It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about that ongoing federal investigation into Matt Gaetz‘s alleged sexual relationship with a high school student, but that could be changing soon.
According to The Daily Beast, the lack of developments could be for any number of reasons. Gaetz no doubt hopes people assume it means he’s innocent. More likely, however, is that investigators are exploring a wide range of complex charges. At least, that seems to be the conclusion many are drawing given the high-powered team of out-of-state attorneys he’s compiled.
The embattled Florida man’s team includes several well-known New York City litigators, including Donald Trump‘s former lawyer, Marc Mukasey, and Isabelle Kirshner, who represented former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after he was accused of assaulting multiple women.
Meanwhile, Gaetz’s campaign has retained New York-based trial lawyer Marc Fernich, perhaps best known for representing child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and convicted sex trafficker Keith Raniere, leader of the NXIVM cult.
Tristan Snell, a former assistant New York attorney general, tells The Daily Beast that the antigay congressman’s team suggests he’s “anticipating a trial.”
“It looks like a scorched-earth approach,” Snell says. “These are all big out-of-town lawyers. If your goal is to resolve something, you typically hire the top criminal defense attorney in the district, someone who’s a repeat customer there and has a good working relationship with that U.S. Attorney’s office. But these attorneys can go down there, burn down the building, and not have to worry about going back in the next day.”
Former federal prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks agrees, adding, “The fact he’s hiring trial lawyers would suggest that they are preparing for a trial, not a negotiation.”
And so does former federal prosecutor, Barb McQuade, who cautions, “Bringing in aggressive lawyers from out of town suggests a ‘scorched earth’ strategy. It may be effective in the court of public opinion, but rarely effective in a court of law.”
Here’s what people on Twitter are saying about the whole thing…
Matt Gaetz is trending right now. pic.twitter.com/n0cfbKBpMw
— Olivia Lake (@OliviaLake3) September 27, 2021
Matt Gaetz , Hired New York-based trial lawyer Marc Fernich. Fernich’s client list includes child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, and convicted sex trafficker Keith Raniere, who led the NXIVM cult.
Note : 2 are in JAIL and 1 in HELL
— tom ? (@lonestarmoocher) September 27, 2021
Matt Gaetz knows he’s going to be indicted. We all know he’s going to be indicted. Yet he’s still on the House Judiciary Committee.
— Tim Hannan (@TimHannan) September 27, 2021
look, I may not agree with the way Matt Gaetz handles his personal life, but he is an elected official and I will defend to the death his right to be dragged from Congress in handcuffs, humiliated, disgraced, tried for his crimes and thrown straight the fuck into prison
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) September 27, 2021
How many of you want to see Matt Gaetz trending because he's finally indicted and arrested? I wish that actually happen.
— ? Xay? ?? (@XanderXjork) September 27, 2021
Matt Gaetz is a when not an if — that’s the word on the street. The question is not “to indict or not.” It’s “does he do a plea deal or not.”
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) September 27, 2021
Anytime Matt Gaetz is trending, it's either because he said something ridiculous or because he's about to be arrested. The former happens about every other week, the latter has taken way too long.
— Rex Zane (@rexzane1) September 27, 2021
Matt Gaetz will NOT be allowed to come within 100 yards of any high school in America after his trial.
— chris copperton (@trumpsuce1) September 27, 2021
The legal team for Matt Gaetz suggested he is expecting a trial and the lull in his investigation doesn’t indicate innocence like he says. It likely means allegations against him are “extremely grave and complex."
ALL OF THIS.?
— Kate ??? (@ImSpeaking13) September 27, 2021
I will dance in the street when Matt Gaetz is finally arrested.
— Mayo (@MayoIsSpicyy) September 27, 2021
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.