The Justice Department (DOJ) has added two top prosecutors to its Florida-based investigation of Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzMcCarthy pleads with Republicans to stop infighting: 'Congress is not junior high' GOP infighting just gets uglier Vigilantes are not patriots MORE (R-Fla.), The New York Times reported.
One of the prosecutors is a public corruptions investigator with expertise in child exploitation cases, and the other is a top leader of the DOJ’s public corruption unit.
The prosecutors have been working on the investigation for at least three months, the newspaper reported, citing people briefed on the matter.
One of the prosecutors is Todd Gee, who is deputy chief of the DOJ’s public integrity section within the criminal division. That section is involved in nearly all major criminal investigations into federal and local officials.
The Hill has reached out to the Justice Department for comment.
It’s not unusual for the DOJ to add prosecutors from Washington to cases that are high-profile and require specific expertise, the Times notes.
Florida prosecutors have been investigating Gaetz and several others on allegations of sex trafficking and corruption. Gaetz himself is being investigated on whether he had sex with a 17-year-old in exchange for payments.
The Florida Republican has repeatedly denied the allegations against him.
Only one person connected to Gaetz has faced criminal charges in connection with the probe thus far — Joel Greenberg, who was at the center of the investigation.
Greenberg, a former tax collector for Seminole County, pleaded guilty in May to six federal crimes, including sex trafficking of a minor. As part of the deal, he agreed to comply with the investigation into Gaetz.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell granted Greenberg’s motion to delay his sentencing until March 2022 as he continues to cooperate in the investigation.
Asked about the report of the DOJ adding new prosecutors, Gaetz's spokesperson Harlan Hill told The Hill in a statement that Gaetz is "innocent."
“Congressman Gaetz is innocent. The former DOJ official who tried to extort him is guilty," Hill said. "No number of political operative prosecutors at a politically weaponized DOJ will change this.”