The main witness against Gaetz is cooperating with the House ethics investigation

A lawyer for the main witness against Rep. Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, said Friday that the witness is cooperating with the House Ethics Committee’s investigation into whether Mr. Gaetz had sex with an underage girl while serving in Congress.

Fritz Scheller, a lawyer for Joel Greenberg, a former friend and political ally of Gaetz, said he had provided documents to the committee that he said supported his client’s claims that he witnessed Mr. Gaetz having sex with a 17-year-old girl.

“Mr. Greenberg has cooperated and will cooperate with every request from Congress,” Mr. Scheller said in an email on Friday.

Mr. Greenberg, who pleaded guilty in May 2021 to charges including sex trafficking, is serving an 11-year prison sentence. He previously cooperated with the Ministry of Justice’s investigation into whether Mr. Gaetz engaged in sex trafficking of minors, a federal misdemeanor that carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Last year, the Justice Department quietly closed its investigation into Mr. Gaetz after investigators concluded they could not present strong enough evidence against him in court, people familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Scheller said the documents he provided to Congress came in response to a request from the House Ethics Committee.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Gaetz, Jillian L. Wyant, said Friday that the Justice Department had received the same material he sent to the Ethics Committee and “found it unreliable and declined to press charges.” The media, she added, “should not wash the slander of people in prison.”

It is unclear how useful those documents will be to the committee, which began investigating Mr. Gaetz several months ago after concluding its investigation into George Santos, a former New York representative who fabricated large parts of his experience while running for Congress. The House expelled Mr. Santos late last year, after the commission published its report.

The investigation into Mr. Gaetz has been slow as a number of tips have been sent to investigators. Mr. Gaetz claimed the investigation was retaliation against him for taking the lead in ousting Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House.

The Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute Mr. Gaetz came two months after Mr. Greenberg sentenced to prison. Mr. Scheler said then that the Justice Department’s decision proved that the country has “two systems” — one that favors politicians like Mr. Gaetz and punishes those who are less powerful, such as Mr. Greenberg.

“Why prosecute the privileged when defendants with limited culpability provide enough cannon fodder?” Mr. Scheler said at the time.

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