Politics Matt Gaetz Pardon Request Related to Trafficking Probe—Testimony Transcript
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The Jan. 6 report will culminate an 18-month inquiry into what led to the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814 and what happened that day. With Republicans who labeled the panel partisan and illegitimate taking control of the House in January, the report will be the committee’s last opportunity to summarize its findings and make recommendations aimed at preventing another attack.Here is what we know so far:The report will have at least eight chapters, which track the blockbuster hearings the committee held in August.
Thehas released the interview transcripts from a aide who testified that Florida congressman sought a in relation to a .
The transcripts confirm previous reports—first revealed by The Washington Post in September—that former White House aidesaid under oath that before he left the White House over a federal investigation involving the GOP congressman.
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The transcripts show that McEntee told the committee how Gaetz had asked him about seeking a pardon from Trump via then White House chief of staff.
McEntee testified that Gaetz told him he was was aware of an investigation into the congressman and that "he didn't do anything wrong, but they're going to try to make his life hell."
The Justice Department has been investigating Gaetz overand paid for her to travel with him, including over state lines to be sold into prostitution.
Gaetz has not been charged with any crime and
Cassidy Hutchinson, a top White House aide to Meadows, also testified to the January 6 Committeefor a pardon since as far back as December 2021, although she wasn't sure what for.
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In a statement at the time regarding claims the Florida congressman sought a pardon, Gaetz's spokesperson said: "Congressman Matt Gaetz discussed pardons for many other people publicly and privately at the end of President Donald Trump's first term.
"As for himself, President Trump addressed this malicious rumor more than a year ago stating, 'Congressman M.' Rep. Gaetz continues to stand by President Trump's statement."
Earlier this year, it was reported that prosecutors were planning on recommending thatwith regards to the long running probe over concerns about two key witnesses, a recommendation which will more than likely be followed by the DoJ.
Read John McEntee's testimony on Matt Gaetz's pardon request:
Q Are you aware of any conversations or communications regarding the possibility of giving Congressman Matt Gaetz a pardon?
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A [McEntee] I know he had asked for it, but I don't know if he ever received one or what happened with it.
Q And how do you know that Congressman Gaetz asked for a pardon?
A He told me.
Q Tell us about that.
A He told me to ask Meadows for a pardon.
Q So Congressman Gaetz told you that he had asked Mark Meadows for a pardon?
A Yeah. That's how I recall it, yeah.
Q Okay. Do you remember when he told you that?
A I don't.
Q Do you remember whether it was before or after January 6th?
A I don't remember if it was before or after January 6th.
Q What were the circumstances where you were talking to Congressman Gaetz?
A I had dinner with him.
Q Was it just the two of you?
A Yeah. I had dinner. He didn't eat.
Q He didn't eat?
A He just stopped by briefly.
Q Was this a dinner specifically to discuss the pardon?
A He said, like, can I meet you later? I said, okay, I'll be here. And then I think I, like, ordered some food. He sat down. He was there a few minutes. He said, hey, this is what's going on, and then he left.
Q And how did you know Congressman Gaetz?
A I just interacted with him on the road, traveling with the President over the years.
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Q Do you know why he reached out to you in particular for this issue?
A I don't.
Q What can you recall about what he said?
A That they're launching an investigation into him, or that there is an investigation into him, and he didn't do anything wrong, but they're going to try to make his life hell. And, you know, if the President could give him a pardon, that would be great. Something along those lines.
Q What did you say in response?
A I just said, oh, okay. I said, 'who knows about this?' I think he referred to maybe Meadows, plus one other person he told. But it was pretty, pretty tight hold. And then I remember asking about it later, and they said, no, we're not doing that.
Q Who was it who said they weren't doing it?
A I'm pretty sure it was Meadows.
Q Did he say anything about why they weren't going to give him a pardon?
Q In the pardon, was this in the context of 'I think it was a child trafficking investigation'?
A I think that was the context, yes.
Q Did Mr. Gaetz ask for anything in return or offer anything in return for the pardon?
Q Did he discuss the 2020 election with you?
Q Did he discuss the joint session ofon January 6th with you?
A Not that I recall.
Q Did you get back to Congressman Gaetz with an answer about whether there would be a pardon?
A Not that I recall.
Q Did you discuss the possibility of a pardon for Matt Gaetz with anybody other than Mark Meadows?
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A No, I don't believe I did.
Q And did you ever discuss the possibility of a pardon with Mark Meadows—sorry, with Congressman Gaetz—again after that?
A I don't believe I did, no.
Q Did you discuss the possibility of a pardon at any point before the dinner?
A No. That's when I first learned about it.
Newsweek has contacted Gaetz for further comment.
Could Donald Trump Grant Himself a 'Pocket Pardon'? .
Amid Trump's legal woes there is speculation he may have already pardoned himself, claims Newsweek's Fact Check has investigated.The move means federal investigators can start their work again, without disruption—leading some to believe that Trump may now pardon himself under privileges available while he was president.