- The Daily Beast
Catholic Sat TVROME—In what looks exactly like a pre-pandemic video, Pope Francis held a meet-and-greet after a Mass with refugees and clergy to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. The video, which was posted to social media Monday, shows a maskless pontiff standing far closer to other maskless clergy than COVID-19 rules allow. A steady line of worshipers pass in front of him, complete with ring-kissing, hand-shaking, and maskless selfies, despite Italy staggering through a third wave of the pandemic.It is wonderful seeing these people; prisoners, nurses, nuns, refugees, greeting Pope Francis after Mass this morning. A sight for sore eyes pic.twitter.com/3b8OIbWAhE— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) April 11, 2021 Vatican expert Robert Mickens pointed out that the obvious message it send. “It’s tiring to have to keep pointing out that this is totally irresponsible behavior, that it’s hypocritical and sets a very bad example,” he wrote on Twitter. “Pontifex is not beyond criticism. But most in the media are not even reporting this.”Francis, who has been vaccinated along with all employees of the Holy See, has seemingly shrugged off guidelines that he should still wear a mask if he cannot stay socially distanced. The video clearly shows no one in his entourage wearing a mask, and those who are masked up in the receiving line lowered their masks to kiss his ring—which was not sanitized between mouths.Italy has surpassed 114,000 deaths since last March, when it largely paved the pandemic path for the rest of the world outside China. Rome is under “orange zone” restrictions due to a high number of cases and pressure on local emergency rooms, yet the Vatican seems to be largely unaware—or unconcerned—that gatherings such as those caught on tape are punishable by large fines. Francis, whose ill-advised trip to Iraq last month was followed by record numbers in cases in that country, has often complained about being pent up at the Vatican during Italy’s draconian lockdown restrictions. When asked on the flight to Rome from Iraq about whether he was worried about the huge gathering of people who came out to see him, he said he would leave it “in God’s hands” to take care of them.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Associated Press
La Soufriere volcano fired an enormous amount of ash and hot gas early Monday in the biggest explosive eruption yet since volcanic activity began on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent late last week, with officials worried about the lives of those who have refused to evacuate. Experts called it a “huge explosion” that generated pyroclastic flows down the volcano’s south and southwest flanks. “It’s destroying everything in its path,” Erouscilla Joseph, director of the University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Center, told The Associated Press.
- LA Times
Hollywood has long rewarded, even encouraged, monstrous behavior. And the bullies won't be stopped until the mythmaking around them stops.
Tom Cruise stunts have included climbing the Burj Khalifa, hanging off of the side of a plane, and breaking his ankle while jumping across buildings.
- Business Insider
"Have you ever seen anybody that is so full of crap?" Trump asked the audience of GOP donors about Anthony Fauci
A former Minneapolis police officer said he quit days before the Derek Chauvin trial because he thinks protesters will 'burn the city down' no matter the case's outcome
The former sergeant told Insider that he believed there would be rioting at the close of Chauvin's murder trial and that he feared getting killed.
Prince Harry, whose explosive interview alongside his wife Meghan plunged the royal family into its biggest crisis in decades, has arrived back in Britain for Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday. Philip, the husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth who had been at her side throughout her 69-year reign, died at Windsor Castle on Friday. Harry, Philip's grandson, arrived in London on Sunday from Los Angeles on a British Airways flight, The Sun newspaper reported.
The black army lieutenant filed a lawsuit against two policemen in Virginia after a traffic stop turned violent.
'Fear TWD' showrunners said star was 'disappointed' and 'heartbroken' by the big reveal on Sunday's mid-season premiere
Insider speaks with "Fear the Walking Dead" showrunners about the decision behind the mid-season premiere's unexpected turn of events.
SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia has abandoned a goal to vaccinate nearly all of its 26 million population by the end of 2021 following advice that people under the age of 50 take Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine rather than AstraZeneca's shot. Australia, which had banked on the AstraZeneca vaccine for the majority of its shots, had no plans to set any new targets for completing its vaccination programme, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon. "While we would like to see these doses completed before the end of the year, it is not possible to set such targets given the many uncertainties involved," Morrison said.
