In response to allegations accusing Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz of sexual misconduct and other illicit activities, the House Ethics Committee announced that Gaetz is currently under investigation. Gaetz’s associate, Joel Greenberg, has been indicted on 33 counts, including identity theft and sex trafficking of a minor.
On Friday, House Ethics Chairman Ted Deutch of Florida and ranking Republican member Jackie Walorski of Indiana issued the following press release: “The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Matt Gaetz may have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use, shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted a bribe, improper gratuity, or impermissible gift, in violation of House Rules, laws, or other standards of conduct. The Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), has begun an investigation and will gather additional information regarding the allegations.”
The same day, a spokesperson for Gaetz released the following statement: “Matt has always been a fighter. A fighter for his constituents, a fighter for the country, and a fighter for the Constitution. He’s going to fight back against the unfounded allegations against him.”
Last year, Gaetz’s associate, Joel Greenberg, was arrested and indicted by a grand jury. According to the 33-count indictment, Greenberg has been charged with sex trafficking of a child, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, stalking, bribery of a public official, and several other crimes.
Accused of participating in sex trafficking with minors along with Greenberg, Gaetz is reportedly under investigation by federal prosecutors digging into potential crimes committed by the congressman. Gaetz denies the allegations and currently does not face any criminal charges.
Greenberg’s attorney, Fritz Scheller, recently requested a plea date by May 15. If a plea is not reached, they could move to a trial in July.
According to legal experts, Greenberg could become a key witness in the investigation into Rep. Gaetz if the former tax official agrees to a plea deal and cooperates with federal prosecutors.