The last time we checked in with the legal comings and goings of Congressman Matt Gaetz, things were not looking too hot for the Florida Republican from the perspective of not being charged with numerous crimes. Since the news broke this spring that he was under investigation for paying women for sex and, separately, for sleeping with a minor and transporting her across state lines, the various hits have included:
Gaetz has denied any and all allegations against him. And while the last month has seemingly brought a lull in developments re: his plight, which might lead some to believe the congressman, recently wed, is in the legal clear, a new report from The Daily Beast suggests that’s probably not the case:
That team, according to reporter Roger Sollenberger, includes attorney Marc Mukasey, who has defended the Trump Organization in a number of high-profile battles, as well as Isabelle Kirshner, a top criminal defense lawyer who represented Robert Hadden, the ex-Columbia University gynecologist accused by 200 patients of sexual assault. (In 2016, Hadden pleaded guilty to committing a criminal sexual act and forcibly touching two patients. He lost his medical license, but didn’t have to serve time in prison.) Meanwhile, Gaetz’s campaign has retained the services of New York trial lawyer Marc Fernich, who has the distinction of having defended some of history’s most notorious criminals, including monster Jeffrey Epstein, Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán (a.k.a. El Chapo), and Keith Raniere, who was sentenced to 120 years in prison for running the NXIVM sex cult where women were branded and forced into sexual slavery.
All of which suggests Gaetz is taking the possibility of winding up in major legal trouble quite seriously!
A spokesperson for Gaetz declined The Daily Beast’s request for comment. A lawyer familiar with the investigation told Sollenberger the defense team quite clearly reflects not just the gravity of the allegations but the scope of what the feds are looking into. “This is a sitting congressman, and they’ll fight everything tooth and nail,” the attorney said. “You’ve got to keep in mind there are a number of crimes under investigation here. There’s the [alleged] sex trafficking, prostitution, obstruction of justice, and the [Department of Justice] Public Integrity Unit has an even larger case with the political influence and marijuana stuff. And on top of that, it seems campaign finance as well.”
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