Speaking to CNN's Don Lemon on Tuesday, Columbia Law lecturer Jennifer Rodgers, walked through the specifics known about Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and the trouble he could be in as part of the Justice Department investigation into possible sex trafficking of a minor.
The New York Times reported that the investigation began under Attorney General Bill Barr's DOJ as they were examining the corruption of former county tax collector Joel Greenberg, a friend of Gaetz. It wasn't until after investigators looked at his computer and electronics that they discovered the sex trafficking. It is unclear if the information on the computers implicates Gaetz or if Greenberg is attempting to make a plea deal by implicating Gaetz.
The Florida Congressman is a close ally of former President Donald Trump, who likely wasn't aware of the Justice Department investigation as Greenberg isn't a big enough Republican in the party. Greenberg was arrested on trafficking charges in Aug. 2020. According to the report, Greenberg, among other things, was found to be looking up Florida state records on a girl between the ages of 14 and 17, as well as other girls "with whom he was engaged in 'sugar daddy' relationships."
The crime allegedly happened in 2017, according to the court filing for Greenberg.
"We know there is a real case, it's going to trial against an associate of Gaetz, a sex trafficking case," explained Rodgers. "So we know Matt Gaetz was somehow tied up in that. He was told he was subject of the investigation. Not that he was in the clear. If he were in the clear you would have been told that you're just a witness. Subject means you're not necessarily being targeted, but that evidence could develop that means that you would ultimately be charged. That was started under Trump's DOJ, under Bill Barr, so Matt Gaetz's allegation that it's political doesn't seem to hold water. I don't know what to make of the extortion allegation, except to say it seems to be separate. Whether or not there's extortion going on with someone saying 'I can help take care of this case for money,' doesn't mean that case against him if it's brought is illegitimate."
See her full conversation with Lemon below:
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