A former girlfriend of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) provided testimony this week in front of a grand jury in connection to federal authorities’ ongoing child sex trafficking investigation of the Florida Congressman, according to a new NBC report. That report describes the testimony as a “major development that suggests the Department of Justice may be moving closer to indicting [Gaetz],” while NBC notes that the former girlfriend who testified before the grand jury “has been in talks for months with prosecutors about an immunity deal,” with the investigation seemingly ending up at least partly hamstrung as these negotiations went on. Now, things are moving forward.
Rep. Maxine Waters tells @MSNBC Matt Gaetz "needs to shut up" for saying he's proud of their work on Jan. 6.
"The world watched what happened, and for them to try and rewrite history and to tell people 'don't believe your lying eyes' is absolutely outrageous."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 10, 2022
The ex-girlfriend — whose name was not printed by NBC — faced potential prosecution for obstruction of justice in connection to certain actions on her part related to the case. She was, however, in a position to provide critical information to authorities, having been in an open relationship with Gaetz in 2017 and 2018, at which time she was apparently knowledgeable about other women with whom the Congressman was involved. This same former girlfriend was also apparently present for a trip to the Bahamas in 2018 that included Gaetz and may have involved sex trafficking. The Congressman, per NBC, is facing scrutiny over potential offenses including child sex trafficking, bringing women across state lines for prostitution, and obstructing justice.
"After the investigation began, Gaetz spoke with his ex-girlfriend in a three-way call with yet another woman who was cooperating with federal investigators at that point and was secretly recording the call…It’s on that call that Gaetz is suspected of obstructing justice." https://t.co/8Gu0BiaGlV
— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) January 12, 2022
Gaetz has previously ranted against the investigation, characterizing it as a politically motivated hit job. The investigation into Gaetz is tied to a case against former Central Florida official Joel Greenberg, who Gaetz himself once described as his “wingman.” Greenberg has pleaded guilty to a slew of serious offenses, including child sex trafficking involving the same then-minor who Gaetz is under investigation for potentially vicitimizing, and Greenberg has been providing information to authorities ahead of his eventual sentencing. According to NBC, “the alleged sex-trafficking victim told investigators at one point that Gaetz had sex with her.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ted Cruz, Matt Gaetz, etc aren't fringe. They represent the new Republican mainstream, where loyalty to Trump is more important than loyalty to country and preserving power matters more than preserving democracy.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 6, 2022
In the time since news of the federal investigation into Gaetz first emerged, the Florida Congressman has stuck to public antics in support of the Trump cause. He has, for instance, brought back up the false claim that Trump was the rightful winner of the last presidential election. He has also joined those theatrically arguing in defense of the January 6 rioters who’ve been jailed ahead of their trials or other further proceedings. Just recently, Gaetz proclaimed during an appearance on Steve Bannon’s online talk show that “we’re here to get to the truth behind January 6, the federal government’s own involvement with it” — but, as with claims of systematic election fraud, there’s just no legitimate evidence backing up the idea of government involvement in that violence.
“An ex-girlfriend of Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is seen as a key witness in the ongoing investigation into alleged sex trafficking by the Florida Republican, entered an Orlando federal courthouse with her lawyer on Wednesday where a grand jury has been meeting” https://t.co/KTBrYrEc4F
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) January 12, 2022