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Matt Gaetz

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  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 27,593
    “I’m built for the battle.”
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 20,855
    ahhh, helps explain the reported request of pre-emptive psrdons for himself AND allies...

    Gaetz faces House ethics probe; federal investigation widens
    By ERIC TUCKER, MICHAEL BALSAMO and LISA MASCARO
    Today

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics Committee announced an investigation into Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz as federal prosecutors probing sex trafficking allegations against him are also scrutinizing the actions of some of his political allies and fellow Florida Republicans as part of a broader public corruption inquiry.

    Federal agents have, in recent months, been examining Gaetz’s connections to several other influential Florida political figures.

    They include Florida state senator Jason Brodeur; Halsey Beshears, the state’s former top business regulator; Chris Dorworth, a lobbyist who had served in the state House of Representatives; and Jason Pirozzolo, a hand surgeon and Gaetz campaign donor who served on the board of the Orlando Airport Authority, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

    Brodeur and Beshears did not respond to repeated calls Friday seeking comment. An attorney for Pirozzolo also did not respond to a request for comment. Dorworth didn't comment.

    The FBI’s examination of a wide range of topics involving Gaetz and his associates exemplifies the breadth of the investigation.

    Gaetz, who has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, has retained two prominent New York attorneys while facing a Justice Department investigation into sex trafficking allegations involving underage girls.

    Florida Congreesman Matt Gaetz made a high-profile appearance Friday at former President Donald Trump’s Doral golf club in Miami. (April 9)

    The scrutiny includes an examination of a trip that Gaetz and Pirozzolo took to the Bahamas with a group of women, and federal agents are looking into whether they were paid or received gifts to have sex with the men, the person said. CBS News first reported details of the trip.

    The FBI has also started questioning people about that trip and others that Gaetz and his associates took with women, and agents are examining whether any of the women were later hired into government positions as political favors, the person said.

    Investigators have been scrutinizing financial records, contact witnesses, former staff members and others who they believe may have been aware of the activities, according to the person.

    The person could not publicly discuss details of the ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

    Gaetz has not been charged with a crime and has sent fundraising appeals that portray him as a victim of a “smear campaign.” During a high-profile appearance Friday night at former President Donald Trump’s Doral golf club in Miami, he vowed, “I have not yet begun to fight.”

    “I’m built for the battle and I’m not going anywhere,” Gaetz said. “The smears against me range from distortions of my personal life to wild — and I mean wild — conspiracy theories.”

    But a potentially ominous sign occurred in a Florida court Thursday when it was revealed that a Gaetz associate, Joel Greenberg, a former county tax collector, is working toward a plea deal. Such a move could potentially open the door for Greenberg’s cooperation against Gaetz.

    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 who spoke on condition of anonymity because they could not discuss details publicly. Greenberg entered a not guilty plea Friday through his attorney to a variety of charges ranging from child sex trafficking to fraud. A judge has set a May 15 deadline for Greenberg to reach a plea deal.

    The House panel’s bipartisan probe is one of the first official indications Gaetz’s party leaders are willing to scrutinize his actions. It also appears sweeping in scope, reaching beyond the reports of sexual misconduct into broader allegations of public corruption, according to the committee chairman, Rep. Ted Deutsch, D-Fla., and ranking Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana. Unfolding alongside a federal criminal investigation, the ethics probe ensures Gaetz will have to confront simultaneous inquiries even as he maintains his innocence and plans to remain in Congress.

    The Ethics Committee conducts its work in secret and usually issues a final report on what it finds, often many months later. Punishment for ethics violations is up to the House and can include censure, fines and even expulsion from Congress.

    Separately Friday, a spokesperson for Gaetz said attorneys Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner will lead his legal team.

    “Matt has always been a fighter. A fighter for his constituents, a fighter for the country, and a fighter for the Constitution. He’s going to fight back against the unfounded allegations against him,” the statement said, adding that the lawyers “will take the fight to those trying to smear his name with falsehoods.”

