4/11/2021   Embattled Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is denied a meeting with Trump, by Gabby Orr, Dana Bash and Kevin Liptak, CNN

Two people familiar with the matter said Gaetz tried to schedule a visit with Trump after it was first revealed that he was being investigated, but the request was rejected by aides close to the former President, who have urged Trump not to stick his neck out to defend Gaetz. Harlan Hill, a spokesman for Gaetz, said the congressman did not request a meeting with Trump this week.

 

The ex-President has otherwise kept silent since issuing the two-sentence missive last week. Speaking to deep-pocketed GOP donors at his Palm Beach club on Saturday, Trump omitted Gaetz as he name-checked many of his top Republican defenders -- from South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, according to two people familiar with his remarks.


Trump's failure to mention Gaetz was viewed as conspicuous to some in the crowd, given the congressman's outsized loyalty to the former President and the litany of other Republicans Trump called out during his speech.


Meanwhile, Gaetz's appearance on Friday at a conference for pro-Trump women raised eyebrows inside the former President's orbit. Aides saw his last-minute speech at the Women for America First event, which was held at the nearby Trump National Doral resort, as a blatant attempt to reach Trump and his supporters.

4/9/2021   Report: Matt Gaetz is Well and Truly F--ked, by Bess Levin, Vanity Fair

Something that’s been made abundantly clear over the last few years is that there is no minimum IQ requirement to serve in Congress (or, obviously, the White House). There are numerous examples of this to choose from, including but not limited to: Rep. Louie Gohmert, who suggested he caught COVID-19 from wearing a mask; Senator Ted Cruz, who thought no one would notice him on a commercial flight to Cancún amidst a Texas state of emergency; Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who claimed the California wildfires were started by Jewish laser beams; and Senator Tommy Tuberville, who doesn’t know the three branches of government. On Thursday, though, a strong case was made for crowning Rep. Matt Gaetz the king of congressional morons, thanks to his decision to be as blatant as possible about allegedly paying women for sex.

4/9/2021    Gaetz PR Team Tries To Magic Away Sex Scandal By Threatening Journalists, by Elizabeth Dye, Above the Law

Elmore, a former “Apprentice” contestant and fixture in the conservative demi-monde, is actually licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania. She has no excuse for not knowing the actual malice standard for reporting about a public figure. Nevertheless, in her capacity as a member of the PR team at Logan Circle Group, Elmore dispatched a similar nastygram to the Daily Beast, warning that a lawyer would be “closely monitoring your coverage” of the embattled congressman.

 

Apparently the salacious details about alleged paid sex with teenagers, one of whom may have been a minor at the time, isn’t the primary concern for the Logan Circle Group. These consummate professionals are most exercised about the suggestion that Gaetz is persona non grata in Trumpland these days.

4/9/2021   Kinzinger calls for Gaetz to resign, by Nancy Yu, Politico

Rep. Adam Kinzinger called on fellow Republican lawmaker Matt Gaetz to resign Thursday night, making him the first Republican to do so since it was revealed that the Justice Department is investigating the Florida congressman over sex trafficking allegations.

 

After the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Kinzinger voted with nine other Republicans to impeach Trump, drawing a censure in his suburban district that has been a Republican stronghold since 1993.

 

On Thursday, a court hearing indicated that former tax collector Joel Greenberg, one of Gaetz’s closest friends, was likely cooperating with federal prosecutors after Greenberg was criminally charged with sex trafficking of a minor, as well as stalking, bribery and defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program.

4/8/2021   Gaetz-tied group threatens to sue reporters writing on his Trump relationship, by Gabby Orr and Meridith McGraw, Politico

Elmore, who has a legal degree from Villanova and has active status as an attorney in Pennsylvania, has emailed at least two reporters who have written on Gaetz, threatening them with lawsuits over their coverage of the Florida Republican. Gaetz is reportedly facing a federal probe into a potential violation of federal sex trafficking laws. But Elmore’s email took umbrage with reports that the congressman had asked then-President Donald Trump for a pardon and was currently on the outs with the 45th president.

