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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Gaetz associate likely to plead guilty

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Gaetz associate likely to plead guilty
Gaetz associate likely to plead guilty

A friend of embattled Republican U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida is expected to plead guilty in a sex trafficking and fraud case in a federal court in Florida, two law enforcement officials said on Thursday.

This report produced by Yahaira Jacquez.

A friend of embattled Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is expected to plead guilty in a sex trafficking and fraud case, two law enforcement officials said on Thursday, potentially putting pressure on Gaetz, who also faces a federal probe into a relationship with an underage girl.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers are in discussions about Joel Greenberg - Gaetz' friend - entering a guilty plea, and a judge on Thursday gave him until May 15 to do so, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Gaetz, a Florida U.S. Representative, is being investigated by the Justice Department for possibly violating sex-trafficking laws by allegedly paying travel expenses for a 17-year-old girl with whom he was romantically involved.

Gaetz, a staunch Donald Trump supporter, has not been charged with any crimes and has denied wrongdoing.

Outside the courthouse in Orlando, Florida, Greenberg's attorney Fritz Scheller was asked whether Gaetz should be worried about a Greenberg plea.

Scheller: "I'm sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today." Scheller may have been referring to media reports that Greenberg could cooperate with federal investigators in their probe of Gaetz if a deal is reached.

In a column published on Monday on the Washington Examiner website, Gaetz declared he had no plans to resign from Congress.

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