It's a Bad Omen for Matt Gaetz

Ex-girlfriend reportedly testifies before grand jury in sex trafficking probe
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2022 8:21 AM CST
It's a Bad Omen for Matt Gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., left, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., talk to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 6, 2022.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

An ex-girlfriend of Rep. Matt Gaetz on Wednesday testified before a grand jury investigating the Florida Republican for alleged sex trafficking, various outlets report. The former Capitol Hill staffer was seen arriving at a federal courthouse in Orlando, where a grand jury is known to be meeting. "All I can say is CNN saw me and my client come in, and I am confirming I am here, but I can't make any comment," the woman's lawyer told reporters. The woman is considered a key witness in the investigation into allegations that Gaetz had sexual contact with a 17-year-old and tried to interfere in the probe. Her testimony "signals federal prosecutors may be close to indicting the congressman," per CNN.

The woman was linked to the now-married Gaetz in the summer of 2017, the period from which the allegations stem. They dated for about two years and kept up communication after the relationship ended, reports the New York Times. Joel Greenberg, a former Gaetz associate who last year pleaded guilty to charges including sex trafficking a minor, is also said to be cooperating with the investigation. "Multiple people have told investigators that Mr. Gaetz's former girlfriend is one of several women who met Mr. Greenberg through the website SeekingArrangement, which describes itself as a place where wealthy people find attractive companions and treat them to gifts and cash," per the Times.

The outlet adds Greenberg told people he and Gaetz had sex with the minor before learning her age. The ex-girlfriend is believed to have traveled with Gaetz and the 17-year-old, who had by then turned 18, to the Bahamas in September 2018. She was also reportedly on a call with Gaetz that is key to claims that he tried to thwart the investigation. Sources tell the Times that the FBI previously seized the ex-girlfriend's phone. CBS News reports she's been "negotiating an immunity deal with federal prosecutors." Gaetz has denied wrongdoing. His attorney tells CBS that "we have seen no credible basis for a charge" and "remain steadfast in our commitment to challenge any allegations with the facts and law." (More Matt Gaetz stories.)

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