Federal prosecutors have reportedly recommended against bringing criminal charges against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) in a long-running investigation into corruption, sex trafficking and sex with underage girls.
The feds believe credibility issues with two potentially key witnesses would make the lurid case against Gaetz tough to prove, the Washington Post reported.
It is now unlikely that Gaetz will face criminal charges, the paper said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Gaetz, 40, has been under federal investigation since late 2020. He emphatically denies all charges.
The probe grew out of the case against his former friend and political ally Joel Greenberg, a disgraced suburban Orlando official who has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking and other charges and is awaiting sentencing.
Greenberg’s attorney, Fritz Scheller, told the Orlando Sentinel that the government hasn’t told him that it plans to scrap the potential prosecution of Gaetz.. “Based on my knowledge of the evidence, I would be surprised by such a decision,” Scheller said.
Greenberg admitted to paying women and a 17-year-old girl for sex and agreed to testify against others, including potentially Gaetz.
The federal probe into Gaetz sought to determine if he also had sex with the teenager or other paid sex that would violate trafficking laws, all of which Gaetz has denied.
The other witness against Gaetz whose credibility concerned prosecutors was an ex-girlfriend of the lawmaker who testified before an Orlando grand jury this year and who was reportedly on a 2018 junket to the Bahamas that was scrutinized by investigators.
Testimony given to the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol riot reportedly revealed that Gaetz sought a preemptive pardon from Trump in the sex probe.