WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican firebrand known for his strong support of former President Donald Trump, said Wednesday that the Justice Department has ended a sex trafficking case with no charges against him.
The conservative who represents much of the Florida Panhandle issued a statement through his congressional office that the long-running investigation was over. Gaetz had insisted throughout he was innocent of any wrongdoing.
“The Department of Justice has confirmed to Congressman Gaetz’s attorneys that their investigation has concluded and that he will not be charged with any crimes,” the statement said.
While he is a relatively junior member of Congress, Gaetz has gained national attention through his frequent cable news appearances in recent years in which he offered an unvarnished defense of Trump. The decision not to charge Gaetz removes a shadow that had threatened his political career.
Federal prosecutors were investigating whether Gaetz and political ally Joel Greenberg paid underage girls and escorts or offered them gifts in exchange for sex, according to two people familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity during the ongoing investigation.
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