 2008 and A GOP Dirty Trickster Has Second Thoughts at, whaddaya know, The Daily Beast (first published Nov. 20, 2008, updated in July 2017: “In this business, if you don't pay your debts you're finished,” Stone said. Nor does Stone regret dirty politicking. Stone still offers his services as a no-holds-barred strategist to domestic and foreign politicians alike, and claims his client list is full.)

Anyway, from the New Yorker link: He was just nineteen when he played a bit part in the Watergate scandals. He adopted the pseudonym Jason Rainier and made contributions in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance to the campaign of Pete McCloskey, who was challenging Nixon for the Republican nomination in 1972. Stone then sent a receipt to the Manchester Union Leader, to “prove” that Nixon’s adversary was a left-wing stooge. Stone hired another Republican operative, who was given the pseudonym Sedan Chair II, to infiltrate the McGovern campaign. Stone’s Watergate high jinks were revealed during congressional hearings in 1973, and the news cost Stone his job on the staff of Senator Robert Dole. [...] Stone revels in his Watergate pedigree, noting almost apologetically that he was never accused of breaking any law. “The Democrats were weak, we were strong,” he told me. (Stone’s rules: “Attack, attack, attack—never defend” and “Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack.”)
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:21 PM on April 30 [3 favorites]


"hm, kind of stuffy in here" and dramatically yank open the blinds

Sadly, there is footage of him outdoors in sunlight. My money is on demi-lich.

Also, evidently Kushner's name popped up in the back and forth, with Stone saying he'd have to check with him about the illegal bribe to secure a pardon for statutory rape, sex trafficking, and paying for sex with a minor. Sorry, felt that needed a little more "can you hear me in the back" stress to it.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:08 PM on April 30 [3 favorites]


given that stone has no official duties, paying him for influence is probably not an illegal bribe, per se. should any of that money make its way to someone who does have official duties relating to the selection of candidates for pardons, that could be a bribe.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:35 PM on April 30


Gaetz doesn't strike me as a condom wearer. I wonder how many STDs he's had and given? How many abortions has he paid for?

Wasn't it just last week everyone was going nuts over gaetz's adult adopted son and all the sexual innuendos floating around? I'm betting gaetz is feeling nostalgic for those few days.
posted by james33 at 8:01 AM on May 1


So, does anyone know the current odds on whether any of this will stick to this scumbag?
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:00 PM on May 1 [2 favorites]


So, does anyone know the current odds on whether any of this will stick to this scumbag?

I'm sorry, you're going to have to be more specific. Stone, Greenberg, or Gaetz?
posted by dannyboybell at 2:16 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]


One of the fundamental lessons I think we have seen the GOP in particular learn the last few years (though I think this holds true for people publicly in power in general, and for a long time) is that the abrogation of any sense of shame makes breaking the social contract more or less costless. Trump was a high-water mark in applied shamelessness, and Gaetz is very much of his ilk: this will stick to him only and if it is stuck to him by legal machinations that don't depend on shame or propriety or any sense of norms.

We are moving increasingly into what you could call a post-resignation era, in the narrow sense of resigning one's position. (In the broader more figurative sense we are going to be suffering through a complementary, probably endlessly increasing experience of resignation.) Surely This has never been a darker, sadder joke than it is right now, and the fact that Gaetz will walk away form this basically untouched not just legally but politically if he doesn't get explicitly punished by the legal system is a perfect illustration of that. Corrupt people with influence have always unfairly skated on shit anyone else would be have seen consequences for, but you used to have to pretend to be a little humble about it a little more often.
posted by cortex at 2:17 PM on May 1 [18 favorites]


Stone’s rules: “Attack, attack, attack—never defend” and “Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack.”

Ah, just as Buddhism teaches.

These people make me think of a kind of moral nutrition. What does it do the metaphorical or literal soul to inhale such indifference to the pain of others? I wonder what that feels like in the body. I have deep frown lines I have to massage with my thumbs when I'm stressed/angry/confused...anything negative I carry first in that space. I wonder what it's like to inhabit criming. You'd think there's always a nagging worry of getting caught, shakiness in the secret areas of the the body, but I think a lot of us agree they don't worry much at all, or not 'until'.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:06 AM on May 3


I suspect that cruelty towards/disregard for others tends to feed itself, as whatever negative psychological and physical experiences one has are fed back into hatred for The Other and a justification of continued awfulness.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:54 AM on May 3 [2 favorites]


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