The next link shows no link to the Florida CongressCreep, Matt Gaetz, though who sent Lipman the emails is unrevealed.

4/8/2021   Florida Elections Commission [Republican] general counsel arrested on child porn charges, by Jeff Burlew, Tallahassee Democrat

The Sheriff’s Office’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force got a tip Feb. 24 from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children about child pornography that was transmitted through a Yahoo email account, according to court records.

 

That touched off a six-week investigation, culminating in the execution of a search warrant Wednesday at his home on Benchmark Trace. Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations assisted deputies at the scene, seizing personal and work computers and his iPhone.  Investigators obtained 19 files allegedly sent by Lipman’s email account and confirmed that each one contained child sexual abuse material, according to the arrest report. They also found a number of internet searches on his work laptop involving child sexual abuse, pedophiles and children between the ages of 3 and 5, the report says.

4/8/2021   Indicted Matt Gaetz Associate Is Expected to Plead Guilty, Lawyers Say, by Patricia Mazzei, Katie Benner and Michael S. Schmidt, The New York Times

Investigators have also been told of a conversation where Mr. Gaetz and a prominent Florida lobbyist discussed arranging a sham candidate in a State Senate race last year to siphon votes from an ally’s opponent, according to two people familiar with the investigation. They cautioned that that aspect of the inquiry, which could broaden it beyond sex trafficking, was in its early stages.

 

Among the matters under scrutiny in the investigation is a trip that Mr. Gaetz took to the Bahamas with Republican allies including Jason Pirozzolo, an Orlando-based surgeon who has raised funds for Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, and a group of women, according to four people with knowledge of the inquiry. The trip occurred sometime after Mr. Gaetz was elected to Congress.

 

Immigration authorities stopped one of two planes taken by the group on its return to the United States, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., three of the people said. It is unclear why the plane was stopped, but two of the people said that among those aboard was Halsey Beshears, who served in Mr. DeSantis’s administration until he resigned in January, citing health reasons.

4/8/2021   Gaetz Paid Accused Sex Trafficker, Who Then Venmo’d Teen, by Jose Pagliery and Roger Sollenberger, Daily Beast

Greenberg’s defense attorney, Fritz Scheller, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But during a press conference after a hearing for the case, Scheller offered that the Florida congressman would probably not welcome the news that Greenberg was taking a plea deal.

 

“I'm sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” Scheller said.

4/8/2021   Who Is Jason Pirozzolo? Matt Gaetz Campaign Donor and Marijuana Entrepreneur, by Darragh Roche, Newsweek

4/6/2021   The congressman and his wingman, by Marc Caputo, Politico

Florida has never seen a tax collector like Joel Greenberg.

 

His Seminole County tax office was the only one in the state where employees were armed with pistols and body armor. He wore his own law enforcement badge and carried a sidearm at tax collector conferences. He let people pay property taxes with Bitcoin. He tweeted Islamophobic comments, installed a remote-controlled sprinkler system to spray petition gatherers he didn’t like and doled out fat contracts to his groomsmen shortly after winning the usually humdrum Orlando-area office with a campaign to stop “crony capitalism.”

 

Now Greenberg’s in a federal jail, awaiting trial on a wide-ranging 33-count indictment alleging a host of financial crimes, stalking, identity theft and sex trafficking a minor

4/6/2021   Matt Gaetz's staffers were sending videos of his outrageous behavior to other Republican officials, by Mark Sumner, Daily Kos

4/6/2021   Trump and his allies abandon Gaetz, by Gabby Orr, Meridith McGraw ans Sam Stein, Politico

The congressman was a MAGA fixture. Now, engulfed in scandal, he’s persona non grata in Trumpworld.

 

Neither Trump nor anyone in the ex-president’s orbit is rushing to Gaetz’s defense. A group that often instinctively decries any such charge as part of some nefarious, coordinated witch hunt from deep-state operators has, instead, said virtually nothing at all.

 

Operatives inside Trump World say the silence is owed to a variety of factors. Among them is the fact that Gaetz has always been regarded as a grenade whose pin had already been pulled. The congressman had a reputation for a wild personal lifestyle that, associates say, occasionally bordered on reckless. Some of Gaetz’s own aides would regularly send embarrassing videos of their boss to other GOP operatives, according to two people familiar with the videos.

