Key figure in Gaetz saga to cooperate with feds: reports
Joel Greenberg, a Seminole County tax collector and friend of embattled GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), is expected to strike a plea deal, his attorneys said in court Thursday, according to according to multiple reports.
Greenberg faces charges including sex trafficking of a child. His association with Gaetz has led to a federal probe into the Florida congressman, who has not been charged.
Gaetz has adamantly denied any wrongdoing and alleged that he and his family have been victims in an extortion scheme led by a former Justice Department official.
No plea deal has been finalized, but assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg told a judge on Thursday that “we believe this case will be a plea,” according to CNN.
The Washington Post reported that Fritz Scheller, an attorney for Greenberg, requested the court set a May 15 deadline for the two sides to either reach a deal or plan for a trial this summer.
The potential plea deal comes amid growing pressure on Gaetz, the subject of a federal probe into whether he had an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for sexual favors.
The New York Times first reported news of the investigation into Gaetz and later reported accusations that he and Greenberg paid multiple women who were recruited for sex online.
Gaetz has alleged that an extortion scheme was led by former Justice Department official David McGee.
McGee has denied that he ever attempted to extort the Florida Republican or his family.
Gaetz — one of former President Trump’s most vocal allies in Congress — has said he has no plans to step down from his seat. He is slated to speak at a pro-Trump women’s group event on Friday.
–Updated at 2:22 p.m.