Matt Gaetz ‘unlikely’ to face charges for ‘sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl’
Prosecutors ‘tell DOJ leaders NOT to charge Matt Gaetz over allegations he trafficked 17-year-old girl’ because of witness ‘credibility issues’: The GOP representative has insisted he never paid for sex and is innocent
- The report says career prosecutors have warned DOJ superiors against charging him
- The investigation into Gaetz began in 2020 due to allegations that he had sex with a teenage girl
- Investigators picked up on a 2018 trip he took to the Bahamas with several women
- Married Gaetz has consistently denied the allegations and dismissed the investigation as a ‘witch hunt’
The Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz likely won’t face charges for allegedly trafficking a 17-year-old girl because of advice from career prosecutors and credibility issues with a witness, a report said Friday.
Sources told the Washington Post that Justice Department superiors have been advised against moving the case forward.
The allegations stem from an investigation that began in 2020 into allegations that Gaetz, now 40, was involved with a 17-year-old girl years earlier and paid for sex.
Investigators tapped into a 2018 trip to the Bahamas where Gaetz was with several women and sought to determine whether he violated human trafficking laws.
Married Gatez insists it never happened and the only time he had sex with a 17-year-old girl was when he was 17.
He has dismissed the investigation as a ‘witch hunt’ and his lawyers have said they have seen ‘no credible basis’ for charges.
More evidence could turn up in the case, but it is rare that such advice from the Ministry of Justice is rejected, Post added in the report.
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz likely won’t face charges for allegedly trafficking a 17-year-old girl because of advice from career prosecutors and credibility issues with a witness, a report said Friday.
The existence of the investigation only became public last March, when The New York Times reported that investigators were looking into whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old in 2019 and paid for her to travel with him.
The investigation had been ongoing for several months before it became public.
Gaetz first came to the attention of investigators because of his friendship with a former Florida tax collector, Joel Greenberg, described as his “wingman,” who pleaded guilty last year to six counts of fraud and sex crimes.
Greenberg told investigators that Gaetz and at least two other men had sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl.
He has told them that they both gave women cash and gifts in exchange for sex.
Greenberg pleaded guilty to identity theft, stalking, wire fraud, conspiracy to bribe a public official and sex trafficking of a minor.
Prosecutors must always weigh potential credibility issues when relying on witnesses who have received plea deals.
In Greenber’s guilty plea last year, prosecutors indicated they might recommend a shorter sentence below the minimum in exchange for “substantial assistance” in other cases.
In an unrelated case last month, Florida man Stephen Alford was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud amid a bizarre plot involving an attempt to shake Rep. Matt Gaetz’s father down and a promise to try to secure a presidential pardon.
That case had also put Gaetz in the news, when he released his own account of the bizarre shakedown scheme during an appearance on Fox host Tucker Carlson’s show. Gaetz’s account ultimately held up.
Alford, 62, pleaded guilty to fraud in the convoluted scheme last year. According to the indictment, he approached Don Gaetz, the wealthy father of the loyal Trump lawmaker, after hearing about a Justice Department investigation into alleged sex trafficking.
Gaetz has denied wrongdoing and no charges have been filed against him.
The sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release.
Alford sought $25 million from Don Gaetz to fund an effort to free Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran years ago, and said he would help seek a pardon from President Joe Biden for Rep. Gaetz.
More to follow
Gaetz with his then-girlfriend Ginger Luckey in Doral, Florida. They got married last August