Matt Gaetz sex-trafficking investigation ends with no charges

Washington DC - The Justice Department (DOJ) has concluded a criminal investigation into Representative Matt Gaetz and doesn't plan on brining any charges against the Florida Republican.

Florida Representative Matt Gaetz won't have any charges brought against him by the Justice Department.
Florida Representative Matt Gaetz won't have any charges brought against him by the Justice Department.  © REUTERS

CNN first reported that the Justice Department had reached out to witnesses to inform them they would not prosecute Gaetz after a years-long federal sex-trafficking investigation. Multiple media reports included a statement from Gaetz's lawyers that the DOJ had informed them that they would not file charges related to sex trafficking and obstruction of justice.

A spokesperson for Representative Gaetz's office confirmed the end of the investigation in a statement Wednesday. "The Department of Justice has confirmed to Congressman Gaetz's attorneys that their investigation has concluded and that he will not be charged with any crimes," the statement said.

Gaetz, a prominent ally of former President Donald Trump and a far-right critic of the Biden administration, has disputed the allegations since they first surfaced in 2021 in reporting from the New York Times and elsewhere.

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"First, I have never, ever paid for sex. And second, I, as an adult man, have not slept with a 17-year-old," Gaetz wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Examiner in 2021.

Gaetz also investigated by House Ethics Committee

Gaetz is also being investigated by the House Ethics Committee over allegations of sexual misconduct, drug use, and bribery.
Gaetz is also being investigated by the House Ethics Committee over allegations of sexual misconduct, drug use, and bribery.  © REUTERS

In April 2021, the House Ethics Committee announced it opened an investigation into a long list of allegations against Gaetz, including sexual misconduct, drug use, and bribery.

In a summary report issued last month at the end of the 117th Congress, the committee noted that it had not completed the investigation, instead "deferr[ing] consideration of the matter in response to a request from DOJ."

The report also noted that the committee's jurisdiction is different from the federal government's, and is concerned with violations of House rules rather than federal crimes.

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A representative for the committee declined to comment on the status of the investigation Wednesday.

Gaetz has served in Congress since 2017, winning election alongside Trump. Last month, he gained prominence as part of a far-right GOP bloc holding out against Speaker Kevin McCarthy's bid for the gavel, helping to extract concessions from the Republican leader and ultimately voting "present" when McCarthy won the speakership.

Gaetz has assignments on the House Armed Services Committee, House Judiciary Committee, and its Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, where he has criticized the alleged "politicization" of the DOJ.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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