DOJ Ends Investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz with No Charges Filed
The Department of Justice has officially decided not to charge Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., with any criminal charges related to the agency's two-year investigation into allegations of sex trafficking and obstruction of justice, lawyers for the lawmaker said Wednesday.
The investigation into Gaetz's involvement in sex trafficking was launched in March 2021, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. Joel Greenberg, a former Florida county tax collector and associate of Gaetz who pleaded guilty in May 2021 to six federal charges, including trafficking of a minor, reportedly introduced the alleged victim to Gaetz.
Gaetz, 40, consistently denied any wrongdoing, saying he never paid for sex nor had sexual relations with a minor. However, lawyers for at least one witness in the case were informed by prosecutors that Gaetz won’t be charged, CNN reported.
The other witness whose credibility concerned prosecutors was an ex-girlfriend of the congressman who testified before a federal grand jury in 2021. She was granted immunity in exchange for her testimony and was viewed as a potential key witness.
The Justice Department told lawyers for multiple witnesses on Wednesday that the investigation has ended and no charges will be brought, according to CNN. Gaetz’s office confirmed the decision in a statement.
Two other people in Gaetz’s orbit, his ex-girlfriend and a Florida radio host, became key cooperators in the probe. Prosecutors finally agreed to schedule a sentencing date for Greenberg after months of delays while he continued to cooperate with the ongoing Gaetz probe, indicating that the Justice Department's case had nearly ground to a halt.
The DOJ's decision was not a surprise, as nearly two years had passed without prosecutors filing charges against Gaetz. The firebrand Republican congressman has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
0. “Rep. Matt Gaetz Won't Be Criminally Charged in DOJ Sex Trafficking Probe, His Lawyer Says” NBC New York, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/business/money-report/rep-matt-gaetz-wont-be-criminally-charged-in-doj-sex-trafficking-probe-his-lawyer-says/4105966/
1. “Matt Gaetz Will Not Face Charges In Sex-Trafficking Probe” Forbes, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/anafaguy/2023/02/15/matt-gaetz-will-not-face-charges-in-sex-trafficking-probe/
2. “Justice Department won't charge Rep. Matt Gaetz in sex trafficking probe” Yahoo! Voices, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/news/justice-department-wont-charge-rep-180800196.html
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4. “Matt Gaetz won't be charged in sex trafficking probe, Justice Department decides” CBS News, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/matt-gaetz-justice-department-no-charges-sex-trafficking-investigation
5. “DOJ officially decides not to charge Matt Gaetz in sex-trafficking probe” Local 3 News, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.local3news.com/regional-national/doj-officially-decides-not-to-charge-matt-gaetz-in-sex-trafficking-probe/article_7b87f526-efc3-5e8d-bda2-a9ef5ea6a5ff.html
6. “Matt Gaetz Evades Charges in Sex Trafficking Probe” The Daily Beast, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/matt-gaetz-reportedly-off-the-hook-in-sex-trafficking-probe