Investigators may have managed to secure the cooperation of a former flame of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in an investigation into whether the congressman violated sex trafficking laws, according to CNN.
While it is unclear whether that cooperation has been formalized, a report from CNN on Friday night, describes Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend as a former Capitol Hill staffer who could serve as a valuable witness due to her ties with the Florida Republican which reportedly date back to 2017. Their ties appear to overlap with a period of time that is likely of particular interest to investigators.
According to CNN, the woman had joined Gaetz on a trip to the Bahamas in 2018, which is reportedly being examined in the probe. She may also be able to help investigators make sense of records that allegedly detail payments that may have been for sex, CNN sources said.
The news suggesting that federal investigators had secured cooperation from Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend, comes after Joel Greenberg — a former local tax collector and onetime friend of the congressman — pleaded guilty earlier this week to six federal charges including sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl.
Gaetz is currently under investigation into whether he violated sex trafficking laws and paid the same 17-year-old for sex. The young woman in question was reportedly also among the group who went on the Bahamas trip. Gaetz has repeatedly denied having paid for sex or that he has had sex with anyone underage. Neither Gaetz nor his ex-girlfriend have been charged with any wrongdoing in the probe.
Greenberg has agreed to cooperate in the Justice Department’s ongoing investigations.
In an 86-page plea agreement formalized on Monday, new details emerged describing how Greenberg recruited women and allegedly introduced them to other men. He did not implicate Gaetz by name.
In court papers Greenberg said that he “introduced the minor to other adult men, who engaged in commercial sex acts” with her, and was sometimes present.
CNN reported that federal investigators have been seeking information from new witnesses as recently as this month, but the news of potential cooperation from Gaetz’s former girlfriend could be pivotal in providing a potential key witness as federal authorities consider whether to potentially charge Gaetz.