Gaetz Taps Trump Defense Lawyer for Sex-Trafficking Probe

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U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz hired one of former President Donald Trump’s defense attorneys amid a federal probe into the lawmaker’s relationships with women recruited online for sex, including possibly a 17-year-old girl.

Marc Mukasey confirmed in an email Friday that he’d been hired by Gaetz, a Florida Republican and staunch Trump supporter. The New York-based Mukasey is also one of the lawyers representing the former president in a separate criminal investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance as well as another probe by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Gaetz also hired New York criminal defense attorney Isabelle A. Kirshner to work with Mukasey, according to a statement from Erin Elmore, a spokesperson for the congressman and onetime contestant on Trump’s reality-TV show The Apprentice.

Mukasey and Kirshner “will take the fight to those trying to smear his name with falsehoods,” Elmore, of the political consulting firm Logan Circle Group, said in the statement. “Matt has always been a fighter. A fighter for his constituents, a fighter for the country, and a fighter for the Constitution. And he’s going to fight back against the unfounded allegations against him.”

The hirings come a day after Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector who’s a political ally of Gaetz, told a judge he’s ready to plead guilty in a child sex-trafficking and identity-theft case. It’s an indication Greenberg may be cooperating with prosecutors.

Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing and suggested he is the victim of an extortion scheme.

On Thursday in federal court in Orlando, Florida, Greenberg agreed with prosecutors that his case “should resolve by guilty plea” at a hearing set for May 15 before U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell, court records show.

The New York Times reported last week that the Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz violated federal sex-trafficking laws through his connection with Greenberg. Fritz Scheller, Greenberg’s lawyer, told reporters after the hearing that he is “sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today” but didn’t elaborate further.

Mukasey, the son of former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, is known in New York legal circles as a protege of another Trump lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. But Marc Mukasey has distanced himself from the election-fraud claims pushed by Trump and Giuliani.

Read More: Trump Faces N.Y. Probes With Mob Lawyer and Giuliani Protege

Gaetz Probed By House Ethics Panel Amid Sexual-Misconduct Claims

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