Rep. Matt Gaetz’s legal troubles may now include an obstruction of justice investigation.
Federal prosecutors will explore whether the Fort Walton Beach Republican tried to influence a witness in a sex trafficking case, POLITICO reports. Two sources close to the investigation told the outlet Gaetz may have been patched into a call with one of a handful of women connected to Gaetz and former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg.
Greenberg last month pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a child and five counts involving fraud.
The POLITICO report suggests an ex-girlfriend of Gaetz, who may also cooperate with prosecutors, was the one who patched Gaetz into a phone conversation.
Sources have not revealed the content of the phone conversation. But Gaetz, Greenberg and Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend all have been connected to a flight to and from the Bahamas, with some reports suggesting women had sex with both of the men.
One of the women is believed to be central to Greenberg’s charge of sex trafficking a 17-year-old.
Gaetz has repeatedly denied ever paying for sex or having sex with a 17-year-old as an adult.
The Greenberg case drew in Gaetz earlier this year. The high-profile Congressman, a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump, has denied any wrongdoing, but reports allege he sent electronic cash transfers to Greenberg, who immediately then transferred the money to women in an apparent “sugar daddy” relationship.
The plea deal with Greenberg signals the former Tax Collector is now a cooperating witness in ongoing investigations. The POLITICO report said the woman on the call with Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend, and then Gaetz, is also cooperating with investigators.
Others connected to the trip central to the investigation include former state Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears and medical marijuana entrepreneur Jason Pirozzolo.
No indictments have been issued in a connected case since Greenberg’s plea.