Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Florida congressman Matt Gaetz obstructed justice in conversation with a key witness in the ongoing probe into whether he committed sex trafficking offenses.
According to inside sources who spoke with Politico, the possible obstruction charges stem from a conversation between Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend and the witness. Investigators claim that Gaetz’s former partner patched him into the call and they are attempting to determine whether he encouraged her to lie in her testimony.
The woman is reportedly an associate of former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg. The Central Florida politician was a friend of Gaetz’s and the pair were caught moving money publicly on Venmo that appeared to be payments for women. Several anonymous women have come forward to say they took part in drug-fueled parties with both Gaetz and Greenberg in attendance. Greenberg allegedly wrote a letter seeking a pardon where he admitted that both he and Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old girl, though the veracity of that letter has not been determined.
Greenberg pleaded guilty to several federal crimes last month, including trafficking the same 17-year-old. As part of his plea deal, he agreed to cooperate with federal investigators in their probe of Gaetz. The congressman’s office issued a statement calling any claims of obstruction on the part of Gaetz false.
“Congressman Gaetz pursues justice, he doesn’t obstruct it,” the statement shared by Politico said. “The anonymous allegations have thus far amounted to lies, wrapped in leaks, rooted in an extortion plot by a former DOJ official. After two months, there is still not a single on-record accusation of misconduct, and now the ‘story’ is changing yet again.”
Though Gaetz has found few allies during this recent scandal, the only state-level elected Florida Democrat seems to agree that the investigation is casting about for something to stick to the congressman. Recently announced gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Fried came to the defense of Gaetz last month, saying that investigators should show their hand and end the parade of leaks and insinuations.
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