 

“Anyone that has ever spent 10 minutes with the guy would realize he’s an unserious person,” said one former Trump campaign aide.

4/6/2021   Matt Gaetz, Loyal for Years to Trump, Is Said to Have Sought a Blanket Pardon, by Michael S. Schmidt, Maggie Haberman and Nicholas Fandos, The New York Times

Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, was one of President Donald J. Trump’s most vocal allies during his term, even signing a letter nominating the president for the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

In the final weeks of Mr. Trump’s term, Mr. Gaetz sought something in return. He privately asked the White House for blanket pre-emptive pardons for himself and unidentified congressional allies for any crimes they may have committed, according to two people told of the discussions.

 

But by then, federal investigators were asking witnesses about Mr. Gaetz’s ties to a 17-year-old girl whom investigators believed had sex with Mr. Gaetz and was paid, people close to the investigation have said. The interviews grew out of a case the Justice Department began making last summer against a local Florida tax collector [Greenberg] who has been indicted on a range of charges, including sex trafficking of a minor. He has pleaded not guilty and is set to go to trial this year.

 

Two weeks after Mr. Trump lost re-election, Mr. Gaetz called on him to “pardon everyone” before he left office or they would be targeted by the “radical left.”

 

“He should pardon the Thanksgiving turkey,” Mr. Gaetz said of Mr. Trump on Fox News. “He should pardon everyone from himself to his administration officials to Joe Exotic if he has to,” Mr. Gaetz added, referring to the gun-toting zoo owner in the Netflix series “Tiger King” who was convicted in a murder-for-hire plot.

 

In recent days, some Trump associates have speculated that Mr. Gaetz’s request for a group pardon was an attempt to camouflage his own potential criminal exposure.

4/6/2021   Matt Gaetz Sought a Pre-emptive Pardon From Trump: Report, by Matt Stieb, Intelligencer, New York Magazine

While Trump ultimately chose not even to grant a preemptive pardon to the most worthy of candidates in his eyes — himself — Gaetz’s fierce loyalty to the former president has not been paying off. Since the scandal broke, Trump, along with most every elected Republican official, has not come to the representative’s aide. According to the Daily Beast, aides have told Trump to stay quiet as the scandal develops. “The reason you haven’t seen people in MAGA world defending Gaetz is less about him being unpopular, which he is in a lot of circles, and more about the fact that he hasn’t done a single thing to make people comfortable to defend him,” one Trump confidant told Politico. “His interview with Tucker was an absolutely embarrassing train wreck.”

4/6/2021   Gaetz Desperately Fought to Keep Sharing ‘Revenge Porn’ Legal, Says Ex-Colleague, by Jamie Ross, Daily Beast

Not many people would oppose a bill designed to stop people from sharing sexually explicit images of their ex-lovers without their consent—but, according to one of his ex-colleagues, that’s exactly what Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) did. Former Florida state Rep. Tom Goodson, a Republican who sponsored legislation designed to outlaw nonconsensual porn, said that Gaetz repeatedly tried to block his bill because he believed people who received sexual images had every right to share them. “Matt was absolutely against it. He thought the picture was his to do with what he wanted,” Goodson said. “He thought that any picture was his to use as he wanted to, as an expression of his rights.”

4/6/2021   The Problem Isn’t a ‘Witch Hunt,’ Matt Gaetz. It’s You, by Danielle Tcholakian, Daily Beast

The Republican party’s general silence is also unsurprising—though noticeable, as it speaks to an apparent distaste for Gaetz, when you think about how many other disgusting criminals they’ve chosen to defend. The party’s stance for the last four-plus years has been to assure people that they know there are tigers in the building shitting and pissing everywhere and tearing people’s faces off but frankly we need to accept that the tigers are very popular so we’re just going to have to live with it. The once-great “Moral Majority” is now a party that welcomes and protects avowed sexual predators and pedophiles.

