Early Wednesday, the Daily Beast published a story involving Gaetz after yet another person agreed to cooperate with the underlying DOJ probe: Joseph Ellicott.
Ellicott was the best friend to Joel Greenberg, the Seminole County, Florida Tax Collector who, according to his confession last year, joined up with Gaetz to have sex with several young women in exchange for cash or gifts.
Though Ellicott has not been charged with any crimes related to the trafficking probe according to his lawyer, the Daily Beast reported just hours after its initial story that two sources briefed on the matter told them anonymously that Ellicot was in the room when Greenberg informed Gaetz that one of the individuals they had sex with might be 17 years old.
“While the sources did not know whether Ellicot had discussed the call with investigators, his account would likely be of critical interest since it would match a key claim Greenberg made separately in a confession letter,” The Daily Beast reported.
Greenberg told authorities last year that he, Gaetz, and other men had sex with a person they believed to be 19 but after Greenberg was tipped off she might be younger, he used his access as a tax collector to improperly search the Florida state drivers’ license database.
Greenberg confessed to immediately calling Gaetz at that point and warning him to stay away given her age. They were only temporarily deterred, however, Greenberg told authorities.
Contact resumed with the teenager after she turned 18.
Gaetz has vehemently denied all of the allegations and has called them “false rumors” without a “shred of evidence.”
Where Ellicott comes in now could make a potentially huge impact on what evidence is used against Gaetz by prosecutors.
As noted by the Daily Beast, Greenberg’s plea agreement contained an important detail. He looked up the girl’s records at exactly 1:29 p.m. on Sep. 4.
“If investigators have Greenberg’s phone records—or Gaetz’s—the metadata could confirm whether Greenberg made the alleged call ‘immediately’ after accessing the database. But those records wouldn’t reveal what was said. Ellicott could provide that information, and confirm that Greenberg had indeed warned Gaetz, who had been first elected to Congress less than a year prior.