Former Gaetz associate cooperating with Ethics Committee probe

Former Congressman Matt Gaetz’s (R-Fla.) associate is cooperating with the House Ethics Committee probe into whether the member had sex with an underage girl while serving as an elected official. 

The attorney for Gaetz’s former associate confirmed to The Hill on Friday that his client, Joel Greenberg, is cooperating with the pending Congressional investigation. 

“I can confirm that Mr. Greenberg has cooperated and will continue to cooperate in a pending Congressional investigation,” Fritz Scheller said in a statement to The Hill. “As to the nature of the investigation, as well as its targets, that question is better left to the congressional investigators.” 

Greenberg was Gaetz’s former friend who previously told investigators that he witnessed the Republican congressman having sex with a 17-year-old girl. Greenberg, a former tax collector, was sentenced to 11 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor. 

A spokesperson for Gaetz responded Friday. 

“The DOJ received the same material, deemed it unreliable, and declined to press charges. The press should not be laundering smears from people in prison,” a spokesperson for Gaetz said in a statement to The Hill on Friday. 

Greenberg previously cooperated with an investigation from the Justice Department into Gaetz and whether he partook in the sex trafficking of a minor.  

Last year, the DOJ closed the investigation into the Florida congressman, deciding not to charge him in its sex-trafficking investigation. The decision took place two months after Greenberg was sentenced to jail. 

Scheller said the documents he gave to Congress were a request made from the House Ethics Committee, The New York Times reported. The committee kickstarted its investigation a few months ago. Gaetz said the investigation is in motion because he led the charge to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in early October.

Mychael Schnell and Emily Brooks contributed reporting.

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