Matt Gaetz' ex-girlfriend testifies in front of federal grand jury as part of immunity deal: report

The woman's name was withheld in news reports to protect her privacy

Published January 12, 2022 5:46PM (EST)

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. (Getty Images)
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. (Getty Images)

The walls appear to be closing in on Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., after his ex-girlfriend reportedly testified Wednesday before a federal grand jury in an ongoing sex crimes case against the conservative firebrand.

NBC News reports that the testimony was part of an immunity deal for the woman, whose name was withheld in news reports to protect her privacy.

The Department of Justice is currently in the middle of an investigation into allegations the 39-year-old Gaetz maintained a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, a probe that has lasted for more than a year.

The inquiry began after a longtime Gaetz friend and local Florida politician, Joel Greenberg, was charged with a number of serious crimes, including defrauding taxpayers with a cryptocurrency mining scheme and leveling false allegations of pedophelia against political rivals. Greenberg previously pled guilty to sex trafficking the same minor Gaetz dated as part of a larger deal to cooperate with federal investigators.

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Experts told NBC that the woman's testimony is likely a sign the DOJ is close to issuing an indictment against the Congressman. Department insiders told the network Gaetz is facing three distinct charges: sex trafficking of a minor, transporting women across state lines for the purposes of prostitution (a violation of the Mann Act), and obstructing justice. 

The Congressman continues to deny all of the allegations against him, likening the investigation into a political "witch hunt" with language similar to that of former President Donald Trump. He's stated definitively that he's never paid for sex and never had sex with a minor while he was an adult.

RELATED: Matt Gaetz's no good — but not so horrible — 2021. What's next?

"Congressman Gaetz pursues justice, he doesn't obstruct it," a spokesperson said last year.

As far as what Gaetz' ex-girlfriend told investigators, three friends of the woman said she was involved in an open relationship with him from 2017-2018 and spoke openly about other women he was involved with. She was also present on a widely-scrutinized trip to the Bahamas with political allies of the Congressman's — a jaunt which several reports suggest may have featured underage women.

By Brett Bachman

Brett Bachman was the Nights/Weekend Editor at Salon.

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Aggregate Charges Ex Girlfriend Florida Grand Jury Joel Greenberg Matt Gaetz Sex Trafficking Testimony