Mr. Gaetz, who gained a nationwide profile in recent times as a outstanding supporter of President Donald J. Trump, has denied that he paid for intercourse. The investigation into him grew out of Mr. Greenberg’s case.
“I’m positive Matt Gaetz shouldn’t be feeling very snug right now,” Mr. Scheller advised reporters outdoors the courthouse after the listening to.
The Justice Division is investigating whether or not Consultant Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, broke federal intercourse trafficking legal guidelines.
- Mr. Gaetz, 38, was elected to Congress in 2016 and have become one in all President Donald J. Trump’s most outspoken advocates. The inquiry focuses on the consultant’s relationships with ladies recruited on-line for intercourse and whether or not he had intercourse with a 17-year-old woman.
- The investigation contains an examination of funds to ladies. Investigators consider that he paid for intercourse with various ladies he met by way of Joel Greenberg — a former Florida tax collector who was indicted final 12 months on a federal intercourse trafficking cost, amongst different offenses — individuals near the investigation advised The New York Instances.
- Mr. Gaetz has repeatedly dismissed the investigation as politically motivated and unfounded, defending his previous relationships with ladies. To date, he has not been charged and the extent of his prison publicity stays unclear. The investigation is constant.
- The consultant has claimed that his household is being focused by two males making an attempt to extort it for $25 million in change for making potential authorized issues “go away.” The boys have denied that they have been making an attempt to extort the Gaetzes.
- Mr. Gaetz advised The Instances that he had no plans to resign from Congress. However because the investigation continues, he may face strain both to step down or briefly relinquish his spot on the Home committee that oversees the Justice Division.
Mr. Gaetz didn’t instantly deal with the listening to, however his congressional workplace issued an announcement on Thursday from ladies who work for him extolling his respect for them. “At no time has any one in all us skilled or witnessed something lower than the utmost professionalism and respect,” mentioned the assertion, which included no particular person aides’ names.
Mr. Greenberg ran for tax collector in Seminole County, northeast of Orlando, in 2016, depicting himself as a crusading outsider who may restore integrity to an workplace that had been corrupted by profession politicians.
After Mr. Greenberg received, he started performing offensively and outlandishly in his place, punishing those that labored for him who supported his rival within the election and utilizing his place to counterpoint himself.
However in June, he was indicted on federal costs that he stalked a candidate operating in opposition to him in his re-election bid. The authorities mentioned that Mr. Greenberg despatched an nameless letter to the college the place the rival labored that falsely accused him of getting a sexual relationship with a scholar, and that Mr. Greenberg arrange social media accounts that made related claims. Since, Mr. Greenberg has been indicted on corruption and different costs.
In August, Mr. Greenberg was indicted on a rely of intercourse trafficking a 17-year-old in 2017. Across the time of the indictment, the Justice Division started investigating Mr. Gaetz’s ties to the identical woman.
Within the closing weeks of the Trump administration, Mr. Gaetz requested the White Home for a blanket pardon for any prison conduct he had ever dedicated, individuals aware of his request have mentioned. Trump aides vetoed that concept, and Mr. Trump has mentioned Mr. Gaetz by no means requested him immediately for a pardon.
Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting from Washington.