Gaetz ex testified to federal grand jury in sex crimes investigation

National

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., departs after attending a House Judiciary Committee closed door session with former White House counsel Don McGahn on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, June 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(The Hill) — A former girlfriend of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) testified before a federal grand jury on Wednesday as part of a sex crimes investigation into the congressman, according to NBC News

The House Republican is reportedly being investigated for several possible crimes, including obstruction of justice, the sex trafficking of a minor and violating the Mann Act, a federal law barring the transportation of prostitutes between states or countries, legal sources familiar with the investigation told the network.

Gaetz’s former girlfriend, who has been in contact with prosecutors, may be providing testimony regarding allegations that the congressman paid a minor to have sex with him in 2017 and he and others violated a federal law that bans people paying for prostitutes overseas, according to NBC. 

Her testimony would be given in exchange for avoiding future prosecution for obstruction of justice in connection with the case under a potential deal with prosecutors, according to the network.

Last year it was reported that federal prosecutors were looking into whether Gaetz obstructed justice during a phone call a witness in the investigation had with the lawmaker’s former girlfriend, during which she allegedly patched Gaetz into the call.

NBC News noted that the Justice Department may be moving toward charging Gaetz given the news of his former girlfriend testifying before the federal grand jury. The Department of Justice declined to comment to The Hill.

An attorney for the former girlfriend of Gaetz declined to comment to The Hill.

Gaetz has denied that he had sex with a minor as an adult or that he paid for sex, and he has not been charged with a crime in relation to the allegations, the network noted. 

“​​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,” Isabelle Kirshner, an attorney for Gaetz, said in a statement to The Hill. 

Meanwhile, a former associate of Gaetz’s, Joel Greenberg, is also reportedly cooperating with investigators in an investigation into the congressman.

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