CNN’s Erin Burnett asked Short to react to part of a speech Gaetz gave Monday at a conference organized by Turning Point USA, a right-wing youth activist group. Gaetz declared, “Our America is proudly ultra MAGA, not some low energy roadside RINO safari. On that note, let me just say what everybody here knows: Mike Pence will never be president. Nice guy, not a leader.”
“I think the vice president is a very good person, I think he would make a great president,” Short replied. “But I do think Matt Gaetz will likely be in jail in 2024, so it’s hard to take his opinion too seriously on who should or shouldn’t be president.”
Burnett pressed Short on whether he believes Gaetz will actually be convicted of child sex trafficking, to which he responded, “I certainly hope so. The evidence is quite clear that he engaged in that. And so yes, I would be surprised if he is not convicted of that by 2024.”
Gaetz has been under investigation by the Department of Justice for allegedly paying for sex with a 17-year-old girl and violating federal sex trafficking laws. He has denied any wrongdoing.
If Gaetz is convicted of child sex trafficking, he would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. Given that the 2024 election is still over 2 years away, it is possible Gaetz could be released before then if he were to receive a lighter sentence.
Nevertheless, Short’s comments suggest he believes Gaetz will be convicted and serve at least part of his sentence by the time voters head to the polls in 2024.
Matt Gaetz’s legal problems all stem from attending sex parties with other elected republican officials, arranged, by Matt Gaetz’s good friend Joel Greenberg former Seminole County tax assessor. Where he met the alleged 17-year-old for sex, and later traveled outside the United States with her to continue the sexual affair.
According to witness statements, Matt Gaetz paid his good friend, Joel Greenberg for the girl’s services through Venmo electronic transfers. Greenberg also accepted payments from other republican elected officials that attended the sex parties, the girls were recruited through so-called “sugar daddy” websites.
Greenberg has become a vital cooperating witness, with the prosecution in building a case against Matt Gaetz, and other sexual offenders involved in these sex parties hosted by Greenberg.
Greenberg is facing 12 years in jail after he pleaded guilty to six federal crimes, including sex trafficking of a child, identity theft, stalking, wire fraud, and conspiracy to bribe a public official.
Prior to his sentencing date, Greenberg's lawyer filed a motion asking a judge for permission to submit additional information to the court under seal related to his cooperation in other criminal investigations.
"Pursuant to his plea agreement with the Government and to mitigate the significant penalties he faces, Mr. Greenberg has been cooperating with federal prosecutors in active investigations currently being conducted by the United States Attorney's Office in the Middle District of Florida and the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. as well as in other jurisdictions," Greenberg's attorney, Fritz Scheller, wrote in the filing to the Florida court.