The investigation into Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz has reportedly taken a new turn, thanks to the recent court appearance and subsequent testimony from an ex-girlfriend.
The ex was seen at the federal courthouse on Wednesday, de acordo com ABC noticias, CNN e NBC News, with CNN and NBC News reporting that she testified before a grand jury convened to consider charges against the lawmaker.
Attorneys for Gaetz, no entanto, say they’ve seen “no credible basis” for a prosecution of the sitting congressman.
The testimony from Gaetz’s ex came before the grand jury investigating whether the 39-year-old Republican had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid her to travel with him.
De acordo com a NBC News, the ex-girlfriend had been in discussions with federal prosecutors about an immunity deal in exchange for her testimony.
News of an investigation into Gaetz first broke last March and, de acordo com O New York Times, the investigation was opened in the final months of President Donald TrumpAdministração, under then-Attorney General Bill Barr.
O Vezes adicionado, citando fontes, naquela “senior Justice Department officials in Washington — including some appointed by Mr. Trump — were notified of the investigation.”
Federal law enforcement officials have not publicly commented and often note that policy usually bars them from discuss ongoing work, though sources told NBC News that Gaetz was being investigated for three separate alleged crimes: sex trafficking the 17-year-old; violating the Mann Act, by taking a woman or women across state lines for prostitution; and obstruction of justice.
Gaetz has not been charged with any crime and has denied any wrongdoing, previously insisting to multiple news outlets that the overarching case was “rooted in an extortion effort” contra ele.
Em uma declaração à PEOPLE, Gaetz’s attorney, Isabelle A. Kirshner, disse: “We have seen no credible basis for a charge against Congressman Gaetz. We remain steadfast in our commitment to challenge any allegations with the facts and law.”
An attorney for Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend, o qual Político relatórios dated Gaetz in 2017 e 2018, did not immediately respond to a request for comment and declined to comment to other news outlets.
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The case involving Gaetz reportedly spun out of another investigation, into Joel Greenberg, his friend and former GOP official from Seminole County, Flórida.
Greenberg was indicted on a range of charges, including sex trafficking of a child, em 2020. Em maio, ele se declarou culpado to multiple charges including sex trafficking a minor and is believed to be cooperating with authorities.
Greenberg and Gaetz have been fotografados juntos no passado.
Falando ao Vezes last year about his knowledge of the investigation, Gaetz said: “I only know that it has to do with women. I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward.”