Career prosecutors in the Justice Department are recommending that no charges be filed against Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who was the subject of a sex-trafficking investigation, The Washington Post is reporting.
Their recommendation was sent to their superiors. Prosecutors said a conviction would be unlikely, in part, because of credibility issues with two key witnesses.
The Post attributed its information to people familiar with the investigation.
But the Post's sources noted that no final decision has been made on whether to charge Gaetz. However, it is rare for such a recommendation to be ignored.
The sources said it's always possible that additional evidence is discovered that could change the prosecutors' decision.
The investigation began in 2020 and centered on Gaetz's alleged involvement with a 17-year-old girl several years earlier.
Gaetz has denied all wrongdoing.
A federal grand jury in Orlando, Florida, heard testimony earlier this year from associates of Gaetz, including an ex-girlfriend, the Post said.
The ex-girlfriend was among several women on a trip Gaetz allegedly took to the Bahamas in 2018, according to the Post.
The trip has been of particular interest to investigators. The 17-year-old at issue in the investigation was also on that trip. However, by that time she was already 18 or older, sources say.
The then-teenager has emerged a key witness in the probe. But sources tell the newspaper the veteran prosecutors say she would likely present credibility problems with a jury.
The other potential witness with credibility issues is Joel Greenberg, the former friend of Gaetz who pleaded guilty last year to sex trafficking of a minor and a host of other crimes as part of a cooperation deal with authorities
A former staffer for Gaetz had called the allegations of sex with a 17-year-old girl and potential ties to sex trafficking levied against the conservative lawmaker "baseless" and "fabricated."
Nathan Nelson, a U.S. Air Force veteran and former director of military affairs, said he spoke with FBI investigators in March of 2021 amid the investigation into allegations that Gaetz had a sexual relationship with the 17-year-old and might have been paying women for sex.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.