Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) asked Trump to give him a pre-emptive blanket pardon to cover all of his crimes before the former president left office.
In the final weeks of Mr. Trump’s term, Mr. Gaetz sought something in return. He privately asked the White House for blanket pre-emptive pardons for himself and unidentified congressional allies for any crimes they may have committed, according to two people told of the discussions.
It was unclear whether Mr. Gaetz or the White House knew at the time about the inquiry, or who else he sought pardons for. Mr. Gaetz did not tell White House aides that he was under investigation for potential sex trafficking violations when he made the request. But top White House lawyers and officials viewed the request for a pre-emptive pardon as a nonstarter that would set a bad precedent, the people said.
Trump pardoned virtually any Republican criminal who asked during his time in office, including dozens of pardons on his way out the door, would not pardon Gaetz.
Trump is credibilityaccused of sexual assault by dozens of women, but he would not save Gaetz. Trump has the most criminal liability of an ex-president in US history, but he would not go near Matt Gaetz.
All of this makes one ask, how bad are Matt Gaetz’s crimes?
No one in the Republican Party is surprised by Gaetz’s fall, but why was Gaetz asking for pardons for other congressional Republicans?
These are all legitimate questions that should be answered, and Matt Gaetz’s request for pardons for other Republicans suggests that this scandal could far beyond one potential sex trafficking Florida congressman.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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