Rep. Matt gaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden and McConnell Agree on Vaccines, Infrastructure Clash Katie Hill: Gaetz ‘Must Be Held Accountable’ If Sex Allegations Are True Meghan McCain Asks Gaetz to Quit MORE (R-Fla.) He allegedly sought a blanket clemency from the White House during the final weeks of President TrumpDonald Trump Joe Biden’s surprising presidency The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden and McConnell agree on vaccines, infrastructure clash Republican battle with MLB escalates MOREadministration, a revelation that comes when the legislator is the subject of a federal sex trafficking investigation.
Gaetz asked Trump for a pardon for himself and his unidentified Congressional allies, two people familiar with the discussion told The New York Times. The conversation occurred around the same time that Gaetz publicly called on Trump to pardon the Republican allies and while the Justice Department was investigating the Florida Republican for an alleged relationship with a 17-year-old who violated sex trafficking laws.
It was not immediately clear whether Gaetz was aware of the federal investigation when he asked for a pardon, according to the Times. Gaetz’s request was communicated to a Trump aide, and it was also unclear whether Gaetz requested a pardon directly from the then president, the newspaper reported.
Spokesmen for Trump and Gaetz did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill.
“Entry-level political agents have combined a pardon from Representative Gaetz, where he asked President Trump to forgive ‘everyone, from himself, to his administration, to Joe Exotic,’ with these false partisan accusations and every time strangers against him. ” a Gaetz spokesman told the Times.
“Those comments have been on the record for some time, and President Trump even retweeted the congressman, who tweeted them himself.”
Gaetz also said last month that he “does not seek forgiveness.”
The Times report is the latest development in a scandal surrounding Gaetz.
In addition to the Justice Department investigation, reports have also emerged alleging that Gaetz showed his colleagues nude photos of women with whom he claims to have slept with, used illegal drugs and paid to have sex with women.
Gaetz has denied all the allegations and maintained that they are part of a smear campaign against him by his political opponents.
“Washington’s cycles of scandals are predictable and sex is especially potent in politics,” Gaetz wrote in an editorial published Monday in the Washington Examiner. “First let me remind everyone that I am a representative in Congress, not a monk, and certainly not a criminal.”