SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — A Florida lawyer who is known for feuding with Republican Gov. Ron. DeSantis has a new target and a new message.
A political action committee called “Remove Ron” flew a banner that read, “Tick Tock Matt Gaetz” over the Orlando Federal Courthouse on Monday during Joel Greenberg’s federal court hearing. Attorney Daniel Uhlfelder is the chairman of “Remove Ron” and is known for dressing up as the Grim Reaper to protest Florida reopening its beaches last year during the coronavirus pandemic.
Greenberg, a longtime associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., pleaded guilty to six of the nearly three dozen charges he faces, including sex trafficking of a minor. He also admitted that he had paid at least one underage girl to have sex with him and other men.
Gaetz was not mentioned in the plea agreement or during the court hearing. But Greenberg’s cooperation is said to bring with it the potential for legal and political jeopardy for the congressman.
Federal prosecutors are examining whether Gaetz and Greenberg paid underage girls or offered them gifts in exchange for sex, according to two people familiar with the matter. Investigators have also been looking at whether Gaetz and his associates tried to secure government jobs for some of the women, the people said. They are also scrutinizing Gaetz’s connections to the medical marijuana sector, including whether his associates sought to influence legislation Gaetz sponsored.
The people had knowledge of the investigation but were not allowed to publicly discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
Gaetz has denied the allegations and any accusation of wrongdoing and has said repeatedly he will not resign from Congress. A spokesman for the congressman has said Gaetz “never had sex with a minor and has never paid for sex.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.