Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend cooperating with federal investigation: report
Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-Fla.) ex-girlfriend is reportedly cooperating with federal authorities in their probe into the congressman’s alleged involvement in sex trafficking and a sexual relationship with a minor.
CNN reported Friday that the woman is a former Capitol Hill staffer who could potentially help investigators analyze hundreds of transactions made by the congressman that they have obtained through records, according to people familiar with the matter.
CNN had reported last week that federal authorities were seeking cooperation from the woman, who it said has been linked to Gaetz as early as the summer of 2017, as well as a second key witness.
The reported involvement of Gaetz’s former girlfriend comes days after Joel Greenberg, a former Seminole County, Fla., tax collector and associate of Gaetz, pleaded guilty to six federal crimes, including sex trafficking of a minor.
Greenberg as part of his plea deal admitted to recruiting women for sex and paying them more than $70,000 between 2016 and 2018, as well as paying at least one underage girl to have sex with him and other men.
When contacted by The Hill, Gaetz spokesperson Harlan Hill said in a statement, “Congressman Gaetz doesn’t seem to be named nor referenced in Mr. Greenberg’s plea.”
“Congressman Gaetz has never had sex with a minor and has never paid for sex,” he added. “Mr. Greenberg has now pleaded guilty to falsely accusing someone else of sex with a minor. That person was innocent. So is Congressman Gaetz.”
Gaetz’s defense attorneys, Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner, also said in a statement shared with The Hill, “We’re ready for a fair fight on the facts and the law. Anywhere. Anytime.”
“But the steady stream of leaks by anonymous sources undermines the integrity of this process. It is simply and unequivocally improper,” they said.
The Hill has reached out to the Justice Department for comment.
CNN reported that the ex-girlfriend’s lawyer, Timothy Jansen, declined to comment.
Last month, Politico reported that Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend had expressed fears to two of her friends that an alleged sex trafficking victim of the GOP lawmaker has recorded a call with her.
She reportedly said at the time that the alleged victim and another person recorded the call in what seemed to be an attempt to incriminate the Florida congressman.