- The Daily Beast
Elijah Nouvelage/GettyIt would be charitable to call the white religious right’s continuous attacks on Rev. Raphael Warnock, beginning from the moment he launched his successful bid to become the first Black U.S. senator from Georgia, merely un-Christian.Most recently, Georgia Baptist minister and Donald Trump loyalist Doug Collins, who once claimed Warnock’s stance as a “pro-choice pastor” is an oxymoronic “lie from the bed of hell,” blamed the senator’s condemnation of Georgia’s new voting restrictions—but not the racist law itself—for MLB’s decision to relocate its All-Star Game from the state, crying that “woke” Warnock “spread lies” about the legislation. Just a week ago, a now-deleted tweet from Warnock’s account—which stated that the “meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether you are Christian or not, through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves”—so enraged very-online white evangelicals that they spent the holiest day in the Christian calendar casting judgment, labeling Warnock a “heretic,” a “narcissistic heretic,” and an “actual heretic.” Leading the charge was Jenna Ellis, an attorney for Trump’s failed coup d’état and proponent of the racist Kamala Harris birther lie. Beyond branding Warnock a “heretic,” Ellis voiced the real ideological truth underlying the attacks on the Georgia senator.“He should delete Reverend in front of his name,” Ellis tweeted about Warnock, a doctoral graduate of Columbia University’s theological seminary. “People who don’t know Jesus pretend he was a soft-spoken philanthropist… If Warnock’s church were truly biblical and Christian, he would not be a pastor. His theology and practice is inconsistent with the Bible.” She was backed up by gun enthusiast and Christian podcaster Allie Beth Stuckey, who compared the senator’s faith to a kind of “social justice moralism” in which “Jesus is not a savior but a ‘liberator’—and not from sin, but from "systems"... Jesus/Christianity is a means to their political and social activist ends, which they like to categorize as ‘helping others’ (what they typically mean is government programs).”The GOP Hopes This Issue Will Tarnish Warnock’s Pastor ImageWarnock’s church, which Ellis dismisses as insufficiently godly, is Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist, one of the oldest Black churches in the country and the former pulpit of Martin Luther King Jr. It is perhaps too on-the-nose that white Republican evangelicals who publicly assert that delegitimizing Black votes is doing God’s work and believe “All Lives Matter” is a Christly rebuff against assertions of Black humanity—and who, of course, selectively cite the de-radicalized MLK of white comfort and apathy—attack not only MLK’s pastoral heir, but the Black church writ large and the theology that springs from it.Those attacks are at their core about the fundamental conflict between white evangelical Christianity in America, which is both steeped in and deeply protective of the white supremacist capitalist status quo, and the traditional Black Christian church, a site of transformative racial justice.In his book White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, Robert P. Jones traces the development of white American Christianity, demonstrating the foundational centrality of white supremacy to the early white Christian church. He highlights the split between both Northern and Southern Methodists and Baptists in 1845 over the issue of Black enslavement, the Catholic Church’s tradition of brutal global colonialism “justified by the conviction that white Christians were God’s chosen means of “civilizing” the world,” and the Native genocide of this country’s white settler colonizers. Across denominations, those churches in America—including those that argued against slavery—espoused a gospel of white supremacy and Black subordination."As the dominant cultural power in America,” Jones writes, the white Christian church has “been responsible for constructing and sustaining a project to protect White supremacy and resist Black equality. This project has framed the entire American story. American Christianity’s theological core has been thoroughly structured by an interest in protecting white supremacy… not only among Evangelicals in the South but also along mainline Protestants in the Midwest and Catholics in the Northeast.”“White evangelicals are the political quasi-religious heirs of the antebellum church,” I was told by Joseph Darby, senior pastor of Nichols Chapel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and president of the city’s NAACP chapter. “The antebellum Southern church said that slavery was moral because they were teaching Black people about Jesus and giving them an industrious life. You had people who called themselves Christian who owned human beings. How do you justify that? Well, you justify it by saying, "They're not really people like us. They are a different kind of people, and you need to be careful with them because they can be a dangerous kind of people." So there's been a cultivated racism that still drives white evangelical Christianity in large measure.”White enslavers not only imposed Christianity on those they held in bondage, but held up the Bible as documentary evidence that Black enslavement was divinely ordained. The counter to this white Christian theology of Black debasement was the Black church, which arose to become what