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Various Republican members of Congress sought clemency from President Donald Trump in the final days of his administration, according to recorded testimony from former Trump White House aides presented by the Jan. 6 committee.
Five days after the Capitol attack, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., sent an email with the subject line “Pardons” to the White House asking for a pardon for Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., himself, and “every congressman or senator who voted to reject ballot submissions from the Arizona and Pennsylvania Electoral Colleges.”
In an interview recorded and broadcast during the hearing, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former assistant to the White House chief of staff, said Brooks and Gaetz had pleaded for blanket pardons for House members involved in a meeting of the December 21.
Specifically, Gaetz had been asking for forgiveness since “early December,” Hutchinson said, noting that Reps. Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert and Scott Perry had asked the White House for forgiveness. No grace was delivered. She also testified that she heard Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene requested one from the White House counsel’s office, but did not contact Greene about it. Hutchinson also said Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan inquired about the White House granting pardons to lawmakers, but did not explicitly ask for one in his conversations.
“The only reason you’re asking for a pardon is if you think you’ve committed a crime,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., one of two Republicans on the panel, in his closing remarks. Thursday hearing.
Eric Herschmann, Trump’s White House attorney, told the committee in a videotaped interview that Gaetz had asked for forgiveness “from the beginning of time until today, for anything and everything.” .
He said the “overall tone” of the demands was: “We could be sued because we were defensive of the president’s stance on these things.”