Speed Reads

Gaetz Investigation

Justice Department reportedly added 2 top prosecutors to the Matt Gaetz sex trafficking case

After weeks of brutal headlines in the spring about a Justice Department sex trafficking investigation, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has been keeping a pretty low profile recently, with fewer campaign events and zero appearances on Fox News — and his fundraising has withered with the faded spotlight, The Daily Beast reported Thursday. In the most recent quarter, from July through September, Gaetz reported raising just under $500,000 and spending $613,000. In the previous two quarters, Gaetz raised $1.8 million and $1.3 million respectively.

But while news coverage of the investigation has waned, the investigation has apparently been humming along. Gaetz's former "wingman," Joel Greenberg, got a judge on Monday to delay his sentencing on sex trafficking and other charges to March, from November, because prosecutors said he is continuing to provide valuable assistance in their broader investigation. Greenberg pleaded guilty in May to sex-trafficking the same 17-year-old girl he says he saw Gaetz have sex with, among other charges. 

The Justice Department has also added two top prosecutors to the Gaetz investigation, The New York Times and ABC News reported Thursday, each citing two sources familiar with the matter. "The prosecutors — one a public corruption investigator with an expertise in child exploitation crimes, and the other a top leader of the public corruption unit — have been working on the Florida-based investigation for at least three months," the Times reports. "It is not unusual for prosecutors from the Justice Department in Washington to be added to local teams of federal investigators in high-profile cases that require a deep and specific expertise like sex crimes."

A Gaetz spokesman told ABC News that "Gaetz is innocent," and "no number of political operative prosecutors at a politically weaponized DOJ will change this." The investigation started last August, at the tail end of the Trump administration.