Consultant Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend granted immunity in intercourse trafficking probe

Prosecutors granted immunity to an ex-girlfriend of Consultant Matt Gaetz earlier than she testified last week in entrance of a federal grand jury listening to proof within the investigation of the congressman, in accordance with a supply acquainted with the matter.

Gaetz has been below investigation to find out if he violated intercourse trafficking legal guidelines and obstructed justice in that probe. Gaetz has beforehand denied all wrongdoing, and has stated he has by no means paid for intercourse nor had intercourse with an underage woman. 

The lady, who CBS Information shouldn’t be naming to guard her privateness, testified in entrance of a federal grand jury in Orlando final Wednesday. She is considered as a possible key witness, in accordance with two sources acquainted with the investigation. One of many sources stated she has data associated to the investigation of each the intercourse trafficking and obstruction allegations.

“This can be a keen participant who has a sensible lawyer who sought an immunity deal from the federal government,” stated former prosecutor and CBS Information authorized analyst Rikki Kleiman. “The federal government doesn’t give immunity blindly, they know what they’re getting in alternate.”

Capitol Riot Anniversary
One yr after the violent riot on the Capitol, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., left, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., on January 6, 2022. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Isabelle Kirshner, an lawyer for Gaetz, informed CBS Information in a press release final week that “we’ve got seen no credible foundation for a cost in opposition to Congressman Gaetz. We stay steadfast in our dedication to problem any allegations with the details and legislation.”

A supply informed CBS Information final week that as part of an obstruction probe, investigators are wanting into whether or not Gaetz had a cellphone name with the ex-girlfriend, and one other lady, who was already a witness within the federal investigation. 

A number of sources informed CBS Information that the ex-girlfriend and the opposite lady traveled to the Bahamas with Gaetz in 2018, together with a 3rd lady with whom Gaetz was in a sexual relationship. That third lady was 18 on the time of the Bahamas journey, however investigators are additionally wanting into whether or not she was 17 when the sexual relationship started. 

Investigators try to find out if any of the ladies had been paid and had been illegally trafficked throughout state or worldwide traces for the aim of intercourse with the congressman. 

Two sources acquainted with the matter informed CBS Information it was Joel Greenberg, a former Florida county tax collector and affiliate of Gaetz’s, who launched Gaetz to that lady when she was 17 years outdated. Greenberg pleaded guilty in Could 2021 to 6 federal fees, together with trafficking of a minor. 

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