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Rep. Matt Gaetz during a May rally in Dalton, Georgia. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) denies he's obstructed justice after Politico reported late Wednesday that federal prosecutors are looking into the allegation as part of a sex crimes investigation.

Driving the news: Per Politico, the obstruction of justice inquiry centers on a call Gaetz had with a witness in the Department of Justice case against Joel Greenberg, a former associate of the congressman, who's pleaded guilty to charges including sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl and wire fraud.

  • At some point during the conversation, Gaetz's former girlfriend "patched" him into the call with the witness, Politico reports, citing sources familiar with the case.
  • "While it's unknown exactly what was said, the discussion on that call is central to whether prosecutors can charge Gaetz with obstructing justice, which makes it illegal to suggest that a witness in a criminal case lie or give misleading testimony," according to Politico.

For the record: Gaetz has not been charged with any crimes and has repeatedly denied allegations of being sexually involved with a 17-year-old and claims that he shared naked images of women with other Congress members.

  • He told Axios' Jonathan Swan in March that the investigation is "rooted in an extortion effort against my family for $25 million."

What they're saying: "Congressman Gaetz pursues justice, he doesn’t obstruct it," a spokesperson for Gaetz said in a statement to Politico in response to the latest report.

"The anonymous allegations have thus far amounted to lies, wrapped in leaks, rooted in an extortion plot by a former DOJ official. After two months, there is still not a single on-record accusation of misconduct, and now the 'story' is changing yet again."
  • Representatives for Gaetz and the DOJ did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper: Rep. Gaetz declares he's "not going anywhere" amid sex trafficking probe

Go deeper

Justice Department secures 2nd guilty plea stemming from Capitol riot

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Paul Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa pleaded guilty on Wednesday to obstruction of an official proceeding for participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Hodgkins is the second defendant to plead guilty in the Justice Department's sweeping criminal investigation of the Capitol insurrection, which has resulted in charges against more than 500 people thus far, according to Insider.

Updated 57 mins ago - Sports

Katie Ledecky wins gold in first women's 1500m freestyle

Team USA's Katie Ledecky celebrates after winning the final of the women's 1,500m freestyle swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images)

Katie Ledecky took home the Olympic gold medal in the women's 1,500-meter freestyle swimming race Tuesday evening, becoming the first female swimmer to win the newly added division. Team USA's Erica Sullivan won silver.

Of note: The Tokyo Games mark the first time that the long-distance race has been open to women, and Ledecky paid tribute to her predecessors after the race. "I just think of all the great U.S. swimmers who didn’t have a chance to swim that event," she said on NBC.

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Katie Ledecky celebrates with teammate Erica Sullivan after winning the women’s 1500m freestyle final. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

🚨: Katie Ledecky wins gold in first women's 1500m freestyle

🤸🏾‍♀️: Simone Biles pulls out of gymnastics team finals, citing her mental health

🎾: "This one sucks more than the others," Naomi Osaka says on upset loss

⚽️: USA women's soccer ties Australia, propelling them to the quarterfinals

🏊‍♀️: Teen swimmer Lydia Jacoby wins first U.S. women's Tokyo Games gold

👟: World Athletics president supports reviewing marijuana rules in doping

🏄‍♀️: American Carissa Moore wins first-ever women's Olympic gold in surfing

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage - Medal tracker