Matt Gaetz’s associate, former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg is likely to strike a plea deal with the federal government, his lawyers said in court according to CNN.
A federal prosecutor and Greenberg’s attorney told a judge the deal was not finalized but there is an expectation that it could be resolved within weeks.
“We believe this case will be a plea,” said assistant US Attorney Roger Handberg.
Greenberg, Gaetz’s friend had faced decades in prison on 33 federal counts that ranged from identity theft to sex trafficking of a minor.
Greenberg’s cooperation with the Justice Department could provide investigators with key details as they work to determine whether Gaetz broke sex trafficking or prostitution laws himself, CNN noted.
Gaetz has continued to deny that he paid for sex and that he ever had sex with a teenager.
“Rep. Gaetz 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,” his most recent statement on the matter to CBS read. “Yesterday, we even learned of some nonsense ‘pardon’ story that turned out to be false, and today it’s just more euphemism. It’s interesting to watch the Washington wheels grinding so hard every time one of their falsehoods gets knocked down.”
Investigators are considering Gaetz’s connections to several associates in Florida who may have benefited politically in return for providing him with favors including escorts, travel, and campaign donations, sources familiar with the investigation told CNN.
Federal investigators were also presented with information about an after hours meeting between Gaetz and Greenberg at the tax commission office where they were seen on internal surveillance cameras reviewing ID cards.