Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who faces a federal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, asked President Trump’s White House for a reprieve at the end of his term, Fox News confirmed.
The 38-year-old Gaetz, who was a fervent supporter of the former president, sought “blanket preventive pardons” for himself and his unidentified allies in Congress for potentially committed crimes, The New York Times reported for the first time. However, it was said that White House officials at the time felt that the request would set a bad precedent.
GAETZ’S ALLEGED EXTORTER CONFIRMS WANTED $ 25M, DENIES REPRESENTATION
A source familiar with the situation told Fox News on Wednesday that Gaetz’s request was greeted with “many blank eyes” and “was not even considered” by the White House.
A representative from Gaetz’s office did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment, nor did a Trump spokesperson.
Gaetz is being investigated for possible sex trafficking, The New York Times reported, as well as for payments to women.
So far, no charges have been filed against him.
REP. MATT GAETZ’S DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS TAKES OFF IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGRESSMAN’S FEDERAL INVESTIGATION
The Times noted that it was unclear whether Gaetz knew, when he made the clemency request, that the Justice Department had been building a case against a Florida tax collector, who has been charged with sex trafficking of a minor, related to him. . It is alleged that Gaetz met women through the tax collector, who was said to be a political ally.
So far, Gaetz has vehemently denied the allegations, saying they have been brought in an effort to extort money from him and his family.
“Over the past few weeks, my family and I have been the victims of organized criminal extortion involving a former Justice Department official seeking $ 25 million while threatening to defame my name,” Gaetz said in a statement. “None of the allegations against me are true, and the people promoting these lies are the targets of the ongoing extortion investigation.”
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The Republican congressman suggested during an interview with Fox News in November that then-President Trump should “forcefully” pardon “everyone,” from Trump himself to administration officials, to fend off the “bloodlust” among Democrats. .
At the end of his term, Trump ended up handing out quite a few pardons, including former adviser Steve Bannon, former Republican National Committee finance chair Elliott Broidy, and rapper Lil Wayne.