U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) looks on during an “America First” rally in Dalton, Georgia, U.S. May 27, 2021.
Dustin Chambers | Reuters
Federal prosecutors have really helpful to not bring charges against Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz as a part of a sex trafficking investigation, The Washington Post reported Friday, citing people acquainted with the matter.
The prosecutors said they made that call partially due to credibility questions with two central witnesses, those people told the Post.
The reported advice means the Department of Justice is unlikely to charge Gaetz, 40, with a criminal offense because of this of the probe. The investigation began in 2020 and centered on the Florida congressman’s alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl years earlier. While the advice will not be a final decision — and the Post’s sources said recent evidence could emerge that changes the prosecutors’ view — their advice is prone to be upheld, the report said.
Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing since The Recent York Times first reported in March 2021 that the DOJ was investigating whether he had a sexual relationship with the underage girl and paid for her travels with him.
A spokesman for the Justice Department didn’t immediately reply to CNBC’s request for comment.
When asked for comment on the report, Gaetz attorney Isabelle Kirshner told CNBC, “Once I hear it from DOJ, I’m glad to speak.”
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People acquainted with the case told the Post that the 17-year-old girl is considered one of the 2 witnesses whose testimony may not get up before a jury.
The second person is Joel Greenberg, the previous Seminole County, Florida, tax collector and friend of Gaetz who last 12 months pleaded guilty to multiple crimes in a case that led to the investigation of the congressman.