House investigators scrutinize Rep. Matt Gaetz’s defunct federal criminal sex trafficking probe

Investigators with the House Ethics Committee appear to be taking a deeper look at the now closed federal probe into the conduct of Rep. Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, and have in recent weeks reached out to witnesses and the Justice Department for information, according to multiple sources familiar with the recent developments. At least one witness has sat for an interview, one of the sources said.

Gaetz, who is being investigated by the House committee over allegations that include sexual misconduct, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. The Justice Department last year declined to charge Gaetz in its sex trafficking investigation.

An individual was contacted by congressional investigators two weeks ago with a request for records tied to the now defunct federal investigation into whether the congressman violated sex trafficking laws, one of the sources said Wednesday.

It is unclear how or if the Justice Department will respond to the request for information, as its probe into Gaetz’s conduct is closed following its decision not to charge the congressman. 

The Justice Department declined to comment. A staffer with the House Ethics Committee also had no comment. 

The news was first reported by a combination of ABC and CNN. 

“These allegations are not true,” Gaetz said Wednesday in response to the recent reports. “They’ve never been true. The people who have made these allegations have been exposed, indicted, and in some cases, imprisoned.”

In the now closed Justice Department’s probe, federal investigators had been trying to determine whether Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old. According to multiple sources familiar with the matter, the woman was introduced to Gaetz by Joel Greenberg, a former Florida county tax collector and associate of Gaetz who pleaded guilty in May 2021 to six federal charges, including trafficking of a minor. 

Greenberg was sentenced in 2022 to 11 years in prison.

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