4/5/2021   Opinion: This should not happen more than once, by Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post

There are several details of the Matt Gaetz story that keep sticking in my head, but the one that sticks in it most is the report that the Florida Republican used to wander around and show his colleagues nude photos of people he had slept with. There’s a kind of grim weirdness to the idea of these interactions (which Gaetz denies) — a very “I Read On eHow.com That Men Bond Over Conquests” bewilderment. The callousness and the violation involved are enough of a sock to the gut. But the fact that this was allegedly known about him is what keeps getting to me. The fact that this, or something in this neighborhood of bad, occasioned senior staff from then-House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s (R-Wis.) office to have a talk with Gaetz about professional behavior.

 

I keep coming back to the detail in CNN’s report that this wasn’t something Matt Gaetz did a single time, but repeatedly. Because if it happened more than once — if it happened twice, even — that is because the first time went better than it should have.

 

But if you can’t do it zero times, then ideally it happens only once. It happens only once, because the moment you do it, the person you show it to responds the way a person should respond. You produce your photograph to your colleague, and your colleague looks at you and says, “Never show that to anyone, ever again. Go home and rethink your life. I do not feel closer to you.  The fact that you thought this would make us closer makes me question every decision in my life that has led me to this point. Leave now and never come back.” 

4/5/2021   Opinion: Matt Gaetz tries to pull Tucker Carlson into his mess, by Eric Wemple, The Washington Post

Perhaps committed to dashing his chances of ever becoming a Fox News contributor, Gaetz again pulled Carlson into the picture: “I can say that actually, you and I went to dinner about two years ago — your wife was there — and I brought a friend of mine: You’ll remember her and she was actually threatened by the FBI, told that if she wouldn’t cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay-for-play scheme, that she could face trouble.”

 

Actually, no: “I don’t remember the woman you’re speaking of or the context at all, honestly," replied Carlson, “but I would like to know who — so they’re saying there is a 17-year-old girl who you had a relationship with?” No such person exists, Gaetz replied.

 

So it went. After a break, Carlson showed some awareness: “That was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.”

4/5/2021   Gaetz’s Accused Extorter Confirms, Denies $25 Million Shakedown, by William Bredderman, Daily Beast

The man Rep. Matt Gaetz has accused of trying to extort millions from his family—and blamed for recent allegations of sexual improprieties—admitted in a bizarre interview Monday to asking the Florida Republican’s dad to finance an international plot to “rescue” an American citizen widely believed to be dead in Iran.

 

Air Force veteran and “research consultant” Bob Kent verified to Sirius Radio personality Michael Smerconish that he had approached Gaetz’s deep-pocketed father, former Florida Senate President Don Gaetz, last month seeking a $25 million loan. The funds would ransom the release of Robert Levinson, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who disappeared in Iran more than a decade ago. Levinson’s own family believes him to be dead, but Kent has insisted he has evidence he is alive and remains a hostage of the Islamic Republic, even though credible experts have dismissed his claims.

4/5/2021   Dem Rep. Ro Khanna Quietly Backs Away From Matt Gaetz After Claiming They ‘Hang Out’, by Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

 And so, during a Sunday afternoon interview, CNN host Jim Acosta brought up the accusations against Gaetz and referred back to Khanna telling Fox of his friendship with his pro-Trump colleague, asking the progressive congressman: “I’m sure you are horrified by these allegations against your friend. What do you make of all of this? Does it sound consistent with the Matt Gaetz that you know?”

 

Khanna firmly declared he was “shocked” and “disturbed” by the allegations. And then proceeded to back away from having ever referred to Gaetz as a pal.

 

“And I have never had any interactions with Matt Gaetz outside the Capitol,” Khanna declared. “Obviously, I totally condemn if he shared any of those pictures with anyone. I mean that should be investigated, as the speaker has said, with the ethics department.”

 

"We do get along.  We even hang out." 

 

TweetOfGreenberg MattGaetz 2017 07 08 Three Asses of the Trumpocalypse: Stone, Gaetz & Greenberg

 

4/4/2021   Fox News pundit: It's 'puritanical' to oppose Matt Gaetz having sex with underage girls, by David Edwards, RawStory

Fox News contributor Kat Timpf on Sunday blasted "puritanical" liberals for opposing a suspected sexual affair between Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and an underage girl.

