It is not known whether Gaetz or the White House were aware of the Justice Department’s investigation when he made the pardon request, the Times said. Although Trump was made aware of the request, it was also not clear whether Gaetz spoke directly to him about the matter.
However, a week ago, the congressman denied asking forgiveness from Trump, when asked about the possibility by POLITICO. Reached by phone Tuesday evening, Gaetz upheld the statement but said he had not read the Times article.
“The recent false allegations against me are not something I have ever discussed with Trump, pardon or otherwise,” he told POLITICO.
Gaetz said he and other lawmakers met with Trump to discuss a broader forgiveness strategy following the Jan.6 Capitol riot, an exchange in which he advised the former president to forgive himself. even his family, administration officials and others who supported Trump’s election. claims of a charge of insurrection.
Trump was then impeached by the House for inciting insurgency, but acquitted in the Senate. In his final hours in office, Trump has granted dozens of pardons to people ranging from his former advisor Steve Bannon to rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black.