The report comes as Gaetz faces a Justice Department investigation – launched before Trump stepped down – into an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and related charges of trafficking law violations sexual. It is not known whether Trump’s White House or Gaetz were aware of the investigation when Gaetz made the reported pardon request, according to the Times.
In a two-sentence statement Wednesday, Trump also pointed out that Gaetz “totally denied the charges against him.” Trump’s brief statement broke the silence of Trump and his allies on the allegations against Gaetz, one of the former president’s strongest supporters in Congress.
Gaetz told POLITICO on Tuesday evening that he was upholding a previous statement denying that he had asked Trump for forgiveness.
“The recent bogus allegations against me are not something I have ever discussed with Trump, pardon or otherwise,” he said.