White House officials deemed the Florida Republican’s request not a principle, people told the Times, and it was ultimately never granted.
The Times reported Tuesday that it is unclear what Gaetz knew about the investigation at the time of his request, and he did not tell White House aides when he requested clemency that he was under investigation.
Some Trump associates have theorized in recent days that Gaetz’s request for multiple pardons, not just for him, was a move to disguise his own potential legal exposure, the newspaper said.
However, a Gaetz spokesman denied to the Times that his clemency request was related to the Justice Department investigation.
“Entry-level political operatives have combined a pardon call from Representative Gaetz, where he asked President Trump to forgive ‘everyone from himself, to his administration, to Joe Exotic’, with these false partisan allegations and every time strangers against him. “, said the spokesman to the medium.
“Those comments have been on the record for some time, and President Trump even retweeted the congressman, who tweeted them himself.”
A person briefed on the investigation confirmed to CNN that federal authorities were investigating Gaetz as part of a larger investigation into trafficking allegations against another Florida politician, an investigation that began in recent months by the Trump-era Justice Department. under Attorney General William Barr.
Gaetz has not been charged with any crime and the investigation is still in its early stages, according to sources familiar with the matter.