Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Matt Gaetz subpoenaed in friend’s lawsuit accusing others of defamation in sex trafficking probe

By 37ci3 Mar14,2024

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., has been called to testify as part of a civil lawsuit filed by a longtime friend and political ally. lengthy Justice Department investigation A Florida congressman has been accused of having sex with a 17-year-old girl.

The lead lawsuit, filed by former Florida state lawmaker Chris Dorworth, lists several defendants, including an unnamed young woman and former Orlando-area elected tax collector Joel Greenberg, who is now serving. 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to half a dozen federal crimes, including sex trafficking of minors.

Gaetz, who once called Greenberg his “wingman,” faced a Justice Department investigation launched in 2020 over allegations he had sex with a minor. He was informed No fees last year would be brought against him.

Dorworth filed the lawsuit after Greenberg alleged the former Republican lawmaker was involved in the scandal.

A spokesman for Gaetz said Thursday that the congressman is not a party to the underlying lawsuit.

“Congressman Gaetz has received a subpoena in ongoing litigation between outside parties,” the spokesperson said. “He is not being sued and he is currently neither a plaintiff nor a defendant.”

The spokesman did not say whether Gaetz would comply with the subpoena.

ABC News reported the call for the first time.

The DOJ investigation focused in part on the trip The Bahamas and whether the girls on that trip were minors and paid for the trip for sex, which would violate federal law.

Dorworth told NBC News Thursday that he believes the push to force Gaetz to testify is a “shameless” attempt to reduce the sentence of Greenberg, whose family is wealthy and politically connected in the Orlando area.

“The federal government fully investigated their lies and came back with no charges. Greenberg’s attorneys have publicly called for more people to be charged in exchange for a reduced prison sentence. This, in my view, is a grotesque and brazen abuse of their wealth and makes them liable for the harm they have caused.”

Dorworth’s lawsuit filed in April alleges Greenberg and others tried to charge him with “sex trafficking, sex with a minor, prostitution, obstruction of justice.”

Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing and has been cleared by the Justice Department, but the testimony could force him to answer questions under oath about allegations he had sex with a minor.

Greenberg’s attorney, Fritz Scheller, wrote in a motion to dismiss Dorworth’s lawsuit that Greenberg’s claim that he “settled” with the minor victim, identified in court documents only as AB, is false.

“To accept plaintiff’s RICO claim, one must accept a number of irrational premises that underlie it,” Scheller wrote. “That is, Joel Greenberg colluded with his victim, AB, to provide false information to Plaintiff in order to reduce the former’s criminal liability or, in the alternative, to file a civil suit against AB Gaetz and Plaintiff.”

The Republican-led House Ethics Committee also investigates A now-dismissed Justice Department allegation that Gaetz was involved in sex-trafficking and potential lobbying violations.

Greenberg told investigators that Gaetz and others were involved in the same-sex crimes that landed him in federal prison, initially cooperating that delayed his sentence and reduced the number of charges he faced, but U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell ultimately said Greenberg was among them. the most corrupt government officials he has ever met.

“I have never seen a defendant commit so many different types of crimes in such a short period of time,” he said during Greenberg’s sentencing.

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By 37ci3

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