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Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend granted immunity before testifying in a sex trafficking investigation

Prosecutors granted immunity to an ex-girlfriend of Representative Matt Gaetz before she testified last week before a federal grand jury hearing evidence in the congressional hearing, according to a source familiar with the case.

Gaetz has been under investigation to determine if he violated sex trafficking laws and prevented justice in this investigation. Gaetz has previously denied any wrongdoing and has said he has never paid for sex or had sex with a minor girl.

The woman, who CBS News does not name to protect her privacy, testified before a federal jury in Orlando last Wednesday. She is considered a potential key witness, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. One of the sources said she has information related to the investigation of both the allegations of sex trafficking and obstruction.

"This could be a willing participant who has a smart lawyer who sought an immunity deal from the government," said former CBS News prosecutor and legal analyst Rikki Kleiman. "The government does not give immunity blindly, they know what they are getting in return."

Capitol Riot Anniversary
A year after the violent uprising at the Capitol, the rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., And rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., January 6, 2022. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Isabelle Kirshner, a lawyer for Gaetz, told CBS News in a statement last week that "we have not seen any credible basis for an indictment against Congressman Gaetz. We remain steadfast in our commitment to challenge any claim with facts and law. "

A source told CBS News last week that investigators, as part of an obstructional investigation, are investigating whether Gaetz had a phone call with the ex-girlfriend and another woman who was already a witness in the federal investigation.

Several sources told CBS News that the ex-boyfriend and the other woman traveled to the Bahamas with Gaetz in 2018 along with a third woman with whom Gaetz was in a sexual relationship. The third woman was 18 at the time of the Bahamas trip, but investigators are also investigating whether she was 17 when the sexual relationship began.

Investigators are trying to determine if any of the women were paid and were illegally trafficked across state or international lines for the purpose of having sex with the congressman.

Two sources familiar with the matter told CBS News that it was Joel Greenberg, a former Florida county tax collector and associate with Gaetz's, who introduced Gaetz to the woman when she was 17 years old. Greenberg pleaded guilty in May 2021 to six federal charges, including trafficking in a minor.


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