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Federal investigators are looking into whether Rep. Matt Gaetz obstructed justice

A federal inquiry has been opened into whether Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz obstructed justice in a phone call he had with a witness in his sex-crimes probe.

The witness, who has not been named, was one of the women associated with Joel Greenberg, a Seminole County tax collector and former friend of Gaetz, who pleaded guilty last month to sex-trafficking a 17-year-old girl in 2017, sources told Politico

The phone call in question was between Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend and the witness, who reportedly had been in a three-way open relationship with the two, the outlet said. 

At some point, the congressman allegedly joined in on the call, but it is not known what the three discussed.

Investigators are reportedly looking into whether he suggested she lie or give misleading testimony to investigators about him. 

Gaetz, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, is being investigated by the Justice Department over whether he paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl. He denies the allegations. 

Prosecutors are looking into whether Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz obstructed justice when was on a phone call with a witness in the sex-crimes investigation against him

The 17-year-old girl was reportedly friends with both Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend and the witness who was on the call, according to Politico. The witness later spoke to investigators. 

The congressman has denied any criminal involvement with Greenberg, as well as obstructing justice.

Gaetz has not been criminally charged by federal prosecutors and has always denied having had sex with the underage girl and transporting her across state lines. 

‘Congressman Gaetz pursues justice, he doesn’t obstruct it,’ a Gaetz spokesman said in a statement provided to Politico. ‘The anonymous allegations have thus far amounted to lies, wrapped in leaks, rooted in an extortion plot by a former DOJ official. After two months, there is still not a single on-record accusation of misconduct, and now the ‘story’ is changing yet again.’

Much of the investigation into Gaetz surrounds his relationship with Greenberg, who is reportedly cooperating with investigators and could be providing information that could lead to the congressman’s indictment.

Much of the probe into Gaetz has surrounded his dealings with friend and Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg. Greenberg pleaded guilty last month to sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl in 2017

Much of the probe into Gaetz has surrounded his dealings with friend and Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg. Greenberg pleaded guilty last month to sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl in 2017

Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend is also reportedly looking to obtain an immunity deal from prosecutors, with fears that she too could have obstructed justice in conversations with the trafficking victim, Politico also reported.

People with knowledge of the investigation have told Politico that the ex-girlfriend could sign the immunity deal by the end of June, and that an indictment against Gaetz could come in July if prosecutors believe there is enough evidence. 

The congressman and his ex-girlfriend dated in 2017, when Greenberg’s sex-trafficking took place, and in 2018, and the couple reportedly had an open relationship, including with the witness who was on the phone call.  

Gaetz has acknowledged that he had been in so-called ‘sugar daddy’ relationships with women provided to him by Greenberg, although the Florida representative has denied he ever paid a woman for sex. 

The Florida age of consent is 18 years old and sexual intercourse with anyone underage is statutory rape. However, the state has a so-called Romeo and Juliet law that allows minors who are 16 or 17 to have sex with someone who is at most 23 years old. Gaetz is 39. 

His so-called wingman Greenberg pleaded guilty to charges including sex-trafficking of a minor at a court hearing in a deal to cooperate with prosecutors, which may spell trouble for the Republican congressman.

TIMELINE OF THE GAETZ SAGA

MARCH 30: The New York Times reports that Gaetz is under investigation for a sexual relationship with an underage girl. 

Details are sparse but the relationship is said to have happened two years ago.

Gaetz went on Tucker Carlson’s FOX News show that night to deny the allegations and claim he was the victim of an extortion plot. 

He names David McGee as a DoJ official who is extorting him. McGee denies it. 

MARCH 31: Gaetz’s father Don tells Politico that the extortion plot is real and that he was working with his son and the FBI to expose it 

APRIL 1: Texts emerge to support Gaetz’s claim that he was being extorted and they introduce a new element to the saga – that the extortion plot was part of a ruse to rescue American hostage Robert Levinson from Iran. 

WHO’S WHO 

Rep Matt Gaetz 

Gaetz, 38, is the representative for Florida’s 1st congressional district. 

He is a Trump ally who has ties to Roger Stone and he’s been known to fan the flames of controversy in the past. 

