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GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz likely to dodge sex trafficking probe charges



The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is less likely to indict Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) after prosecutors recommended against it, The Washington Post reported on Friday, citing “people familiar with the matter “.

According reporting, prosecutors are concerned about the credibility of the two central witnesses. One is an ex-girlfriend of Gaetz, and the other is Joel Greenberg, a former Seminole County tax collector and personal friend of Gaetz. Accordingly, they have recommended against bringing charges which they fear do not hold.

Gaetz is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, including paying for her to travel with him. Of the two witnesses, Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend could only corroborate that the girl had traveled with him after he turned 18, and Greenberg, although he has already pleaded guilty to sex trafficking charges, also pleaded guilty to falsely accusing an election rival of having a relationship with a minor, tarnishing his claims that Gaetz did.

The DOJ has made no official comment on the issue of the prosecutors’ recommendations. However, their advice rarely goes unheeded.

The meetings would have taken place in 2019 and 2020, and the The DOJ probe has begun before then-US President Donald Trump left office. Gaetz denied the charges and said it was a try to extort him for money.
However, the case gets stranger. Stephen Alford, a Florida business executive, separately pleaded guilty to trying to extort Gaetz’s father, a former Florida state lawmaker, for $25 million with the promise he could get Trump’s presidential pardon. Alford later claimed the offer was a lie, but was sentenced to 5 years in prison for electronic fraud.
Last week the The Washington Post also reported that Gaetz had also contacted Mark Meadows separately while he was Trump’s chief of staff in an effort to secure a pardon for himself. The allegation is based on comments by Johnny McEntee, Trump’s director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office.
Gaetz is a strong supporter of Trump and promoted the former president’s claims that the November 2020 election was tainted by Democrat fraud. Last month, Trump endorsed the Florida Congressman Re-Elected offer.

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