Matt Gaetz faces 'a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison' if convicted of sex trafficking: NYT reporter

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is in more legal hot water, and New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt told MSNBC's Morning Joe on Friday that the Florida congressman faces a decade in jail if he's convicted of sex trafficking charges.

Schmidt said his reporting shows that law enforcement officials are trying to determine whether Gaetz brought a minor across state lines for the purposes of sex, which would carry a hefty legal penalty if proven true.

"The thing that is one of the biggest focuses of the legal questions in this case... is the 17-year-old girl," he said. "Because that crime of, you know, soliciting and paying someone under the age of 18 for sex carries a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison. Obviously that's a very, very significant legal issue and is, you know, is -- is a humongous problem for Gaetz."

MSNBC legal analyst Joyce Vance argued that Gaetz could be in even more trouble than that because the federal probe into his actions has gone on for more than a year, suggesting that there are even more crimes besides underage sex trafficking being investigated.

"The reporting is likely just the tip of the iceberg," she said. "For this to have gone this far and to have become a full-blown federal investigation, there's reports the initial tip took place in January of 2020. So this would be a year-long investigation... and it's likely that there is a great deal more to back this up."

Watch the video below.