Henry Louis Gates describes as a “redemptive force to shine a line on the hypocrisy at the heart of their bondage.”Enslaved Black folks, both surreptitiously and by remodeling the warped gospel they had been given, forged a Christianity that offered “human dignity, earthly and heavenly freedom, and sisterly and brotherly love (as) the Black Church and the religion practiced within its embrace acted as the engine driving social transformation in America, from the antebellum abolitionist movement through the various phases of the fight against Jim Crow, and now, in our current century, to Black Lives Matter,” as Gates writes.How the Black Church Embraces Tragic History and the Fervor of FaithAnd as Warnock writes in his book The Divided Mind of the Black Church, “The black church was born fighting for freedom, and freedom is indeed its only reason for being.”“The whole ethos of the Black church is different. Most Black churches came into being as a way for there to be Black excellence, Black identity, a place for Black folks to worship freely, to work freely and to build on the way that some plantation preachers preached,” Rev. Darby told me. “Even though folks wanted them to preach that they’d be blessed in “the great by and by,” they went to Exodus, and the story of Moses, and that laid the basis of what James Cone called “Liberation Theology”—that God stands most closely with the oppressed, and that God actively works to free the oppressed. If we love God, then we have to do the same thing. So that's woven into the Black church. There's a rejection of rugged individualism, and a sense that we have to make sure that everybody's OK. And if that means fighting for justice and fairness and equity, you have to do that. It ain't about ‘the sweet by and by,’ it's about what you're going to do while you're here.”Warnock was a mentee of Cone’s, and he has described Black theology as “a new and self-conscious form of God-talk, a sophisticated apologia for a faith formed in slavery and in defense of a Black liberationist trajectory that continues to bear witness against the sins of a nation that is at once putatively Christian and profoundly racist.”Indeed, white Christianity retains the attitudes of its founders. A 2018 study by the Public Religion Research Institute found most white Christians across the board—53 percent of white evangelicals, 52 percent of white Catholics and 51 percent of white mainline Protestants—believe “socioeconomic disparities between black and white Americans are due to lack of effort by black Americans.” Those groups were also most likely to support Muslim travel bans and to believe that “recent killings of black men are isolated incidents.” White evangelical Protestants were the only group that said the U.S. “becoming a majority-nonwhite nation in the future will be mostly negative.”This is the core of the difference between Warnock’s faith and that of the white evangelicals who criticize and question the religious validity of the Black theology he espouses. They embrace a religious ideology that is fundamentally selfish, one which actively works against political change to ensure the maintenance of white power even as it pretends to be apolitical. It casts a Christianity that demands economic, racial and social equality as religiously un-American, perhaps not consciously recognizing that they are confirming the continuing anti-Black and capitalist devices that motivate their own faith.When they attempt to malign the Jesus of the Black church as “a soft-spoken philanthropist” and a “liberator,” they prove Jones’ thesis that “for nearly all of American history the Jesus conjured up by most white congregations was not merely indifferent to the status quo racial inequality; he demanded its defense and preservation as part of the natural, divinely ordained order of things.”As the MLK they refuse to cite wrote in his 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail, “I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities” while they inflict harm on the most vulnerable and promote a version of Christianity that not only abides, but justifies that harm.“One of my seminary professors said something way back that made perfect sense,” Darby told me. “He said the church fathers who shaped our concept of sin tend to put more emphasis on sins of the flesh than sins of the spirit because they were all old men who could no longer partake in sins of the flesh. So those became the worst sins, but they were less invested in the morality of how we treat other people.”“That's how you can get caught up in opposing abortion, fighting against transgender restrooms or transgender sports teams, because there's this warped morality,” Darby added. “How about that part about loving your neighbor as yourself? Where can I find the part that says, ‘Thou shalt own an AR-15 so that thou can smite, if need be’? It's a kind of self-centered religion that's wrapped up in politics, that God and guns thing. That they have to be the ones who are politically right, and they're the arbiters of who is right politically. That's how you can have questions about Barack Obama's faith but you can make Donald Trump almost your Messiah. That's evangelical Christianity.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Business Insider
For Boehner, a jovial, backslapping politician who is known to publicly cry, McConnell's steely and to-the-point demeanor is quite a contrast.
