In the twilight of Donald Trump’s administration, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) demanded pre-emptive pardons from the president for all crimes he and his allies in Congress allegedly committed, The New York Times reports.
Gaetz, 38, is currently under federal investigation for potential sex trafficking in connection with an alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl, with a particular focus on whether he paid for that. she is traveling with him, and the investigation had started when he applied for multiple pardons. The Justice Department is also investigating whether Gaetz paid multiple women for sex on various visits to Florida alongside his close ally Joel Greenberg, the now indicted Seminole County tax collector. Gaetz has denied the allegations.
It is not known whether Gaetz or Trump were aware of the investigation into the Florida congressman, but the White House still refused, believing the a priori pardon would set an inappropriate precedent, according to the White House. Times. Attorney General William Barr had been briefed on the Gaetz investigation and reportedly even called off an appearance alongside the Florida Republican. It is not known if Gaetz discussed general pardons with the former president directly or if the conversation took place through assistants. A former Gaetz aide, Nathan Nelson, told the Times Monday that the FBI had questioned him about the activities of his former boss.
A Gaetz spokesperson said in a statement to the Times, “Entry-level political agents mistook a call for pardon from Representative Gaetz – where he called on President Trump to forgive ‘everyone from himself, to his administration, to Joe Exotic’ – with these allegations false and increasingly bizarre partisans against him. “
Gaetz appeared on Sean Hannity’s show, one of the prime-time shows Trump was known to watch, to advocate for a wide range of pardons in December 2020, shortly after the announcement. of the news that Trump was planning to forgive former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who had previously pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
“President Trump should forgive Michael Flynn, he should forgive Thanksgiving Turkey, he should forgive anyone from himself to his administrative officials to exotic Joe if need be. You see a thirst for blood from the radical left that will only be quenched if they come after the people who have worked so hard to enliven the Trump administration with the policies, vigor and efficiency that have enabled the American people ” Gaetz told the Fox News host.
“I think the president should exercise this power of grace in an efficient and robust manner,” he added.
The case against Greenberg led to federal agents investigating Gaetz’s conduct, and investigators believe the two may have had sex with the same 17-year-old. Greenberg is now in jail awaiting a sex trafficking trial after violating the terms of his bail.
In Congress, Gaetz has fashioned himself into a fierce defender of the former president and a conservative fire killer with a surge for media appearances. He spoke to a suite of conservative cable news channels – Fox News, One America News and Newsmax – about a post-convention contributor gig. Despite Gaetz’s loyalty, Donald Trump has not come to his defense as the political fallout from the investigation continues.
Gaetz cultivated a reputation as reckless and unkind during his three terms in Congress, as Republicans once told the Daily Beast. He sometimes shared photos and videos of naked women with fellow lawmakers upstairs in the House to brag about sleeping with them. In the Florida State Senate, Gaetz is said to have participated in a sex game where male members of the legislature competed to sleep with assistants, other lawmakers, and lobbyists, ranking conquests with a points system and even dubbing a woman “the snitch” in a reference to the Harry Potter books.
Gaetz argued the investigation into his connections and travels was part of a plot to extort tens of millions of dollars from himself and his father, former Florida State Senator Don Gaetz , whose net worth reaches hundreds of millions of dollars. The footnote to the investigation saga turns into strange territory. A Florida lawyer by the name of Don McGee, a previously convicted Florida real estate developer by the name of Stephen Alford, and a former Air Force intelligence official named Bob Kent have reportedly urged Gaetz to pay them $ 25 million earlier this year. They claimed they would use it to ransom an American hostage held by Iran who has already been pronounced dead. Elder Gaetz wore a thread to a meeting with one of the men in cooperation with an FBI investigation.
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