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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) speaking at CPAC in February 2021 in Orlando. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Joel Greenberg, an associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), is in plea negotiations after being charged with sex trafficking of a minor, according to his lawyer, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: A plea deal may indicate that Greenberg, a former tax collector in Seminole County, Florida, is open to cooperating with investigators by providing information though it's unknown how deep the negotiations are.

Context: The Justice Department launched an investigation into Gaetz for sexual activity with women after first investigating Greenberg and indicting him last year on a federal sex trafficking charge and other crimes, according to the New York Times.

  • Investigators believe Greenberg met women through websites for dates in exchange for gifts, fine dining, travel and allowances and also introduced the women to Gaetz, who had sex with them, according to the Times.
  • The federal investigation is also examining whether Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws by having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paying for her to travel with him.
  • Gaetz has denied ever paying woman for sex and has claimed that the investigation is part of a criminal extortion scheme against him and his family.

The big picture:: During court-ordered meeting for Greenberg's case, federal prosecutor told a judge he expected the case to end with a plea agreement.

  • An attorney for Greenberg then asked the judge to set a deadline of May 15 for the two sides to either reach a deal, or move forward with a trial, according to the Post.

Go deeper: Gaetz to speak at pro-Trump women's conference amid sex trafficking probe

Go deeper

Gaetz to speak at pro-Trump women's conference amid sex trafficking probe

Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is currently under federal investigation for possible sex trafficking, is set to speak at a conservative women's conference at former President Trump's Miami golf course on Friday.

What's happening: The Women for America First group will host Gaetz at Trump National Doral golf course, in addition to fellow Florida GOP Reps. Byron Donalds and Kat Cammack.

33 mins ago - Health

The COVID booster vaccine discussion is far from over

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An FDA advisory panel may have green-lighted a third shot of the Pfizer vaccine for a somewhat narrow slice of the population, but the messy process of figuring out who should get another shot of the vaccine — and when — has likely just begun.

Why it matters: Many vaccinated Americans are worried about their level of protection as the pandemic continues to rage. The piecemeal booster decision-making process may be the best way to keep pace with the science, but it's also at risk of becoming extremely confusing.

2 hours ago - World

UN chief urges U.S. and China to fix "dysfunctional relationship"

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a Sept. 13 press conference in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / Coffini/AFP via Getty Images

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres raised concerns in an interview with AP, published Monday, of another Cold War between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Guterres made the comments ahead of this week's UN General Assembly in New York. Guterres told AP the U.S.-U.K. deal to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia "is just one small piece of a more complex puzzle ... this completely dysfunctional relationship between China and the United States."