Jeff Jansen said modern pastors were "neutered" and "effeminate," boasting that his church's ushers all toted guns and were instructed to "kill."
A black army lieutenant files a lawsuit against two policemen in Virginia after being pepper-sprayed.
- Associated Press
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday declared an “enduring and ironclad” American commitment to Israel, reinforcing support at a tense time in Israeli politics and amid questions about the Biden administration's efforts to revive nuclear negotiations with Israel's archenemy, Iran. Austin's first talks in Israel since he became Pentagon chief in January come as the United States seeks to leverage Middle East diplomatic progress made by the Trump administration, which brokered a deal normalizing relations between Israel and several Arab states.
- Associated Press
Chinese telecommunications equipment firm Huawei said Monday that it has reached an agreement with HSBC in Hong Kong to obtain documents that its chief financial office Meng Wanzhou hopes will help prevent her extradition to the U.S. Meng, who was detained in Canada in 2018 at the behest of U.S. authorities, has been fighting a legal battle over the last two years as the U.S. seeks to extradite her over allegations of bank fraud and violations of sanctions against Iran.
- The Telegraph
Of all the images that stood out during the televised funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, there was one that has endured in the collective consciousness longer than any other: that of two boys who had just lost their mother, walking in sombre procession behind her coffin, while the world looked in upon their most private moment. Alongside Princes William and Harry that day walked their grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh. Amid a terrible whirlwind of public mourning and spectacle, the Duke was reportedly deeply concerned about the emotional wellbeing of his bereaved grandsons, then 15 and 12. “I’ll walk if you walk,” he apparently told them at a dinner before the funeral. And, of course, he kept his word. Almost a quarter of a century later, has there been a change of heart within the monarchy about the role of children at Royal funerals? It is understood that the Duke’s 10 great-grandchildren, who include Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, will not be in attendance at his funeral this Saturday. That nine are under 10 years of age (Savannah Phillips will turn 11 in December) has likely played a part in the decision.
- Business Insider
Canadians are flocking to US border cities to take advantage of a travel loophole - and it's creating lucrative opportunities on both sides of the closed border
Lucrative niche industries including flying helicopters over the border and international car rides are booming in cities like Buffalo, New York.
I asked the 'Fear TWD' showrunners about the show's baiting Madison tweet teasing a potential character return. They seemed as surprised as fans to learn about it.
Insider asked the showrunners what's up with the "Fear TWD" Twitter handle teasing fans about Madison. We're sorry the answer isn't more satisfying.
