Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was allegedly seeking a preemptive pardon from former President Donald Trump for a Justice Department investigation into whether the congressman violated federal sex laws, a former White House aide testified.
Gaetz told John McEntee, who served as the director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office in the Trump administration, that he had asked Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows for a pardon after he learned that an investigation into him was launched, McEntee testified to the House of Representative select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6.
McEntee added that Gaetz told him “he did not do anything wrong but they are trying to make his life hell, and you know, if the president could give him a pardon, that would be great,” sources who have heard the testimony told the Washington Post.
Although Gaetz did not specifically tell McEntee that it was related to the DOJ’s investigation, McEntee said he believed that was the context of the statements.
The Justice Department was investigating whether Gaetz paid for women to travel across state lines for sex, whether he had paid for sex at all, and whether he had a sexual relationship with a minor who was 17. Gaetz has denied all allegations, saying the last time he had a sexual relationship with someone who was 17 was when he was also 17.
McEntee said that he had only spoken with Gaetz about pardons once, but could not recall if it was before or after the events of Jan. 6. Gaetz had supported broad preemptive pardons for people in the Trump administration at the end of Trump’s term in 2020.
This is an excerpt from The Washington Examiner.