Federal prosecutors are examining whether Rep. Matt Gaetz obstructed justice during a phone call he had with a witness in the sex-crimes investigation of the Florida congressman, according to two sources familiar with the case.
The witness in question was one of a handful of women who entered Gaetz’s orbit via his one-time “wingman,” former Seminole County, Fla., tax collector Joel Greenberg, who pleaded guilty last month to a host of crimes, including sex-trafficking a 17-year-old in 2017.
The obstruction inquiry stems from a phone call the witness had with Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend. At some point during the conversation, the ex-girlfriend patched Gaetz into the call, sources said. While it’s unknown exactly what was said, the discussion on that call is central to whether prosecutors can charge Gaetz with obstructing justice, which makes it illegal to suggest that a witness in a criminal case lie or give misleading testimony.
The witness later spoke with prosecutors, the sources said. Gaetz has denied all wrongdoing, including obstructing justice or having sex with the trafficked 17-year-old, who was a friend of both Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend and the witness prosecutors interviewed.