Florida Republican Matt Gaetz, who is facing a federal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, has asked President Trump’s White House for a preventive pardon at the end of his term, Fox News has confirmed.
Gaetz, 38, who was a staunch supporter of the former president, called for “general preventive pardons” for himself and unnamed allies in Congress for potentially committed crimes, the New York Times first reported. times. The request, however, was reportedly viewed by White House officials at the time as likely to set a bad precedent.
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A source familiar with the situation told Fox News Wednesday that Gaetz’s request was met “with a lot of rolling eyes” and “was not even considered” by the White House.
A representative from Gaetz’s office did not return Fox News’ request for comment, nor did a Trump spokesperson.
Gaetz is under investigation for potential sex trafficking, the New York Times reported, as well as for payments to women.
So far, no charges have been brought against him.
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The Times noted that it was not clear whether Gaetz knew, when he made the pardon request, that the Justice Department had set up a case against a Florida tax collector – who has been charged with sex trafficking of a minor – linked to him. Gaetz is said to have met women through the tax collector, who is said to have been a political ally.
Gaetz has so far vehemently denied the allegations, saying they were made with the aim of extorting him and his family.
“Over the past few weeks, my family and I have been the victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $ 25 million while threatening to smear my name,” Gaetz said in a statement. “None of the allegations against me are true, and the people pushing these lies are the targets of the ongoing extortion investigation.”
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The Republican congressman suggested in an interview with Fox News in November that then-President Trump should “firmly” forgive “everyone,” from Trump himself to administration officials, to defend against the “bloodlust” among Democrats.
At the end of his term, Trump ended up granting quite a few pardons, including former adviser Steve Bannon, former Republican National Committee finance chairman Elliott Broidy and rapper Lil Wayne.
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