- The New York Times
LAKE MARY, Fla. — Long before the FBI began to scrutinize a tax collector in Florida named Joel Greenberg — and long before his trail led them to Rep. Matt Gaetz — he amassed an outlandish record in the mundane local public office he had turned into a personal fief of power. Records and interviews detailed a litany of accusations: Greenberg strutted into work with a pistol on his hip in a state that does not allow guns to be openly carried. He spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to create no-show jobs for a relative and some of his groomsmen. He tried to talk his way out of a traffic ticket, asking a police officer for “professional courtesy.” He played police officer himself, putting a flashing light on his car to pull over a woman and accuse her of speeding. He published an anti-Muslim Facebook post. He solicited help to hack critics on the county commission. Stalking a rival candidate got him arrested. Federal agents looking into the matter found at least five fake IDs in his wallet and backpack, and kept digging. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Their inquiry culminated in 33 federal charges against Greenberg, 36, including sex trafficking of a minor, bribery, fraud and stalking — and led to a mushrooming political scandal that burst into national news in recent days and ensnared Gaetz, who is a close ally of former President Donald Trump, and other influential Florida Republicans, with the investigation continuing. Though the sex trafficking charge against Greenberg and the ensuing Justice Department examination into Gaetz — including whether he had sex with the same 17-year-old girl — have received the most attention, the array of schemes that Greenberg is suspected of are broader and altogether show an astonishing disregard for the law by an elected official. Interviews with people in Seminole County who dealt with Greenberg and a review of news articles and public records from his past suggest that he went from being a wealthy but troubled teenager who drifted through young adulthood before turning to local politics five years ago and embracing Trumpism. He quickly built relationships with Gaetz, 38, whom he had met in political circles that also included Chris Dorworth, 44, a real estate developer and lobbyist for Ballard Partners, a powerful firm that had close ties to the Trump administration. (Greenberg hired Ballard in 2017 to lobby for the tax collector’s office.) Dorworth announced Friday that he had resigned from the firm. Greenberg relished hobnobbing with the well-connected: He spoke at a Trump campaign rally in 2016 and was invited to the White House three years later. But he also appeared to ingratiate himself with Gaetz and others more privately as well: by soliciting women for sex on their behalf, sometimes in Ecstasy-fueled encounters, people familiar with the arrangements have said. Gaetz has broadly denied allegations against him, including paying for sex or having sex with a minor. In the end, Greenberg went from being an outsider elected on an anti-corruption platform to, prosecutors say, becoming corrupted himself. The world he built quickly fell apart when he was first indicted in June. He resigned and dropped his bid for reelection. Within days, one of the women crashed a vehicle into a tree near Greenberg’s house, suffering minor injuries, according to a police report of the crash, which has not been previously reported. And indications in court last week that he plans to plead guilty, suggesting he will cooperate with prosecutors, further prompted former friends to abandon him. “No one wants to talk to me anymore,” Greenberg told The Orlando Sentinel in the fall. Greenberg’s lawyer, Fritz Scheller, declined to make his client, who has been in jail since March for violating terms of his bail, available for a jailhouse interview. Greenberg acted unlike any other tax collector in Florida. His small-time position left him dissatisfied. His friendships gave him a taste of greater power. He tested the boundaries of what he could get away with, until it all imploded. Daniel A. Pérez, a lawyer who represented one of Greenberg’s former employees in a labor dispute, likened the disreputable saga to a Netflix series: “It’s like the Tiger King got elected tax collector.” He was not expected to win. The previous tax collector, Ray Valdes, a Republican, had been in office for 28 years. But Valdes had been accused of ethical misconduct, and Greenberg, a newcomer, saw an opening. He raised five times as much money for a primary challenge, almost all self-funded — his father founded an empire of dental offices — and ousted the incumbent. Greenberg had little record to run on. He campaigned as a small-business owner, with an advertising company named DG3 Network registered to his name. He had hosted a daily afternoon sports-talk AM radio show. He was 31 and had recently married Abby Weldgen, a real estate agent. Greenberg attended evening classes at Rollins College between 2005 and 2012 but never graduated, according to the school. His name appeared on a burglary incident report when he was 