Matt Gaetz is likely to avoid charges in a trafficking probe. Federal investigators are wrapping up their investigation into Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz’s alleged relationships with teenage girls. The Republican congressman is unlikely to face charges, an informed source said.
Under the Trump administration, the FBI and federal prosecutors began investigating Gaetz for possible trafficking crimes in late 2020. He allegedly paid women for ‘relations’ and flew to parties overseas attended by teenagers who were under 18.
Career prosecutors, in part because of concerns regarding the credibility of potential witnesses, recommended against pursuing charges against Gaetz, the Washington Post reported recently.
This probably means that Gaetz is unlikely to face charges in U.S. District Court related to allegations of transporting a minor across state lines. Despite the fact that the US District Attorneys handling the case have not yet decided, the Post notes that professional prosecutors rarely ignore such recommendations, said Florida Politics.
Any case against Gaetz will ultimately depend on the testimony of two people who lack credibility, according to close sources who told the Post.
A spokesman for the Justice Department declined to comment. Matt Gaetz is considered an outspoken ally of former President Donald Trump.
Matt Gaetz was accused for a year and a half of traveling with a 17-year-old in a “sugar daddy-sugar baby” relationship and having ‘relations’ in return for trips, gifts and payments. According to public text messages and Venmo records, Gaetz sent money to former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg. Greenberg in turn sent the same money to different women with messages like “tuition” or “school.”
Greenberg pleaded guilty last year to six federal charges, including a trafficking charge. There have been several delays in Greenberg’s sentencing as his cooperation with the federal government continued. Though the reasons for those delays were unclear, defendants who assist the government in investigations usually want to be able to provide as much assistance as possible to the court, including grand jury testimony and a trial if necessary.
Greenberg was facing multiple indictments and as many as 33 counts against him at one point. However, he eventually pleaded guilty to only six counts. In March 2021, the New York Times reported that new investigations could frame Gaetz, a friend and close associate of Greenberg.
Matt Gaetz claimed he regretted his association with Greenberg but also denied ever paying for intercourse. He further denied having intercourse with an underage person as an adult. After allegations surfaced, Gaetz married Ginger Luckey, a relationship that precedes the accusations.
During an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Matt Gaetz said he knows nothing beyond what the media has reported. “I continue to proclaim my innocence,” he claimed.
It has long been claimed by Congressman Gaetz that the allegations are false, and are actually intended to extort his family, including father Don Gaetz, former Florida Senate president.
Investigators claimed Stephen Alford defrauded an anonymous victim of $25 million between March and April 2021 by using fraudulent means. Alford was indicted in August 2021 on wire fraud charges.