Matt Gaetz will not be charged by DOJ in sex trafficking probe: report
Congressman Matt Gaetz speaking with attendees at the 2021 AmericaFest. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is reportedly off the hook for potential sex trafficking charges.

CNN's Paula Reid reports that the United States Department of Justice has formally decided against charging Gaetz in a probe that ensnared his one-time friend Joel Greenberg.

"Prosecutors have been informing witnesses today of final decision by DOJ leadership after investigators recommended not moving forward back in the fall," notes Reid.

Even though Greenberg -- who pleaded guilty to charges of underage sex trafficking, wire fraud, stalking, identity theft, producing a fake ID card, and conspiring to defraud the US government -- cooperated with DOJ investigators who were also looking into Gaetz's actions, there was apparently not enough evidence to charge the Florida congressman beyond a reasonable doubt.

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An attorney representing Greenberg late last year charged that DOJ prosecutors had botched their case against Gaetz, for which he said his client provided extensive cooperation.

Specifically, attorney Fritz Scheller said that the apparent reluctance to charge Gaetz was akin to "Nero fiddling away while Rome burns" and he suggested that the DOJ hand the case back to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, which he described as "capable."