The Department of Justice (DOJ) has added two lead prosecutors to its Florida-based investigation of Rep. Matt gaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzMore Appropriate Nominees for ‘Person of the Year’ Greene, GOP Colleagues Call for Sacking of DC Corrections Official Who ‘Despises’ Trump and His Supporters Jim’s Clear Present Danger Jordan & Co. MORE (R-Fla.), The New York Times reported.
One of the prosecutors is a public corruption investigator with expertise in child exploitation cases, and the other is a senior official in the DOJ’s public corruption unit.
Prosecutors have been working on the investigation for at least three months, the newspaper reported, citing people with knowledge of the case.
One of the prosecutors is Todd Gee, who is deputy chief of the public integrity section of the Department of Justice in the criminal division. This section is involved in almost all major criminal investigations against federal and local officials.
The Hill has contacted the Justice Department for comment.
It’s not uncommon for the DOJ to add Washington prosecutors to high-profile cases requiring specific expertise, the Times notes.
Florida prosecutors have investigated Gaetz and several others into allegations of sex trafficking and corruption. Gaetz himself is under investigation as to whether he had sex with a 17-year-old in exchange for payments.
The Florida Republican has repeatedly denied the allegations against him.
So far, only one person linked to Gaetz has faced criminal charges in connection with the investigation – Joel Greenberg, who was at the center of the investigation.
Greenberg, a former Seminole County tax collector, pleaded guilty in May to six federal crimes, including sex trafficking of a minor. As part of the deal, he agreed to comply with the Gaetz investigation.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell granted Greenberg’s request to postpone his conviction until March 2022 as he continues to cooperate with the investigation.
Asked about the DOJ report adding new prosecutors, Gaetz spokesman Harlan Hill told The Hill in a statement that Gaetz was “innocent.”
“Congressman Gaetz is innocent. The former DOJ official who tried to extort him is guilty, “Hill said.” No number of political operational prosecutors in a politically armed DOJ will change that. “