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Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz Probe: Feds Seeking Cooperation With Ex-Girlfriend

MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) -- Federal investigators want to talk to two key witnesses regarding the Matt Gaetz investigation.

Sources say investigators are nearly finished collecting evidence on the Florida representative.

They are looking into whether he broke federal sex trafficking, prostitution and public corruption laws and whether he had sex with a minor.

Sources familiar with the matter say authorities are seeking cooperation from Gaetz's ex-girlfriend, a former Capitol Hill intern.

The former girlfriend, who did not work in Gaetz's office on Capitol Hill, is of interest to investigators because she was on a trip Gaetz took to the Bahamas in 2018 and is believed to have knowledge of drug use and arrangements with women, according to CNN sources.

The Bahamas trip has become a focus of investigators, who are scrutinizing whether women were paid to travel for sex with Gaetz and others, and whether the trip was part of an effort to illegally influence Gaetz in the area of medical marijuana, CNN has previously reported. Gaetz has a long history of advocating for medical marijuana and has introduced several pieces of legislation seeking to loosen laws regulating the drug, both as a state representative in Florida and as a member of Congress.

The former girlfriend was also involved in some of the financial transactions that the FBI has obtained, and investigators are pursuing what knowledge Gaetz had about the payments and activities, sources say. She now works in the Florida state government, according to state records.

Investigators could also soon gain the formal cooperation of a second key witness, former Florida county tax collector Joel Greenberg, who is approaching a deadline this week to strike a plea agreement with the government on more than two dozen charges he's facing, including sex trafficking a minor.

CNN has previously reported that Greenberg has been speaking with federal investigators since last year, including providing information about how he and Gaetz had encounters with women who were then given cash or gifts for sex.

CNN previously reported Gaetz and Greenberg used digital payment applications to send hundreds of dollars to at least one woman who attended parties in the Orlando area, which included young women, drugs and sex. The receipts viewed by CNN include payments that took place between 2018 and 2019. At least one of those payments indicated in a label that it was to compensate for travel.

Sources say talking to these witnesses could be among the final steps in the investigation.

Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing including paying for sex or having sex with a minor.

Decisions on whether to charge Gaetz have yet to be made and will fall to prosecutors in the public integrity section of the Justice Department. That decision is likely to take some time as the Justice Department considers whether there's sufficient evidence for an indictment.

(©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)



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