    ___

    Associated Press writers Curt Anderson in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Florida, contributed to this report.


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

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  • bootlegger10bootlegger10 Posts: 13,472
    Yeah one calling for his resignation is nada GOP still the look away party! 
    will probably nominate him for president after this.
    It would make total sense! 
    I saw Katie Hill on Chris Hayes' show last night talking about the hypocrisy of what she resigned pretty quickly over verses this shit storm Gaetz appears to be wrapped up in. She said she wouldn't be surprised if he is re-elected after being found guilty.  The modern day GOP just doesn't give a fuck about ethics and morals. 
    i am looking for a job where i can do whatever the fuck i want to and i do not care about ethics or morals either. i should run for congress as a republican.
    Have you considered a run for the presidency?
    i have. but i need tens of millions of dollars to pull it off.
    Just do like George did on Seinfeld on do the opposite of what you think a reasonable candidate would do.
  • dignindignin Posts: 8,940
    Bombshell Letter: Gaetz Paid for Sex With Minor, Wingman Says


    The Daily Beast has obtained a confession letter that Joel Greenberg wrote after asking Roger Stone to help him obtain a pardon.


    https://www.thedailybeast.com/joel-greenberg-letter-written-for-roger-stone-says-matt-gaetz-paid-for-sex-with-minor
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 21,138
    dignin said:
    Bombshell Letter: Gaetz Paid for Sex With Minor, Wingman Says


    The Daily Beast has obtained a confession letter that Joel Greenberg wrote after asking Roger Stone to help him obtain a pardon.


    https://www.thedailybeast.com/joel-greenberg-letter-written-for-roger-stone-says-matt-gaetz-paid-for-sex-with-minor
    If Stone took any money, he has serious problems too.
  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 27,593
    mrussel1 said:
    dignin said:
    Bombshell Letter: Gaetz Paid for Sex With Minor, Wingman Says


    The Daily Beast has obtained a confession letter that Joel Greenberg wrote after asking Roger Stone to help him obtain a pardon.


    https://www.thedailybeast.com/joel-greenberg-letter-written-for-roger-stone-says-matt-gaetz-paid-for-sex-with-minor
    If Stone took any money, he has serious problems too.
    Anyone with a tattoo of Tricky Dick on their back has serious problems. Tik Tok.
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

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  • The JugglerThe Juggler Behind that bush over there.Posts: 39,643
    Reading that, I was envisioning Stone doing whatever he could to try and take that guy’s money without any intention of helping him


    chinese-happy.jpg
  • Gern BlanstenGern Blansten Your Mom'sPosts: 11,582
    dignin said:
    Bombshell Letter: Gaetz Paid for Sex With Minor, Wingman Says


    The Daily Beast has obtained a confession letter that Joel Greenberg wrote after asking Roger Stone to help him obtain a pardon.


    https://www.thedailybeast.com/joel-greenberg-letter-written-for-roger-stone-says-matt-gaetz-paid-for-sex-with-minor
    Filthy stuff....I hope the DOJ looks into all of the pardons that tRump doled out and follows the money.
    Remember the Thomas Nine!! (10/02/2018)

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  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 18,650
    according to the text message screenshots leaked late last night he offered to pay stone over 200k in bitcoin if he could get trump to get him a pardon.

    i bet if he had offered dogecoin stone would have gotten that pardon done for sure.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway
  • Merkin BallerMerkin Baller Posts: 5,504
    If they have this much dirt on these guys, how have they not already been arrested? 

    Color me skeptical. 

  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 18,650
    If they have this much dirt on these guys, how have they not already been arrested? 

    Color me skeptical. 
    i'm pretty sure he wingman has been arrested and is cooperating. that is why he confessed to all of this.

    they are probably giving gaetz the luxury of having the opportunity to turn himself in rather than perp walk a sitting congressman that holds committee positions. gaetz is too arrogant, so in my guess he is gonna get perp walked before this is all over. he thinks dad and trump can save him.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway
  • dignindignin Posts: 8,940
    edited April 30
    If they have this much dirt on these guys, how have they not already been arrested? 

