U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) looks on during an “America First” rally in Dalton, Georgia, U.S. on May 27, 2021.
Dustin Chambers | Reuters
Federal prosecutors have recommended against filing charges against Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz in the sex-trafficking probe, This was reported by The Washington Post on Fridaywith reference to persons familiar with the matter.
Prosecutors said they made the decision in part because of credibility issues with two central witnesses, these people told the Post.
The reported recommendation means the Justice Department is unlikely to charge Gaetz, 40, with a crime as a result of the investigation. The investigation began in 2020 and focused on the Florida congressman’s alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl years earlier.
Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing since The New York Times first reported in March 2021 that the Justice Department was investigating whether he had a sexual relationship with an underage girl and paid for her to travel with him.
A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
When asked to comment on the report, Gaetz’s attorney Isabelle Kirshner told CNBC, “When I hear from the DOJ, I’m happy to talk.”
People familiar with the case told the Post that the 17-year-old girl is one of two witnesses whose testimony may not stand up to a jury.
The other person is Joel Greenberg, a former Seminole County, Florida, tax collector and friend of Gaetz’s who last year admitted to multiple crimes in a case that led to an investigation of the congressman.