The ex-girlfriend of embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz testified earlier than a federal grand jury in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, a sign the Department of Justice is transferring nearer to indicting the firebrand pol on little one sex-trafficking fees.
The girl was noticed coming into the courthouse alongside her legal professional and has been in negotiations with prosecutors a couple of potential immunity deal the place she’d keep away from obstruction fees in trade for her testimony in opposition to Gaetz (R-Fla.), NBC News reported.
Gaetz, 39, is below investigation for sex-trafficking a 17-year-old, obstructing justice and violating the Mann Act, which criminalizes the transportation of individuals throughout state strains for the aim of prostitution, authorized sources advised the outlet. Gaetz has repeatedly, and vigorously, denied the allegations, claiming they’re nothing however a DOJ “witch hunt.”
The probe into Gaetz began greater than a yr in the past when his longtime ally Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector in Florida, was charged with a bevvy of crimes, together with sex-trafficking of a minor — the identical woman whom Gaetz is accused of abusing.
While the feds had been probing Greenberg, the alleged sex-trafficking sufferer advised them Gaetz had additionally had intercourse along with her at one level, a supply conversant in the case advised the outlet.
Gaetz pictured on Capitol Hill in June 2021.AFP by way of Getty Images
Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend, who was in an open relationship with the conservative between 2017 and 2018, is an important voice within the probe as a result of the couple would ceaselessly talk about his trysts with different ladies, and her testimony might assist investigators fill in gaps within the story, the outlet stated.
She additionally traveled with Gaetz and different younger ladies to the Bahamas in 2018, a visit that’s a part of the investigation as nicely, Politico beforehand reported.
Once the investigation into Gaetz began, he spoke with the ex in a three-way telephone name with one other girl who on the time was already cooperating with federal investigators and was surreptitiously recording the decision, sources conversant in the case advised the outlet.
The probe into Gaetz started over a yr in the past.Getty Images
It was on that decision that the ex and Gaetz allegedly obstructed justice, nevertheless it’s not instantly clear how.
The ex-girlfriend is repped by Tim Jansen, a distinguished Florida legal professional recognized for securing immunity offers.
Gaetz and Jansen didn’t return requests for remark.