    Color me skeptical. 
    Politics, money, power. We do know the judicial system doesn't treat everyone equal, so I get the skepticism. 

    My guess is they want to make this airtight before leveling charges.
  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon HeadstoniaPosts: 25,911
    If they have this much dirt on these guys, how have they not already been arrested? 

    Color me skeptical. 
    i'm pretty sure he wingman has been arrested and is cooperating. that is why he confessed to all of this.

    they are probably giving gaetz the luxury of having the opportunity to turn himself in rather than perp walk a sitting congressman that holds committee positions. gaetz is too arrogant, so in my guess he is gonna get perp walked before this is all over. he thinks dad and trump can save him.
    hopefully he wears the congressional gas mask instead of just covering his face when it happens. 
    (Track 10 of The Headstones' Nickels For Your Nightmares)


  • PoncierPoncier Posts: 12,257
    Walk in music for Gaetz at his next big campaign rally.....


    This weekend we rock Portland
  • tbergstbergs Posts: 7,907
    Poncier said:
    Walk in music for Gaetz at his next big campaign rally.....


    I would have been disappointed if you had chosen any other song.
    It's a hopeless situation...
  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon HeadstoniaPosts: 25,911
    it's amazing what 80's pervert music was able to get away with. unreal. 
    (Track 10 of The Headstones' Nickels For Your Nightmares)


  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 21,138
    edited April 30
    This is a raunchier, dirty one...

    "I can see that you're 15  years old... I don't want your ID..."


  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 27,593
    I dare someone to tweet that to ol Matt Getts Off. And can we pretend the 80s never happened?
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

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  • dignindignin Posts: 8,940
  • PoncierPoncier Posts: 12,257
    Since SC may not visit this thread...


    This weekend we rock Portland
  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 27,593
    Sorry, but when the USPS gets involved, it’s usually child porn. Remember “adoption?”

    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/551232-gaetz-house-republicans-introduce-bill-to-defund-postal-service-covert

    #pizzagate
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

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  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 27,593
    So ungracious. So much winning. Brilliant brilliance beyond brilliancy.

    https://www.instagram.com/tv/CORVHuUHklD/?igshid=cbdej6ffaqkx
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 20,855
     
    How the Gaetz probe grew from sex trafficking to medical pot
    By MICHELLE L. PRICE and MICHAEL BALSAMO
    Today

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — When Rep. Matt Gaetz vacationed in the Bahamas in 2018, he was joined by a doctor who donated to his campaign and a former colleague in the Florida Legislature.

    The Republican congressman, Dr. Jason Pirozzolo and Halsey Beshears were united in their enjoyment of politics, fancy travel and the company of beautiful women. They also had another mutual interest: Florida’s $1.2 billion medical marijuana industry.

    The Bahamas trip is a central element of a federal investigation surrounding Gaetz that has suddenly endangered his political career. What began as an inquiry into sex trafficking and whether Gaetz paid women and an underage girl in exchange for sex has grown into a larger review of public corruption, according to people familiar with the investigation.

    Investigators are 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 Pirozzolo and others sought to influence legislation Gaetz sponsored. The investigation includes legislation from 2018, when Gaetz was in Congress, and earlier work in the Legislature, according to one of the people.

    Pressure on the congressman could build in the coming weeks as Joel Greenberg, a Gaetz associate who has been accused of trafficking a minor for sex, faces a May 15 deadline to strike a plea deal with prosecutors. If he does, Greenberg may be pressed to cooperate with federal investigators and deliver damaging information against Gaetz.

    None of the people on the trip to the Bahamas has been charged with a crime. Gaetz has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has retained high-powered lawyers.

    A spokesman for Gaetz said Saturday that Gaetz "is a long-time policy expert on marijuana liberalization and passed legislation on the matter as far back as 2013. Rep. Gaetz has never been influenced by outside groups to take a stance on any given position.”

