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The FBI seized Rep. Matt Gaetz’s cellphone in December 2020, marking the beginning of an investigation into whether the Florida Republican allegedly sex-trafficked a 17-year-old girl. In the time since, his former friend Joel Greenberg pleaded guilty to trafficking the same teen in exchange for helping the Justice Department’s investigation. Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend also struck a deal, obtaining immunity from federal prosecution in return for her testimony.

But the sex-trafficking investigation into Gaetz now appears stalled, according to seven attorneys who represent witnesses, people who have been subpoenaed or have spoken to investigators. The attorneys briefed on aspects of the case say federal investigators appear stymied by concerns about the credibility of two key witnesses or a lack of direct evidence implicating Gaetz, who has denied all wrongdoing.

Doubts about prosecuting Gaetz have mounted for months among many of those seven attorneys. It’s also an opinion held by some within the Justice Department, according to a recent Washington Post article. Citing people familiar with the matter, the paper reported that career prosecutors internally recommended that Gaetz not be indicted.

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