Matt Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg expected to strike plea deal in sex-trafficking case

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida speaks on the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, February 26, 2021.

Octavio Jones | Reuters

Joel Greenberg, a former county tax collector in Florida and associate of GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, is expected to strike a plea deal in his legal case, his lawyer and prosecutors mentioned Thursday, NBC News reported.

The case in opposition to Greenberg — who had beforehand pleaded not responsible to expenses together with intercourse trafficking of a minor, stalking, wire fraud and id theft — led federal investigators to launch a probe into doable intercourse trafficking by Gaetz, a number of shops have reported.

The sign of a forthcoming plea deal got here throughout a standing convention in Greenberg’s case in Orlando. The protection lawyer and the prosecutors didn’t say if Greenberg was expected to cooperate in the Gaetz probe, in accordance to NBC.

“I’m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” Greenberg’s lawyer Fritz Scheller instructed reporters Thursday afternoon.

Scheller declined to reply when a reporter requested, “Did your client introduce Matt Gaetz to any underaged girls for sexual relations?”

A spokeswoman for Gaetz didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for touch upon Scheller’s remarks.

The New York Times first reported final month that the Department of Justice is investigating whether or not Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her travels with him.

NBC reported Wednesday that investigators are taking a look at whether or not girls have been paid to journey to the Bahamas with Gaetz for intercourse, and whether or not Gaetz and Greenberg used the web to search for girls they might pay for intercourse.

Gaetz has strongly denied the “horrible” allegations in the Times, and declared in an op-ed Monday that he’s “absolutely not resigning” from Congress.

Gaetz has additionally asserted that he’s the sufferer of a multimillion-dollar extortion scheme involving a former DOJ official. Law enforcement sources instructed NBC that there’s a separate probe underway concerning these extortion claims.

A spokesperson for Gaetz instructed CBS News on Wednesday evening that the congressman “has never paid for sex, nor has he had sex with an underage girl. What began with blaring headlines about ‘sex trafficking’ has now turned into a general fishing exercise about vacations and consensual relationships with adults.”

On Thursday afternoon, Gaetz shared an announcement from his workplace, which defends the embattled Republican as “a principled and morally grounded leader” and vows to “stand with him.”

That assertion is attributed to “the women of Congressman Matt Gaetz’s office,” and it doesn’t identify any particular members of his workers.

Meanwhile, Gaetz’s former advisor Nathan Nelson said Monday that he had been approached by FBI agents and questioned in regards to the GOP lawmaker’s alleged involvement in unlawful actions.

Nelson instructed reporters he by no means noticed any such unlawful conduct and that his departure from Gaetz’s workplace final fall was not associated to the DOJ probe, which reportedly started in the ultimate months of former President Donald Trump’s time period.

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