Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Rep. Matt Gaetz obstructed justice during a phone call with a witness in a potential sex crimes investigation, a law enforcement source confirmed to NBC News.
The obstruction probe, which stemmed from an inquiry about whether Gaetz, a Republican of Florida, had an improper relationship with a minor, was first reported by Politico, which cited two sources familiar with the case.
A spokesperson for Gaetz, who has not been charged with any crime and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, scoffed at the news of the obstruction investigation.
“Congressman Gaetz pursues justice, he doesn’t obstruct it," the spokesperson said in a written statement.
"After two months, there is still not a single on-record accusation of misconduct, and now the 'story' is changing yet again."
The witness in question is one of the women allegedly connected to Gaetz and his friend Joel Greenberg, a former Seminole County, Florida, tax collector who pleaded guilty last month to several crimes, including the sex-trafficking of a 17-year-old girl.
As part of his guilty plea, Greenberg agreed "to cooperate fully with the United States in the investigation and prosecution of other persons, and to testify, subject to prosecution for perjury or making a false statement, fully and truthfully before any federal court proceeding or federal grand jury in connection with the charges in this case."
Federal officials are looking into whether Greenberg and Gaetz used the internet to find women they could pay for sex and whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a minor he paid to travel with him, The New York Times reported, citing three people briefed on the matter.
In his guilty plea, Greenberg, a married father of two, admitted to having spent over $70,000 in 150 transactions to pay women for sex from 2016 to 2018. One of the women was under 18 "for part of the time" Greenberg paid her for sex acts "with him and others," he acknowledged in court filings.
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