Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and other congressional Republicans sought a pardon from then-President Donald Trump after the 2020 election, according to emails and testimony released Thursday by the Jan. 6 House selection committee. revealed.
The committee showed an email Brooks sent to the White House on Jan. 11, 2021, with the subject “I’m sorry.”
“President Trump has asked me to send you this letter. This letter is also in response to a request from Matt Gaetz,” the email read. “As such, I recommend that the President grant general (all intent) pardons to the following groups of people,” including a group of “every congressman and senator who voted to reject the Arizona and Pennsylvania electoral college submissions.”
Former Trump White House attorney Eric Herschmann said Gaetz asked for a pardon. “The general tone was, we can be prosecuted for defending the president’s views on these matters,” Herschmann said.
“The grace he was discussing was as broad as you could describe,” Herschmann said.
John McEntee, another Trump aide, told the committee in an impeachment interview played during Thursday’s hearing that Gaetz had told him he had asked for a pardon. “He told me he had asked Meadows for a pardon,” McEntee said.
McEntee added that he also heard discussions about a general pardon. “I’ve heard that said before,” he said.
Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, said at a White House meeting on Dec. 21, 2020, that there were congressional Republicans who were “proponents” of pardon.
“I think Mr. Gaetz and Mr. Brooks I know had both called for a general pardon for members involved in that meeting and a handful of other members who were not at the December 21 meeting as a preemptive pardon,” Hutchinson said. . “Mr. Gaetz personally urged pardon.”
Hutchinson also testified that Perry, who played a key role linking DOJ official Jeffrey Clark to Trump, had asked for a pardon, along with representatives Andy Biggs of Arizona and Louie Gohmert of Texas.
Asked by commission investigators whether Perry was asking for a pardon directly from Hutchinson, she said, “Yes, he did.”
Hutchinson also testified that she had heard that Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene had “asked for a clemency from (Deputy White House Counsel Patrick) Philbin,” but said she had not heard it directly.
Rep. Jim Jordan, Hutchinson said, had not asked for a pardon, but “more for an update on whether the White House would pardon members of Congress.”
“Mr. Gohmert also asked for it,” Hutchinson said.