(CNN)An ex-girlfriend of Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is seen as a key witness in the investigation into alleged sex trafficking by the Florida Republican, entered an Orlando federal courthouse with her lawyer on Wednesday, where she was expected to testify before a grand jury, according to a CNN reporter on the scene.
The development is the latest signal that the long-running investigation into Gaetz remains active. A source familiar with the case had previously told CNN the ex-girlfriend would appear before the grand jury.
The woman, a former Capitol Hill staffer, has been linked to Gaetz as far back as the summer of 2017. Investigators are interested in that period of time because that is when the congressman is accused of having sexual contact with another woman, who was 17 years old at the time.
The ex-girlfriend also could be integral for authorities investigating potential obstruction of justice as the probe into Gaetz’s conduct heated up. CNN has reported that investigators are aware of a discussion that Gaetz and an associate had about talking to her in October 2020.
Multiple people familiar with the matter have told CNN that a grand jury — a group of laymen who hears evidence presented by prosecutors behind closed doors about a potential crime — has been meeting at the George C. Young Federal Annex Courthouse regarding the Gaetz investigation.
The lawyer for the ex-girlfriend, Timothy Jansen, declined to comment. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime. His attorney and spokesman have not responded to requests from CNN for comment.