Matt Gaetz ex-girlfriend appears before grand jury investigating sex trafficking claims

Eric Garcia
Wednesday 12 January 2022 20:44

Florida Rep Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend was seen walking into an Orlando federal courthouse where a grand jury is convening on Wednesday, CNN reported.

NBC News reported that the ex-girlfriend, whose name is being withheld, testified before a federal grand jury investigating the right-wing congressman for sex crimes. Mr Gaetz is currently being investigated over whether he took a woman across state lines for sex work purposes, trafficked a 17-year old girl and obstructed justice.

A source familiar told CNN that Mr Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend, who is a former Capitol Hill staffer, was expected to testify before the grand jury that is investigating the Florida Republican congressman.

Investigators are currently looking into whether Mr Gaetz had sexual contact with a girl who was 17 years old at the time.

Former Trump administration Attorney General William Barr was reportedly briefed on the matter multiple times.

Mr Gaetz has not been charged with a crime but under a possible deal, Mr Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend could avoid prosecution if she were to agree to testify whether Mr Gaetz had sex with the girl in exchange for money and whether he and others paid for sex workers overseas, NBC News reported.

The potential charges against Mr Gaetz were reportedly supposed to come as early as July. Mr Gaetz has vehemently denied any wrongdoing but his former associate Joel Greenberg, a former Seminole County tax collector, was charged with crimes such as smearing a political rival as a pedophile and sex-trafficking a teenaged girl.

In response, Mr Gaetz has attempted to distance himself from Mr Greenburg, saying “I deeply regret our friendship.”

Prosecutors’ case stalled before the ex-girlfriend testified, NBC reported and they had sought her testimony to learn more facts. The ex-girlfriend reportedly took a trip with Mr Gaetz and friends to the Bahamas, which has fallen under scrutiny. Mr Gaetz reportedly spoke on a three-way call with another woman cooperating with investigators.

Mr Gaetz has vehemently denied taking a trip to the Bahamas with a lobbyist, saying he only went like many other Floridians do.

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