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Matt Gaetz affiliate Joel Greenberg anticipated to strike plea deal in sex-trafficking case

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

Octavio Jones | Reuters

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

The case in opposition to Greenberg — who had beforehand pleaded not responsible to prices together with intercourse trafficking of a minor, stalking, wire fraud and id theft — led federal investigators to launch a probe into attainable 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 anticipated to cooperate within the Gaetz probe, in keeping with NBC.

“I am certain Matt Gaetz just isn’t feeling very comfy as we speak,” Greenberg’s legal professional Fritz Scheller informed reporters Thursday afternoon.

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

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

The New York Instances first reported final month that the Division 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 whether or not ladies had been paid to journey to the Bahamas with Gaetz for intercourse, and whether or not Gaetz and Greenberg used the web to search for ladies they may pay for intercourse.

Gaetz has strongly denied the “horrible” allegations within the Instances, 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. Legislation enforcement sources informed NBC that there’s a separate probe underway relating to these extortion claims.

A spokesperson for Gaetz informed CBS Information on Wednesday evening that the congressman “has by no means paid for intercourse, nor has he had intercourse with an underage lady. What started with blaring headlines about ‘intercourse trafficking’ has now become a basic fishing train about holidays and consensual relationships with adults.”

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

That assertion is attributed to “the ladies of Congressman Matt Gaetz’s workplace,” and it doesn’t title any particular members of his employees.

In the meantime, 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 informed 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 within the closing months of former President Donald Trump’s time period.

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