The Justice Department has informed lawyers for at least one witness that it will not bring charges against Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz after a years-long federal sex-trafficking investigation.
Senior officials reached out to lawyers for multiple witnesses on Wednesday, a source familiar with the matter told CNN, to inform them of the decision not to prosecute Gaetz.
The final decision was made by Department of Justice leadership after investigators recommended against charges last year.
“We have just spoken with the DOJ and have been informed that they have concluded their investigation into Congressman Gaetz and allegations related to sex trafficking and obstruction of justice and they have determined not to bring any charges against him,” Gaetz’s lawyers, Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner, said in a statement.
The congressman’s office said in a separate statement that the department informed them the investigation has ended and no charges will be brought.
The DOJ’s formal decision not to charge Gaetz, who has been serving in Congress since 2017, marks the end of a long-running investigation into allegations that the congressman violated federal law by paying for sex, including with women who were younger than 18 years old.
Gaetz has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Thursday, February 16, 2023
Following up on prosecutor recommendations, the Justice Department is officially refusing to bring charges against GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz after a nearly four-year investigation into Gaetz's alleged sexual abuse of minors and underage trafficking.
Despite a witness wo turned state's evidence against him, Merrick Garland has nothing worth bringing to trial, and so that's that.
Until, you know, Gaetz does the same thing again.
It's up to voters now.
We're maybe a month or two from DeSantis ordering state colleges and universities to no longer accept AP credits or SAT scores as valid and ordering all AP courses be banned in public schools. https://t.co/rICTk3pRAZ— Zandar vs. The House GOP Circus Of The Damned (@ZandarVTS) February 13, 2023
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis threatened Tuesday to withdraw state support for Advanced Placement programs and expand other methods of awarding college credit to high school students, escalating a highly unusual clash that burst into public last month when his administration rejected plans for a new AP African American studies course.
The state education department, based on its view of preliminary documents, declared in January that the African American studies course “lacks educational value.” DeSantis (R) — citing proposed lessons on “queer theory,” “intersectionality” and other topics — criticized the plan for what he called “indoctrination” and “a political agenda.” When the College Board, which oversees AP, debuted the official course plan on Feb. 1, it provoked a debate over whether it had watered down the content to mollify DeSantis and his conservative allies. The College Board fiercely denied that claim and said on Saturday that DeSantis had slandered its course.
In Jacksonville on Tuesday, DeSantis suggested at a news conference that the state could curtail the role of all AP classes in Florida schools — not just the one in African American studies.
“AP is kind of with the College Board,” DeSantis said. “Who elected them? Are there other people that provide services? Turns out there are.” He cited the International Baccalaureate and Cambridge Assessment programs as alternatives that — like AP — enable students to qualify for college credit after passing an exam. He also plugged dual enrollment programs that let high school students take classes from professors at nearby colleges.
DeSantis said he supports opportunities for high school students to earn college credit. “Does it have to be done by the College Board?” he asked. “Or can we utilize some of these other providers who I think have a really, really strong track record?” He added: “It’s not clear to me that this particular operator” — referring to the College Board — “is the one that’s going to need to be used in the future.”
The College Board did not immediately respond to an email request for comment. A DeSantis spokesman said the administration is “reviewing options.”
As a practical matter, it is unclear whether or how AP could be eliminated in Florida. The program, with more than three dozen courses in math, science, social sciences, humanities, languages and other topics, is deeply entrenched in the state and nationwide.
Florida students aren't going to be allowed to take AP courses or the SAT, and neither will be accepted from other states at Florida schools. DeSantis will turn the Sunshine state into the Dullard State, and then do the same for the rest of the country.
After Kentucky voters refused to eliminate abortion in the state's constitution in November, the KY GOP, with its overwhelming supermajorities in the state House and Senate, are now looking to criminalize abortion as murder and will seek to send women and doctors to prison.
A Kentucky Republican lawmaker has introduced legislation that would let the state prosecute a person who gets an illegal abortion for criminal homicide, making it the latest state to try and clamp down on reproductive access in direct opposition to the will of the people.
Since the fall of Roe v. Wade, abortion is banned in Kentucky except to save the life of the pregnant person, meaning any abortion due to rape, incest, or just personal choice is illegal. The current law, though, does state that someone who receives an illegal abortion cannot be subjected to “any criminal conviction and penalty.”
The new bill, introduced Tuesday by Republican State Representative Emily Callaway, strips away that protection. The legislation would amend the current law to establish that life begins at fertilization, therefore all fetuses are owed the same protections as a living human.
“Unless specifically provided otherwise, in prosecution under this chapter where the victim is an unborn child, enforcement shall be subject to the same legal principles as would apply to the homicide of a person who had been born alive,” the text says.
The bill does make exceptions for “lawful” medical procedures carried out to save the pregnant person’s life. It also protects against prosecution for a medical procedure that results in a “natural or accidental” miscarriage.
The bill comes just a few months after Kentucky residents voted in the midterms against an amendment that would have said abortion is not a protected right in the state.
Heather Gatnarek, the ACLU of Kentucky’s senior staff attorney, slammed the new legislation as “absurd and offensive and dangerous.”
“It’s just so far afield from what we know Kentuckians want and what they need,” she told The Courier Journal. “We know people still need access to abortions.”
The double whammy here, with the "life begins at fertilization" nonsense combined with defining "illegal abortions" as murder, means under this bill no doctor or any medical provider would ever perform a life-saving abortion because of the risk it would be prosecuted anyway.
Medical abortions in the state would immediately mean felony murder charges for both providers of medication and for women under this radical garbage fire of a bill, too.
It's a ludicrous bill, but this is where I've been saying states were going with this since Roe v Wade was destroyed. You'd better believe the KYGA has enough votes to pass this.
Keep an eye on Kentucky.