The Florida Republican’s request was viewed by White House officials as a non-starter, people told The Times, and was ultimately never granted.
The Times reported on Tuesday that it is unclear what Gaetz knew about the investigation at the time of his request and that he did not tell White House aides when he asked for the pardon he was doing. under investigation.
Some Trump associates have theorized in recent days that Gaetz’s request for multiple pardons – not just for himself – was a move to cover up his own potential legal exposure, the newspaper said.
A Gaetz spokesperson, however, denied to The Times that his pardon request was linked to the Justice Department’s investigation.
Entry-level political operatives have mistaken a plea for pardon from Representative Gaetz – where he called on President Trump to forgive ‘everyone from himself, to his administration, to Joe Exotic’ – with these false and increasingly bizarre partisan allegations against him, ”the spokesperson told the media outlet.
“These comments have been recorded 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 which began in the last few months of the department. of Justice of the Trump Era under Attorney General William Barr.
Gaetz has not been charged with any crime and the investigation is still in its early stages, according to people familiar with the matter.