4/4/2021   The Party of Pervy Projection Hits a New Low With Matt Gaetz, by Molly Jong-Fast, Daily Beast

It’s always the ones you most suspect.

 

Elements of Gaetz’s story have been out there for a while, the “sleeping with staff for points” part was reported in January by Solomon Gustavo in Orlando Weekly and years before that by Marc Caputo but the Times was able to put the whole thing together. And when the whole thing came together, it sounded a lot like Qanon with men trafficking girls except that in the real-life version it always seems to be Republicans allegedly committing these crimes.

4/4/2021   On ‘S.N.L.,’ Britney Spears Renders Judgment on Matt Gaetz, by Dave Itzkoff, The New York Times

4/4/2021   Matt Gaetz Is the Model GOP Representative: A Creep No One’s Surprised About, by Erin Gloria Ryan, Daily Beast

4/3/2021   Trump Isn’t Coming to Matt Gaetz’s Rescue—for Now, by Asawin Suebsaeng, Daily Beast

4/3/2021   Hunter Biden, Matt Gaetz and Nonstop Depravity, by Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

WASHINGTON — A Twitter wag summed it up best: “Matt Gaetz is everything the Republicans were looking for in Hunter Biden.”

 

The Times’s report about a federal investigation into whether the Florida congressman had a sexual relationship with a minor and paid for her to travel has set off a scandal worthy of a pulp paperback, one swirling with claims of extortion, Ecstasy, an orgy, a hula hoop and sex trafficking, along with an Iranian hostage and, of course, a cameo by Roger Stone.

4/2/2021   These Text Messages Pointed the Feds to Matt Gaetz, by Jose Pagliery, The Daily Beast

In late January 2020, U.S. Secret Service agents received information that Rep. Matt Gaetz had accompanied a Florida county tax official they were already investigating on an unusual nighttime visit to a government office—where the local official was allegedly making fake IDs, a source close to the investigation told The Daily Beast.

 

According to three people with direct knowledge of the incident: Greenberg visited the Lake Mary, Florida branch of his tax collection agency that weekend. Grainy surveillance footage captured Greenberg standing near a manager’s desk with another man. Greenberg forgot to set the alarm on the way out, which concerned the assistant branch manager when she walked into the office Monday morning. That employee was surprised to find that drivers' licenses—which are normally turned in when expired at the tax office for shredding—were scattered all over the desk instead of in the appropriate disposal basket. She reviewed the camera footage and alerted her boss, who in turn contacted Greenberg via text.

 

Investigators also say that Greenberg used his privileged access to Florida’s drivers' license database to look up private information on “individuals” with whom he “was engaged in ‘sugar-daddy’ relationships.”

 

Additionally, Greenberg is also accused of making fake IDs—potentially explaining why the 2018 surveillance footage raised concerns that led to that text message conversation handed to investigators.

4/2/2021   The Matt Gaetz Investigation: What We Know, by Nicholas Fandos, The New York Times

Federal scrutiny of Mr. Gaetz grew out of an open investigation into a close Republican associate of the congressman’s: Joel Greenberg, the former tax collector in Seminole County, Fla., who was indicted last year on a charge of sex trafficking and other counts.

 

Investigators believe that Mr. Greenberg connected with women online through websites meant to facilitate dates in exchange for gifts, fine dining, travel and cash allowances. Mr. Greenberg would then introduce the women to Mr. Gaetz, who also had sex with them in Florida hotels, sometimes while taking ecstasy, an illegal mood-altering drug, according to people familiar with the encounters.

 

The Times also reviewed receipts from Apple Pay and another mobile payments app that show Mr. Gaetz and Mr. Greenberg transferring funds to one such woman, and Mr. Greenberg to another. The women told friends that the money was in exchange for sex.

 

Federal law prohibits giving a minor anything of value in exchange for sex, including meals, hotel stays, drugs, alcohol or even cigarettes. A conviction under the sex trafficking statute carries a 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.

