Matt Gaetz ‘unlikely’ to face charges for ‘sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl’

Prosecutors ‘tell DOJ leaders NOT to charge Matt Gaetz over allegations he trafficked a 17-year-old girl’ because of witness ‘credibility questions’: GOP Rep has insisted he has never paid for sex and is innocent

<!–<!–<!–<!–<!–<!–<!–

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is unlikely to face charges for allegedly trafficking a 17-year-old girl because of advice from career prosecutors and credibility issues with a witness, a report Friday said.

Sources told the Washington Post that Department of Justice superiors have been advised against moving the case forward.

The allegations claim from an investigation that began in 2020 over claims Gaetz, now 40, was involved with a 17-year-old girl years earlier and paid for sex. 

Investigators zoned in on a trip to the Bahamas in 2018 where Gaetz was with several women, and were looking to determine whether he violated trafficking laws. 

Married Gatez insists it never happened and the only time he had sex with a 17-year-old girl was when he was 17. 

He has dismissed the investigation as a ‘witch hunt’ and his lawyers have said they have seen ‘no credible basis’ for charges.

More evidence could emerge in the case but it is rare for such advice from within the Department of Justice to be rejected, the Post added in the report.

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is unlikely to face charges for allegedly trafficking a 17-year-old girl because of advice from career prosecutors and credibility issues with a witness, a report Friday said

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is unlikely to face charges for allegedly trafficking a 17-year-old girl because of advice from career prosecutors and credibility issues with a witness, a report Friday said

The existence of the investigation first became public last March, when The New York Times reported that investigators were examining whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old in 2019 and paid for her to travel with him.

The inquiry had been underway for several months before it became public.

Gaetz first came to investigators’ attention because of his his friendship with a former Florida tax collector, Joel Greenberg, described as his ‘wingman’, who last year pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud and sexual offenses.

Greenberg told investigators that Gaetz and at least two other men had sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl.

He has told them that they both gave women cash and gifts in exchange for sex.

Greenberg pleaded guilty to identity theft, stalking, wire fraud, conspiracy to bribe a public official and sex trafficking of a minor.

Prosecutors always must weigh potential credibility issues when relying on witnesses who received plea deals.

The report comes days after another report that Gaetz sought a pardon from former President Donald Trump related to the investigation

The report comes days after another report that Gaetz sought a pardon from former President Donald Trump related to the investigation

A former White House aide has told the January 6 committee investigating the Capitol riots that Gaetz, left, was trying to be pardoned by then-President Trump  

Former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg (r) pleaded guilty last year pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud and sexual offenses, and could receive a lighter sentence for cooperation in other cases. He is seen here with Gaetz and pardoned longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone

Former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg (r) pleaded guilty last year pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud and sexual offenses, and could receive a lighter sentence for cooperation in other cases. He is seen here with Gaetz and pardoned longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone

Gaetz repeatedly denied the trafficking charge. He married Ginger Luckey last year

Gaetz repeatedly denied the trafficking charge. He married Ginger Luckey last year

Gaetz with his then girlfriend Ginger Luckey in Doral, Florida. They married in August last year

Gaetz with his then girlfriend Ginger Luckey in Doral, Florida. They married in August last year

In Greenberg’s guilty pleas last year, prosecutors indicated they might recommend shorter sentencing below the minimum in exchange for ‘substantial assistance’ in other cases. 

A Gaetz spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Congressman Matt Gaetz told a former White House aide that he had asked then-President Donald Trump for a pardon after being investigated for sex trafficking, it is claimed. 

The Florida Representative is currently being investigated in a federal sex trafficking probe involving a 17-year-old girl. 

The teenager claims Gaetz paid her to travel across the state line to have sex with him, and the congressman was investigated after a close friend was convicted of similar charges.

He has denied the sex-trafficking allegations against him, and no charges have been filed against him.

Johnny McEntee, who served as director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office in the Trump administration, told investigators into the January 6 attack on the US Capitol that Gaetz was looking to be pardoned by Trump.

According to the Washington Post, Gaetz told McEntee that ‘they are launching an investigation into him or that there’s an investigation into him.’

He did not specify who was investigating Gaetz but added that the congressman told him that he ‘did not do anything wrong but they are trying to make his life hell, and you know if the president could give him a pardon, that would be great.’

The married Gaetz asked for a pre-emptive pardon from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, with McEntee confirming it was in relation to Gaetz allegedly violating sex trafficking laws, the hearing was told. 

Gaetz is a Donald Trump loyalist who flew with the president Aboard Air Force One and has been one of his most prominent public defenders, tweeting Dec. 21, 2020 days before lawmakers were to meet on January 6 that he would ‘OBJECT to electors from states that didn’t run clean elections.’

According to another report in the Post last week, Gaetz told a former White House aide that he had asked Trump for a pardon after being investigated for the alleged sex trafficking.

Johnny McEntee, who served as director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office in the Trump administration, told investigators into the January 6 attack on the US Capitol that Gaetz was looking to be pardoned by Trump.

According to the Washington Post, Gaetz told McEntee that ‘they are launching an investigation into him or that there’s an investigation into him.’

He did not specify who was investigating Gaetz but added that the congressman told him that he ‘did not do anything wrong but they are trying to make his life hell, and you know if the president could give him a pardon, that would be great.’ 

Gaetz asked for a pre-emptive pardon from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, with McEntee confirming it was in relation to Gaetz allegedly violating sex trafficking laws, the hearing was told. 

Last month’s revelation is the first indication that Gaetz was specifically seeking a pardon for the probe against him, after months of calling for broad pardons in the final months of the Trump administration.

McEntee added that Gaetz met him one evening to discuss the issue of a pardon, but that he could not remember if that took place before or after the Capitol riots.

In an unrelated case last month, Florida man Stephen Alford was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud amid a bizarre plot involving an attempt to shake down the father of Rep. Matt Gaetz and a pledge to try to secure a presidential pardon.

That case had also brought Gaetz into the news,  where he went public with his own account of the bizarre shakedown scheme during an appearance on Fox host Tucker Carlson’s show. Gaetz’ account ultimately held up.

Alford, 62, pleaded guilty fraud in the convoluted scheme last year. According to the indictment, he approached Don Gaetz, the wealthy father of the Trump loyalist lawmaker, after having learned of a Justice Department investigation of alleged sex trafficking. 

Gaetz has denied wrongdoing and no charges have been filed against him. 

The sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release. 

Alford sought $25 million from Don Gaetz to fund an effort to free Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran years ago, and said he would help seek a pardon from President Joe Biden for Rep. Gaetz.   

More to follow 

Advertisement