    Beshears and a lawyer for Pirozzolo declined to comment for this story.

    The Associated Press spoke with more than 10 people familiar with the dynamic among Gaetz, Pirozzolo and Beshears. Three of the people had knowledge of the investigation. They all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to publicly discuss the ongoing investigation.

    Gaetz's interest in medical marijuana dates back nearly a decade, when he was a member of the Florida House of Representatives. Well before he would gain national attention for his steadfast support of Donald Trump, Gaetz would carve out an unusual reputation in Tallahassee as a Republican who wanted to liberalize marijuana laws.

    In February 2014, Gaetz co-sponsored the first state effort to allow marijuana for medical use. His proposal allowing the use of a nonhallucinogenic marijuana extract was limited to patients with cancer or a severe form of epilepsy and slowly earned the support of his father, Don Gaetz, who was then serving as president of the Florida Senate and said he was “being pummeled” by his son about supporting it.

    Gaetz cast his proposal as a pared-down alternative to a statewide ballot measure that would have broadly legalized medical marijuana. Gaetz's law was approved with broad bipartisan support and signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Scott in June 2014, while the statewide measure narrowly failed at the ballot box that November.

    The day Gaetz's measure was up for a final debate and vote in the Florida House, both Pirozzolo and Beshears were on the floor.

    Beshears was a fellow Republican member of the Legislature who joined Gaetz to support the legislation. Pirozzolo, an Orlando hand doctor and pilot, was there serving as the physician of the day for the lawmakers — a role he would frequently take on by flying his own plane to Tallahassee.

    Once the legislation passed, it created lucrative new opportunities for Beshears' family and Pirozzolo.

    The long-standing nursery owned by Beshears' family was awarded one of five highly coveted licenses to cultivate and dispense medical marijuana.

    The legislation was written to specify — and restrict — who could win such a license. An amendment added by another lawmaker in the state House limited the pool of applicants to nurseries that had been in continuous business for 30 years and had an inventory of 400,000 or more plants.

    The Beshears family nursery, joining with two other growers, met that standard.

    The Tampa Bay Times reported in 2014 that Beshears had failed to file a conflict of interest report when he voted on the bill, and the lawmaker who sponsored the amendment wanted to “err on the side of limiting who could qualify now” when embarking on such a new industry. More licenses have since been awarded, but the industry is still tightly controlled.

    Another amendment added to the 2014 legislation the day Pirozzolo watched in the state House required dispensary applicants to employ a doctor as a medical director.

    Eight days later, Pirozzolo started a consulting firm connecting marijuana businesses with medical directors, the Orlando Sentinel reported. He later co-founded a group called the American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association, which advocates for doctors who recommend medical cannabis.

    Gaetz has spoken at least twice at the association’s annual conferences, including an appearance with longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone, according to the group’s social media posts and the recollections of a member.

    With recommendations from Gaetz and Beshears in 2018, Pirozzolo was appointed by the current governor, Republican Ron DeSantis, to serve on a board that runs Orlando International Airport. In 2019, he stood next to DeSantis on an airport tarmac and greeted Trump as he arrived in Orlando to kick off his reelection campaign, according to video posted online by a Sentinel reporter.

    Two years after Gaetz's first medical marijuana law, he sponsored another measure in the Legislature to expand on it, allowing near-death patients to use nonsmokable marijuana of all strengths and doses.

    The day it came up for a vote in the state House, Beshears voted for it, and Pirozzolo witnessed it, again serving as the doctor of the day.

    By the time Gaetz was in Congress in 2018, he introduced legislation that would increase the number of entities that would conduct cannabis research. The legislation included provisions similar to what Pirozzolo's group was pushing to also expand research.

    Nearly five months later, the men would meet in the Bahamas.

    ___

    Balsamo reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Florida, and Terry Spencer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, contributed to this report.

    ___

    Follow Price on Twitter at twitter.com/michellelprice and Balsamo at https://twitter.com/MikeBalsamo1.


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