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Matt Gaetz certainly doesn’t act like an innocent man
“First, I never, ever paid for sex,” the Florida Republican wrote in an op-ed published Monday in the conservative Washington Examiner. “And second, as a grown man, I didn’t sleep with a 17-year-old.”

Words are one thing. Actions are another. And Gaetz’s actions – in the final days of the Trump administration – suggest a man worried about possible legal exposure.

Gaetz attempted to secure a general preventive pardon for himself (and his allies in Congress) in the dying embers of Donald Trump’s time in the White House, two people familiar with the matter told CNN. Who, whoa. People who know they haven’t done anything wrong usually don’t seek a pre-emptive pardon from the President of the United States on going out. Right? To the right!
Now the New York Times, which first reported the story, notes that it is not clear whether Gaetz was aware of the DOJ investigation when he asked for pardon. And, according to the Times, he never informed the White House, which never seriously considered his request, that he was under a federal investigation. (This could of course be because Gaetz didn’t know he was under investigation.)

Entry-level political operatives mistook a plea for pardon from Representative Gaetz – where he called on President Trump to forgive ‘everyone from (Trump), his administration, Joe Exotic’ – with these allegations false and increasingly bizarre supporters against him, “a Gaetz spokesperson told The Times.” These comments have been on the record for some time, and President Trump even retweeted the congressman, who gave them to him. – even tweeted. “

Hmmm … so Gaetz’s official explanation is that because he asked Trump to forgive a lot of people, someone (or more people) mistook this broad request for Gaetz personally asking forgiveness for him- even and his allies in Congress? Does that sound, well, implausible?

Also, it should be noted that a few days before news broke that Gaetz allegedly asked for a pardon months ago, he told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson: “I’m not asking for forgiveness. did nothing wrong or wrong. ”

Guess Gaetz could say he wasn’t lying when he told Carlson that March 30, because he wasn’t actively seeking forgiveness at the time – because he would have already asked for forgiveness and been rejected. by Trump? Plus, Trump is no longer president, so he can’t forgive people. And President Joe Biden seems, uh, unlikely to forgive Gaetz.

Gaetz also noted in Carlson’s interview that “they promised Joe Biden would forgive me,” which seems to provide further support for the idea that he had asked for forgiveness for himself.

See. Even under the friendliest reading of the request for forgiveness reported by Gaetz, he sought legal protection because he feared his high-profile defense of Trump would make him a target long after Trump left.

Under a slightly less friendly take of the situation, Gaetz knew or suspected that he and / or some of the people he hung out with in Florida had attracted the attention of the Department of Justice and he wanted to protect himself preemptively before losing his life. chance to do when Trump left office.

Why could Gaetz ask forgiveness from his allies in Congress as well as himself? Well, there’s a lot we still don’t know, but the alleged tactic is reminiscent of something familiar to any parent. It’s like when you’re a kid and you have a bad ballot for your parent to sign, then you put it in between a bunch of harmless papers and have them sign the whole bunch – in the hope that they don’t. pay close attention to the report card. (I, dear reader, I would never pull such a trick!)

Gaetz may well be exonerated by this Justice Department investigation. The DOJ does not comment and our ability to see inside a federal investigation is extremely limit. So, we just don’t know how it ends.

But what we do know is that it’s not a convincing look for a totally innocent man to ask a general preventative pardon from an incumbent president – and then say he wasn’t asking for that pardon. None of this makes Gaetz guilty. But it certainly creates more questions – none of which are good for him.


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