Federal prosecutors have recommended not charging Republican Matt Gaetz in a sex trafficking investigation, the Washington Post reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Prosecutors said they made that decision in part based on credibility issues with two key witnesses, those people told the Post.
The reported recommendation means the Justice Department is unlikely to charge Gaetz, 40, with a felony based on the investigation. The investigation began in 2020 and focused on the Florida congressman’s alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl years ago. Though the recommendation isn’t a final decision — and the Post’s sources said new evidence could emerge that would change prosecutors’ view — their advice is likely to stand up, the report said.
Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing since The New York Times first reported in March 2021 that the DOJ was investigating whether he had a sexual relationship with the underage girl and paid for her travels with him.
A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
When asked to comment on the report, Gaetz attorney Isabelle Kirshner told CNBC, “When I hear it from the DOJ, I’m excited to talk about it.”
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People familiar with the case told the Post that the 17-year-old girl is one of two witnesses whose testimony may not stand before a jury.
The second person is Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector and friend of Gaetz’s of Seminole County, Fla., who pleaded guilty to multiple felonies last year in a case that led to the congressman’s investigation.
Read the full Washington Post report.