The Department of Justice's decision to add two high-level prosecutors to its investigation of Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is a sign that the case is "growing," and that he should be "worried," according to one former federal prosecutor.
The Washington-based prosecutors recently joined a team of authorities in Florida who've been looking into whether Gaetz violated federal law by providing goods or payments to a 17-year-old girl in exchange for sex, the New York Times reported Thursday.
Maya Wiley, a former civil prosecutor in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, told MSNBC on Friday that, "There's no question that adding these prosecutors means the case is growing."
"What we've heard is that the prosecutors they're adding are seasoned prosecutors on public corruption and sex crimes, so that also suggests the direction in which the case is expanding, and that's really one that Matt Gaetz has to worry about, because they're related to the things he's apparently being investigated for, that he himself has publicly said he's being investigated for," she said
"I don't think there's any question he has something to be concerned about. We should be very clear, though, we don't know the direction of the investigation," Wiley added.
But she quickly noted that when Gaetz's alleged "wingman," Joel Greenberg, agreed to cooperate with the investigation, Greenberg's attorney said, "Matt Gaetz will not be happy."
"The case is growing, so they're growing the team. It's that simple," Wiley said. "You don't go to the Finals if you're in the NBA without your best players, and that's what's happening here, and that signals that this case is growing. And given the nature of the case, remember, this is a sex trafficking allegation, and it includes public officials, so that's why I'm not surprised to see expertise in public integrity, public corruption, as well as sex crimes."
According to the NYT's report, the new prosecutors specifically have expertise in "dealing with children who have been exploited but may not see themselves as having been victimized, which can complicate trials if they are called as witnesses."
Maya Wiley on Matt Gaetz probe (MSNBC) www.youtube.com