He has DUI convictions, has been accused of inciting violence on Twitter and claimed that facial recognition technology proved some of the January 6 Capitol rioters were not Trump fans, but ‘antifa’ masquerading as them.

Don Gaetz 

Gaetz’s father who was a well-liked Senator. He sold his company with his partners for $406million in 2004. 

They had founded VITAS Healthcare in the 1980s. He was a senator for ten years from 2006 until 2016. 

David McGee

McGee was a prosecutor with the Department of Justice but he is now a private practice attorney. 

According to his bio on his law firm’s website, he spent six years as the First Assistant at the United States Attorney’s Office and for seven years as the Lead Attorney for a United States Department of Justice Organized Crime Task Force.

Bob Kent 

Kent is an Air Force intelligence officer whose involvement in the alleged plot was only revealed on Wednesday night through the texts.

Robert Levinson 

Levinson spent 22 years working for the FBI before he vanished in Iran in 2007. The government claimed they knew nothing about it but later admitted he had been working there for the CIA. 

The last time he was seen alive was in 2011, when he appeared in proof of life photos. His family say that this month, they were given reason to believe he was dead. 

Greenberg, a former tax collector in Florida’s Seminole County, is central to the federal probe into whether Gaetz trafficked a minor for sex.

Greenberg was arrested last year and immediately started telling the feds about Gaetz and how they ‘sex trafficked’ together to get himself a deal. 

Federal prosecutors recently dropped 27 charges against Greenberg in exchange for his cooperation and testimony.

Greenberg admitted to introducing the minor he trafficked to other adult men, who allegedly engaged in sex acts with the minor in Greenberg’s presence, court papers showed.

The papers did not identify the other adult men. Gaetz has not been charged with any crimes and has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. He was not mentioned in the plea agreement or during the court hearing.

It was also revealed in a letter obtained by Daily Beast, which Greenberg penned to Trump confidante Roger Stone seeking a pardon, that the pair paid for sex with the minor who ‘was involved in sexual activities’ with Gaetz. 

Investigators are seeking to determine whether Gaetz had sex with the same 17-year-old Greenberg was accused of trafficking, according to reports and a law enforcement source who spoke with Reuters. 

Court papers show that Greenberg, who is married, is thought to be ready to accuse Gaetz of paying at least 15 young women for sex including an escort named Megan Zalonka after a cocaine-fueled party at a Trump fundraiser.

A recent report alleged Gaetz snorted cocaine and had sex Zalonka, an escort and amateur Instagram model, who was Gaetz’s date in October 2019 at the Trump Defender Gala in Orlando.

After the gala, an after-party was held in Gaetz’s hotel room, The Daily Beast reported. Zalonka, 28, chopped up lines of cocaine, which she and Gaetz took together, the report claims.

She is also said to have been paid up to $15,000 of government money by Greenberg after he hired her for a social media manager job in Seminole County that did not require Zalonka to do any work, the report claims. 

Two sources told the site that Zalonka and the Florida congressman had an ongoing financial relationship in exchange for sex. However, the Daily Beast could not confirm that Zalonka and Gaetz had sex the night of the gala.

A former Capitol Hill intern who dated Gaetz has also reportedly agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors.

The unnamed woman worked on Capitol Hill and was linked to the Florida congressman as far back as 2017, CNN reported. 

The ex-girlfriend, who is not being named publicly, was on a trip Gaetz took to the Bahamas in 2018 that allegedly involved drug use and arrangements with women, including paying them for sex. 

Gaetz’s ex is considered key to helping prosecutors piece together transaction records, which they believe to be payment for sex.

In April, Politico reported that the former girlfriend had told friends she was worried that the 17-year-old tried to get her to incriminate him after the teen called her to discuss the Bahamas trip. 

The call took place sometime after Greenberg was indicted for the sex crime in August, it was reported.

Gaetz was accompanied in the Bahamas by two other Florida Republican political players – Jason Pirozzolo, a former Orlando-area aviation authority member, who has acted as a fundraiser for Governor Ron DeSantis; and Halsey Beshears, a former state representative.

Federal authorities are examining the Bahamas trip to see if it violated the Mann Act, which forbids transporting people across state lines to engage in prostitution.


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