18 and on an involuntary psychiatric commitment report when he was 21, but both reports were sealed, according to records unearthed in 2016 by WFTV, a local news station. Greenberg declined to speak to the station about them. When Greenberg was 15, he and his mother, Susan Greenberg, told a sports columnist for The Sentinel that he had benefited from the mentorship of an Orlando Magic basketball player, John Amaechi, who sometimes shot hoops with “wayward” teenage boys. Susan Greenberg told The Sentinel that her son had been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder as a toddler, took medication as a child and developed Tourette syndrome. “Joel is my shining star that needs more polishing, more buffing,” she said. “He’s the one who keeps me on my knees. It was a belligerent, defiant, rebellion-type of thing at home.” Greenberg’s parents sent him to the Florida Air Academy in Melbourne for military-style discipline, but “I guess it just didn’t sink in,” young Joel told The Sentinel. Asked what he would like to be one day, he answered, “I want to be a good person.” Being elected tax collector could have offered Greenberg a stable, if low-profile, career in government. But he had run as a reformer and appeared to bask in the trappings of his new role. Two months after winning the Republican primary in August 2016 — effectively clinching the office, since no Democrat was on the ballot — he made the speaking lineup at a Trump rally in Sanford, Florida, bounding onto the airport tarmac stage in sunglasses before Trump arrived. “The media has tried to destroy a good man’s reputation,” he said of Trump, “and in destroying that, they would destroy that which he represents: the ideas that you and I hold dear in our hearts, that we know is right and true.” By June 2017, Gaetz floated the idea to a Tampa radio station that Greenberg could run for Congress. He called him a “disrupter” who had taken the tax collector’s office “by storm.” A few months into office, Greenberg was, according to an employee and others in his orbit, already bored. Four complaints about his actions as tax collector were made to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement from August 2017 to August 2018, including accusations that he had asked a contractor to hack the county’s computers, department records show. He pulled over a woman in 2017 while wearing shorts, a backward baseball cap and his tax collector’s badge around his neck. She said he had yelled at her for supposedly cutting him off and driving “like a bat out of hell,” according to a complaint she filed to the sheriff’s office. News reports alleged financial mismanagement. A county audit concluded that Greenberg had “wasted” more than $1 million in taxpayer money and used his tax collector credit card to purchase body armor, weapons and a drone. By the end of his tenure, his office — in top-shelf space he leased — was strewn with electronics, one person who saw it said. A poorly installed server to allow for cryptocurrency payments to the tax collector’s office was blamed for a fire this year. “Seminole County elected a criminal into office, unknowingly,” said J.R. Kroll, a Republican who was elected tax collector last year, after Greenberg’s resignation. State and local authorities never charged Greenberg with anything more than traffic violations. What ultimately got Greenberg into trouble — as so often happens in Florida — began with a clash over real estate. His friend Dorworth wanted to build a shopping and residential complex on rural lands in eastern Seminole County. But an opposition group defeated the project in 2018, and eventually its leader, a music teacher named Brian A. Beute, decided he wanted to go beyond activism and run for office, filing a 2020 candidacy against Greenberg. Soon after, an anonymous letter was sent to the school where Beute worked, falsely accusing him of having a sexual relationship with a student. Social media accounts popped up making other repugnant claims about him. The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office found Greenberg’s fingerprints on the letter. Deputies called in federal agents, said David Bear, Beute’s lawyer. That set off a cascade of criminal charges against Greenberg filed in four indictments, including that he used driver’s licenses surrendered to his office to create fake IDs for women with whom he “engaged in ‘sugar daddy’ relationships.” Prosecutors say he obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent loans from a COVID-19 relief program and embezzled more than $400,000 from the county. Seminole is a suburban county of about half a million people northeast of Orlando. The Greenberg affair, outlandish as it was, might have never made waves outside Central Florida if not for the ties investigators found to other Republicans — “the Seminole County Republican mafia,” Bear called it — and Gaetz. Greenberg and Gaetz met through the tight-knit group of prominent Trump backers in Florida in 2017, according to a person familiar with the matter. Greenberg had no political experience before he was elected. Gaetz represents a district some 