Washington – The Justice Department has officially decided not to indict Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz in connection with a sex trafficking investigation, sources familiar with the matter told CBS News, with professional federal attorneys briefing witnesses on the decision on Wednesday.
The four-year congressman was examined for several years to determine if he violated sex trafficking laws and obstructed justice in this investigation. Gaetz has previously denied any wrongdoing, saying he never paid for sex or had sex with an underage girl. CNN initially reported that the department decided against charging Gaetz.
Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner, attorneys for Gaetz, said they learned of the decision not to press charges after speaking to Justice Department officials on Wednesday. “They have completed their investigation into Congressman Gaetz and the allegations related to sex trafficking and obstruction of justice and have decided not to press charges against him,” the attorneys told CBS News, a report also endorsed by Gaetz’s Congressional Bureau .
Federal investigators were trying to determine if Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old. According to multiple sources familiar with the matter, Ms. Gaetz was introduced by Joel Greenberg, a former Florida County tax collector and associate of Gaetz, who pleaded guilty to six federal charges in May 2021, including trafficking in a minor.
Investigators also addressed a Journey that Gaetz allegedly undertook in 2018 as part of an investigation into whether he violated sex trafficking laws to the Bahamas, multiple sources told CBS News in 2021. Federal investigators wanted to determine if any of the women who traveled with Gaetz were paid or trafficked illegally across state or international borders to have sex with him.
Last year, an ex-girlfriend of Gaetz was granted immunity in exchange for testifying before a federal grand jury hearing evidence in the congressman’s investigation, according to a source familiar with the matter. She was considered a potential key witness, with information on the sex trafficking allegations and a separate disability allegation.
Gaetz, an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump, became a thorn in the side of current House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as McCarthy competed to become spokesmanwho led a group of conservative Republicans who opposed the candidacy until McCarthy agreed to several concessions.
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