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Prosecutors will not recommend charging Matt Gaetz in sex-trafficking investigation, report says

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Representative Matt Gates, Republican of Florida, listens during a news conference at the Washington Capitol, Tuesday, December 7, 2021.

Republican Representative Matt Gates listens during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, December 7, 2021.Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press

  • The Washington Post reported that prosecutors would not recommend that Republican Representative Matt Gates be charged with sex trafficking.

  • Sources told the Post that investigators have concerns about the credibility of two key witnesses.

  • Gates has been under investigation since at least 2020 and could be charged if new evidence emerged.

Prosecutors will not recommend indicting Republican Representative Matt Gates in the Justice Department’s investigation into whether the Florida congressman violated federal sex-trafficking laws, according to the Washington Post.

Citing anonymous sources, The Post reported that prosecutors were concerned about the credibility of two key witnesses and believed they were unlikely to get a conviction if they indicted Gates. Justice Department officials usually take the advice of professional prosecutors but have not made a final decision on the matter yet, according to the report.

The Justice Department has been investigating the Gates case since the summer of 2020.

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According to NBC News, prosecutors were examining whether the congressman had committed three separate crimes: if he had sex trafficked with a 17-year-old; if he violates the Mann Act, which prohibits the transportation of “any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose” across state lines; And if justice is obstructed.

The existence of the investigation was first revealed last year, when The New York Times reported that investigators were examining whether Gates had sexual relations with a 17-year-old girl in 2019 and paid her to travel with him.

A person familiar with the conversations told The Times that Gates told some of the women to say he paid for dinner and hotel rooms as part of their appointments if anyone asked about the nature of their relationships.

The FBI executed a search warrant in late 2020 and seized Gates’ cell phone, as well as one belonging to his ex-girlfriend, who testified before a federal grand jury earlier this year.

Gates has denied any wrongdoing and said last year the allegations were part of an “organized criminal racketeering” scheme against him. Last month, Florida businessman Stephen Alford was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to trying to extort $25 million from Gates and his father.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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