Did Matt Gaetz BEG Trump for 'blanket pardon'? Internet jokes it covers 'crimes committed under blanket'

The embattled Florida GOP lawmaker, who is fighting sexual misconduct allegations, reportedly sought pardon from former president Donald Trump


                            Did Matt Gaetz BEG Trump for 'blanket pardon'? Internet jokes it covers 'crimes committed under blanket'
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz reportedly sought a blanket pardon from the administration of Donald Trump in his final months (Getty Images)

Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, who is battling sexual allegations, privately sought the Donald Trump White House for ‘blanket pre-emptive pardons’ for himself and unidentified allies in the Congress for any crime they have committed. The New York Times reported this on Tuesday, April 6, citing a couple of sources. The 38-year-old lawmaker’s request, however, was not granted, the report added.

According to the report, Gaetz, one of former president Donald Trump’s staunchest of allies who even signed a letter nominating the letter for the Nobel Peace Prize, sought reciprocation in the final weeks of the Republican’s tenure that ended in January. Last month, the NYT came up with a bombshell report saying it was Trump’s justice department that had launched an inquiry into Gaetz -- whether he had a sexual relationship with an underage girl violating sex-trafficking laws -- as part of a probe against an indicted associate in the Sunshine State. Gaetz has been denying the charges and even alleged an extortion plot with his father Don Gaetz, a former Florida politician, backing him. 

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Last November, two weeks after Trump lost his re-election, Gaetz asked him to “pardon everyone” before he left office or they would be targeted by the “radical left.”

Former president Donald Trump with former attorney general William Barr (Getty Images)

 

“He should pardon the Thanksgiving turkey,” Gaetz said on Fox News. “He should pardon everyone from himself to his administration officials to Joe Exotic if he has to,” Mr. Gaetz added, referring to the gun-toting zoo owner convicted in murder.

“You see from the radical left a bloodlust that will only be quenched if they come after the people who worked so hard to animate the Trump administration with the policies and the vigor and the effectiveness that delivered for the American people,” Gaetz said.

 



 


According to the NYT report, it is not clear whether Gaetz or the White House knew about the inquiry when it was being carried out. It is also not clear who are the other people for whom the lawmaker sought pardons. Gaetz did not inform officials at the White House that he was being probed for potential sex-trafficking violations when he sought the pardons. But sources told the daily that top lawyers and officials at the White House considered the request for the pre-emptive pardon as a non-starter which would set a bad precedent. 

Trump was informed about Gaetz’s request by his aides, the report added, but it was not clear whether the former commander-in-chief had discussed the issue directly with the accused lawmaker. It may be noted here that the maverick Republican pardoned many people in the final months of his office, showing how keen he was to help his close supporters and slam the criminal justice system. More recently, some of Trump’s associates speculated that Gaetz, who earlier was close to Jeb Bush but later shifted to become a Trump loyalist, sought group pardon to hide his own ‘potential criminal exposure’. The revelation saw the virtual world erupting with reactions against Gaetz with people saying that the GOP lawmaker sought the pardons because he knew he was on the wrong side of law.

Gaetz blasted over NYT revelation

Scott Dworkin, co-founder and executive director of The Democratic Coalition tweeted: “Matt Gaetz sought a blanket pardon from the last White House, because he’s guilty, and he knows it.” Journalist Sam Stein recalled on the occasion a March 31 report by the Politico that cited Gaetz telling it that he had never sought a pardon from Trump before the conclusion of his term.



 



 

‘The Aggressive Progressive’ podcast host Christopher Hahn said: “Matt Gaetz wanted a blanket, pre-emptive pardon. William & Mary School of Law should take back his Law Degree.” Gaetz received the Juris Doctor degree from the Virginia-based school in 2007. 



 

Actress Kathy Griffin said asked in a tweet: “BLANKET PARDONS FOR WHAT, @mattgaetz???” Bill Prady, the executive producer of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ replied to Griffin saying: “As I understand it, Kathy, a "blanket pardon" covers crimes committed under a blanket.” Filmmaker Andy Ostroy slammed Gaetz saying in a tweet: “Hey @mattgaetz...do you have any idea what happens to child molesters in prison? It ain’t pretty…”