WASHINGTON – The Justice Department is wrapping up its sex trafficking investigation against Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, without charging the congressman with any crimes, his attorneys and congressional office told NBC News.

“We have just spoken with the Department of Justice and have been informed that they have concluded their investigation into Congressman Gaetz and the allegations related to sex trafficking and obstruction of justice and have determined not to file any charges against him,” the attorneys for Gaetz, Marc Mukasey, and Isabelle. Kirshner said in a statement.

Gaetz’s office added: «The Justice Department has confirmed to Congressman Gaetz’s attorneys that his investigation is complete and that he will not be charged with any crimes.»

Prosecutors had spent months investigating Gaetz’s personal conduct and, specifically, allegations that he was part of a scheme that led to the sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl. At the center of their investigation was testimony from a former associate of Gaetz’s, Joel Greenberg, who worked as a tax collector in Florida.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment. CNN was first to report the news.

In 2021, Greenberg pleaded guilty to six counts, including sex trafficking of a minor, identity theft, stalking, wire fraud and conspiracy to bribe a public official, and agreed to cooperate with federal investigators as part of his plea agreement. He was sentenced in December 2022 to 11 years in prison.

NBC News had reported in October that the investigation into Gaetz had stalled. That was according to lawyers who have represented witnesses, people who have been subpoenaed or who have spoken to investigators. Lawyers briefed on aspects of the case said the investigation had stalled over concerns about the credibility of two key witnesses or the lack of direct evidence implicating Gaetz, who has denied anything. bad gear.

Gaetz had long denied the allegations against him, including that he had sex with a minor, that he transported the alleged victim across state lines to engage in prostitution or obstructed justice in an effort to cover up their actions.

The Justice Department’s decision casts a huge legal cloud over Gaetz, who has been dogged by the allegations for more than a year. The outspoken Florida congressman, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, has become a thorn in the side of the new Republican majority.

Gaetz was part of a faction of Republicans who were reluctant to endorse Kevin McCarthy for president. He finally relented and voted «present» on the 15th ballot to allow McCarthy the threshold he needed to secure the job. McCarthy recently quietly appointed Gaetz to the new Republican subcommittee on «weaponizing the federal government.»