The attorney for a witness in the federal investigation of Florida Representative Matt Gaetz expressed skepticism that prosecutors would drop the case after a report was published in The Washington Post say charges related to the sex trafficking investigation are unlikely before lawmakers.
Gaetz became a target of the Justice Department’s investigation following an investigation into his colleague, former Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg. Greenberg pleaded guilty to sex trafficking charges last May.
The Justice Department is investigating Gaetz over allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid her to travel with him, including across state lines.
The Washington Post reported Friday that Gaetz – who has repeatedly denied he did anything wrong – is unlikely to be charged over “credibility questions” with two witnesses involved in the case. The After quoted anonymous sources and also noted that DOJ officials have not made a final decision in the case.
Speaking with the Orlando SentinelGreenberg’s attorney, Fritz Scheller, said: “I have not received any information from the government regarding its decision to discontinue the investigation and prosecution. [of Gaetz].
“Nevertheless, based on my knowledge of the evidence, I would be surprised by such a decision,” Scheller added.
A lawyer for Gaetz declined to comment on: News week on fridaynight. News week has also contacted Gaetz’s legislative press service for comment.
Citing anonymous sources, the After reported that in investigating Greenberg’s case, prosecutors began investigating whether Gaetz might have been involved in sex trafficking. It also reported that prosecutors had investigated whether the two sexual partners, including the 17-year-old girl, were sharing, as well as whether Greenberg paid women to have sex with the congressman.
However, the paper noted that Greenberg may have credibility issues for prosecutors and previously admitted to fabricating allegations against a political opponent, alleging that a teacher who acted against him as a tax collector had a sexual relationship with a student.
Last week, The Washington Post also reported that Gaetz sought preemptive pardon in former President Donald Trump’s sex trafficking investigation.
A spokesperson for Gaetz told the newspaper that Gaetz has never asked for a pardon.
Congressman Matt Gaetz has been speaking publicly and privately about pardons for many other people at the end of President Donald Trump’s first term. As for himself, President Trump raised this evil rumor more than a year ago by saying, ‘Congressman Matt Gaetz never asked for a pardon from me.’ Rep. Gaetz stands by President Trump’s statement.”