4/2/2021   How Matt Gaetz Got Here, by Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times

Gaetz has denied paying for sex or sleeping with anyone underage, but it’s clear that the story is far from over. He’s increasingly isolated: Few Republicans have spoken up in support of him, and today his own communications director, Luke Ball, resigned.

4/1/2021   Florida State Rep. Anna Eskamani says Matt Gaetz, Joel Greenberg sent her a 'weird AF' voicemail, by Colin Wolf, Orlando Weekly

Just days after it was announced that Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is under investigation for possible sex crimes, which stemmed from another investigation into his close associate, former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, State Rep. Anna Eskamni says the two sent an unsolicited, and “weird AF” voicemail to her cell phone.

 

Here’s the creepy voicemail from Matt Gaetz and Joel Greenberg left for Florida Rep. Anna Eskamani

 

Eskamani says the voicemail was strange because Greenberg and she were not — and still aren’t — exactly on cordial speaking terms. The representative, who is Iranian, called for him to resign in 2018 after he shared anti-Islamic posts to Facebook.

 

Besides being entirely creepy and inappropriate, the voicemail also shows the apparent close relationship between Greenberg and Gaetz.

 

On Thursday, the New York Times reported that the two men met the same 17-year-old woman through the sugar-daddy website Seeking Arrangement, and paid for sex using Apple Pay and CashApp.

4/1/2021   Republicans Have Been Waiting for a Matt Gaetz Scandal to Break, by Matt Fuller and Sam Brodey, The Daily Beast

As for his few friends in Washington, The Daily Beast found that to be true. One former GOP staffer said Wednesday that their office had an informal rule to not allow their member to appear next to Gaetz during TV hits, fearful of the inevitable scandal that would come out one day. 

 

Only two House Republicans jumped to his defense on Wednesday: Judiciary Committee ranking Republican Jim Jordan (R-OH), who himself has been accused of turning a blind eye to sexual assault; and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who has repeatedly boosted the QAnon conspiracy theory accusing Democrats of abusing children.

3/31/2021   Matt Gaetz Tries to Rope Tucker Carlson Into His FBI Teen Sex Case Defense, by Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

“I’m not the only person on screen right now who’s been falsely accused of a terrible sex act,” the congressman said. “You were accused of something you did not do, so you know what this feels like.”

 

A somewhat befuddled Carlson responded: “You just referred to a mentally ill viewer who accused me of a sex crime 20 years ago. And of course, it was not true. I never met the person.”

 

From there, things only got weirder, as Gaetz tried to get Carlson to affirm on air that the two of them had a dinner with one woman who is apparently part of the FBI probe against Gaetz.

 

“That was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted,” Carlson said after the wild and strange segment was over.

3/30/2021   Rep. Matt Gaetz denies relationship with minor, by Benjamin Dinn and Matt Dixon, Politico

3/30/2021   Matt Gaetz Is Said to Face Justice Dept. Inquiry Over Sex With an Underage Girl, by By Michael S. Schmidt, Katie Benner and Nicholas Fandos, The New York Times

The three people said that the examination of Mr. Gaetz, 38, is part of a broader investigation into a political ally of his, a local official in Florida named Joel Greenberg, who was indicted last summer on an array of charges, including sex trafficking of a child and financially supporting people in exchange for sex, at least one of whom was an underage girl.

 

Mr. Greenberg maintained ties to controversial figures who have supported Mr. Trump, an examination of court records, social media posts and far-right websites showed. A website run by a member of the far-right group the Proud Boys and a network of fake social media accounts linked to Mr. Trump’s longtime political adviser Roger J. Stone Jr. have promoted false accusations about Mr. Greenberg’s rivals similar to rumors that prosecutors accused Mr. Greenberg of secretly trying to spread.

3/29/2021   Trump Party Pal Ghislaine Maxwell Charged With Sex Trafficking of 14-Year-Old Girl, by Benjamin Weiser, The New York Times

The new charges against Ms. Maxwell go further than those contained in an earlier indictment that accused her of helping Mr. Epstein recruit, groom and ultimately sexually abuse girls, but did not include sex trafficking allegations.