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The Justice Department has reportedly hired prosecutors specializing in child exploitation and public corruption to work on the Matt Gaetz case

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Matt Gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., takes a question from reporters in Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. AP
  • The Justice Department has hired two new prosecutors in its investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz, reports say.

  • The prosecutors reportedly specialize in child exploitation and public corruption.

  • The Gaetz investigation is linked to the prosecution of his former associate Joel Greenberg.

The Justice Department (DOJ) has hired two new prosecutors to work on the team investigating Rep. Matt Gaetz, a prominent congressional ally of former president Donald Trump. 

Gaetz, a Florida Republican, is under investigation by the DOJ over allegations that he provided money or goods to a 17-year-old girl in exchange for sex. 

Two sources familiar with the matter told the New York Times that one of prosecutors hired by the DOJ to work on the Gaetz case specialises in child exploitation matters, while the other specializes in public corruption. 

One of the prosecutors was named as Todd Gee, Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Section at the DOJ.

The two have been deployed from Washington to work on the Florida-based probe, the reports said. ABC News subsequently confirmed the hires. 

Insider has contacted the DOJ for comment, but is yet to receive a response at the time of publication.

Gaetz has not been charged with any criminal offence in relation to the investigation, and has denied all allegations of wrongdoing. 

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz looks at his phone in an empty hearing room.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images

"Congressman Gaetz is innocent. The former DOJ official who tried to extort him is guilty. No number of political operative prosecutors at a politically weaponized DOJ will change this," a Gaetz spokesman told ABC. 

The investigation into Gaetz was first reported in March 2021. In May, Joel Greenberg, a Florida tax official described as Gaetz's "wingman", pleaded guilty to offences including sex trafficking, and introducing a minor to men who had sex with her. 

He agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, and in October his sentencing was delayed until March to give him extra time to work with prosecutors.

Gaetz has continued to serve in Congress during the investigation, with the Congressional Republican Party saying it will only take action against him if he is charged with a crime. 

This has placed him in the unusual position of being able to question top DOJ officials while the department is investigating him.

In a hearing Thursday he questioned Attorney General Merrick Garland about whether there is a ban on people who have worked as "partisan" committee staff working on criminal probes.

While Gaetz didn't mention any specific names, Gee previously worked as a counsel of the Democratic-led Homeland Security Committee in the House of Representatives.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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