A grand jury continues to look into matters relating to U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, and a Democratic political ally of the Republican Congressman is no longer complaining about the time spent.
“I mean, look, the Department of Justice is going to do its job. Obviously, I have no control over the Department of Justice, and when they get to an end result, they’ll make some decisions,” said Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in Jacksonville Thursday.
NBC News reported Wednesday that a woman said to be an ex-girlfriend of Gaetz’s offered grand jury testimony regarding an ongoing federal investigation into the Congressman, who has not been charged with any crime during the months-long probe.
“Under a possible deal, she would avoid prosecution for obstruction of justice in return for testifying in an investigation into whether Gaetz in 2017 had sex with a 17-year-old female for money and whether months later he and others violated a federal law prohibiting people for paying for prostitutes overseas,” reported Marc Caputo.
Fried has discussed Gaetz before, suggesting months ago that the investigation was moving too slowly absent formal charges from the Joe Biden Justice Department and FBI.
Federal investigators should either “make some decisions one way or another” or “move on,” Fried noted.
“The stories that are coming out, obviously, what we’re hearing and what I’m reading from you all is alarming, disturbing. I certainly hope that they’re not true,” Fried said at the time. “I certainly hope that the FBI and the DOJ either come to a decision and make further findings or it’s time for the people of our country and our state to move on and get back to the business of governing.”
“Again, I hope that DOJ and the FBI do their job, make some decisions one way or another,” Fried affirmed in the spring. “We have a lot of work still ahead of us.”
The relationship between Fried and Gaetz has gotten national attention.
Business Insider reported last spring that Fried and Gaetz were “pals,” with insiders offering blind-item information about a friendship between the two.
The revelations about the political “pals” span time, reflective of the political rise of both Gaetz and Fried over years.
From reports that the two recently “hung out” at the Trump Hotel in Washington to tales of the two being friends when Fried was lobbying Tallahassee politicians on medical cannabis — an issue Gaetz took lead on — the narrative suggests an abiding political friendship that is becoming increasingly inconvenient for Fried.
Their bond is so tight, Business Insider noted, that Fried was the first to text Gaetz to ask if he was OK in the wake of the Capitol attacks from rogue Donald Trump supporters in January 2021. Fried attempted to qualify that as a general concern for the congressional delegation, but other than Gaetz, few told reporters they’d heard from Fried.
Reportedly, federal investigators are probing a 2018 trip Gaetz took with Dr. Jason Pirozzolo and Halsey Beshears to the Bahamas. Prosecutors with the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section are examining whether Gaetz took gifts, including travel and paid escorts, in exchange for political favors, according to CNN.
Gaetz categorically denies any wrongdoing.