Greenberg’s possible collaboration with the Justice Department could provide investigators with vital details to determine whether Gaetz himself violated laws against sex trafficking or prostitution.
Gaetz has denied ever having paid for sex and over the past week tried to articulate the allegations against him as a result of political bias in the judicial system and in the media.
A federal attorney and Greenberg’s attorney told a judge the deal didn’t go through, but there is an expectation that it could be resolved within weeks.
“We believe this case will be a plea,” said US assistant attorney Roger Handberg.
Greenberg’s lawyer, Fritz Scheller, requested an appointment until May 15. If a motion is not reached, they could be brought to trial in July.
After the hearing, Scheller spoke to reporters and declined to say whether his client would be willing to collaborate on the potential plea and not divulge if Greenberg had already met with prosecutors to describe what he knew about Gaetz.
However, he added that his client was “uniquely located”.
“I’m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very well today,” said Scheller.
Greenberg, the former tax commissioner in Seminole County, Florida, and a friend of Gaetz’s, had spent decades in jail on 33 federal matters ranging from identity theft to underage sex trafficking. CNN reported last week that Gaetz’s investigation began in 2020 as part of Greenberg’s wider investigation.
People who know the two men have described them as close, with a relationship that involved both Republican Party politics in the state and after-hours socializing.
Investigators are considering Gaetz’s connections with several Florida employees who may have benefited politically from granting the congressman favors such as escorts, travel, and campaign donations, sources familiar with the investigation.
Greenberg was arrested for stalking in 2020 after allegedly forging documents and social media accounts to accuse a political rival of being a pedophile and white supremacist.
Prosecutors have since brought three more charges against the former tax commissioner – including one just last week – in ways and at a pace that lawyers claim may put pressure on him to cooperate.
Few details of the sex trafficking were released to the public on a petty indictment filed in Greenberg last year. In an August indictment, prosecutors said the minor was between 14 and 17 years old and accused Greenberg of illegally receiving a photo and driver identification number for the person.
Prosecutors have also accused Greenberg of illegally accessing a motor vehicle database in order to obtain and use the personal information of individuals, including some individuals with whom Greenberg “was” in “sugar daddy” relationships.
CNN reported last week that witnesses provided federal investigators with information about a nightly rendezvous that Gaetz and Greenberg had at the Tax Commission office where they were seen on internal surveillance cameras checking ID cards.
This story has been updated with additional details.