400 miles away. Yet Greenberg and Gaetz saw each other regularly in recent years. They gathered at Dorworth’s home in January 2019 to celebrate that Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican close to Gaetz, had overturned a ban on smokable medical marijuana. The three men visited Washington together that June, and Greenberg posted photographs on social media from the White House lawn, including one of his daughter with Gaetz and Trump. A few years ago — the exact date is unclear — Greenberg brought Gaetz into the tax collector’s branch office in Lake Mary over a weekend. The following Monday, an employee found the alarm deactivated and driver’s licenses strewn over a desk. She reviewed surveillance video and saw Greenberg with another man by that desk. When she asked Greenberg about it, according to text messages reviewed by The New York Times, he wrote back, “Yes I was showing congressman Gaetz what our operation looked like. Did I leave something on?” What the men were doing is unclear. In a separate episode on a Sunday in September 2018, Greenberg texted an employee about getting Gaetz an “emergency replacement” ID by Tuesday, claiming that the congressman had lost his. Gaetz told Politico that he had briefly lost his wallet but found it before needing the ID replacement. Days after Greenberg was first indicted last year, a woman crashed her car into a tree a few hundred yards from his home early one morning, according to a crash report. The woman, according to two people familiar with their relationship, had previously had sex with Greenberg and received money from him on mobile payment apps; she had been leaving his house, the people said. When a neighbor called 911, the woman was crying out incoherently in the background, according to a recording of the call. The neighbor said the woman was calling a friend. Moments later, an unidentified man could be heard on the caller’s end of the line. “She got a bump on her head,” the man said. “There’s a little cut on her head. She’s just very shaken.” The latest indictment of Greenberg was unsealed late last month. The accusations, which included defrauding the Small Business Administration out of more than $432,000 in COVID-19 relief loans, described wrongdoing that began days after Greenberg was first arrested and released on bond last summer, prosecutors said. His wife left the house for at least some time after the arrest. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the house in November after a verbal dispute between the couple, records show. In February, Greenberg drove to Jupiter, Florida, looking for his wife, a 180-mile drive that violated the curfew and travel restrictions that were conditions of his release. His mother-in-law called the police. At some point after Greenberg returned home, he burned her clothes, according to a person familiar with the episode. When sheriff’s deputies went to rearrest him at his home in Lake Mary, Greenberg claimed to have explosives and threatened to harm himself, according to a deputy’s report. He surrendered after hours of negotiation. He now sits in jail, awaiting an expected plea deal and most likely a yearslong prison sentence. — Investigation of Matt Gaetz The Justice Department is investigating whether Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., broke federal sex trafficking laws. Gaetz, 38, was elected to Congress in 2016 and became one of President Donald Trump’s most outspoken advocates. The inquiry focuses on the representative’s relationships with women recruited online for sex and whether he had sex with a 17-year-old girl. The investigation includes an examination of payments to women. Investigators believe that he paid for sex with a number of women he met through Joel Greenberg — a former Florida tax collector who was indicted last year on a federal sex trafficking charge, among other offenses — people close to the investigation told The New York Times. Greenberg is expected to plead guilty to federal charges, an indication that he could cooperate as a witness against Gaetz. The representative has repeatedly dismissed the investigation as politically motivated and unfounded, defending his past relationships with women. So far, he has not been charged and the extent of his criminal exposure remains unclear. The investigation is continuing. Gaetz has claimed that his family is being targeted by two men trying to extort $25 million in exchange for making potential legal problems “go away.” The men have denied that they were trying to extort the Gaetzes. In the final weeks of the Trump administration, Gaetz asked the White House for a blanket pardon for any criminal conduct he had ever committed, people familiar with his request have said. Trump aides vetoed that idea, and Trump has said Gaetz never asked him directly for a pardon. Gaetz told the Times that he had no plans to resign from Congress. But as the investigation continues, he could face pressure either to step down or temporarily relinquish his spot on the House committee that oversees the Justice Department. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company