The Jan. 6 committee investigating the Capitol attack revealed Thursday that at least a half-dozen Republican lawmakers have sought presidential pardons for their role in voting to overturn election results in certain states on Jan. 6, 2021, according to testimony. of former Trump aides.

Testimony from Trump aides named Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), and Scott Perry (PA.) as clemency applicants.

An aide also said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) contacted the White House counsel’s office seeking a pardon.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a panel member who played a prominent role in Thursday’s proceedings, submitted an email from Brooks, dated Jan. 11, 2021, in which the congressman requested clemency. presidential for himself, Gaetz and lawmakers who objected to the Electoral College vote for Arizona and Pennsylvania.

“President Trump asked me to send you this letter. This letter also responds to a request from Matt Gaetz,” the email says.

“As such, I recommend that the President grant blanket pardons (for all purposes) to the following groups of people,” the email added. “All Congressmen and Senators who voted to reject the Arizona and Pennsylvania Electoral Vote Submission.”

A spokesperson for Brooks sent a full copy of the email, which included concerns that Democrats would “abuse the United States judicial system by targeting numerous Republicans with bogus charges.”

“The email request says it all. There was concern that Democrats would abuse the judicial system by prosecuting and jailing Republicans who acted in accordance with their constitutional or statutory duties under 3 USC 15,” Brooks said in a statement. “Fortunately, over time, more rational forces took over and no one was persecuted for carrying out their legitimate duties, meaning a pardon was unnecessary after all.”

The panel also showed video of former special assistant to the president Cassidy Hutchinson saying that Gaetz and Brooks “advocated for a blanket pardon” for members of Congress involved in a meeting that took place on December 21, 2020, presumably the White House meeting that focused on nullifying the 2020 presidential election.

He also said that Gaetz and Brooks advocated a blanket pardon for “a handful of other members who were not at the Dec. 21 meeting.” Those were meant to be “precautionary pardons,” she noted.

Additionally, Hutchinson said that “Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon, and had been since early December,” but said he didn’t know why.

Gaetz approached Hutchinson to ask for a meeting with Meadows “about receiving a presidential pardon,” according to his closed-door testimony given at Thursday’s hearing.

Hutchinson said Biggs, Gohmert and Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) have also asked for clemency, but would not release any further details.

And he said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a fierce Trump supporter, “talked about pardons from Congress, but he never asked me for one,” noting that he was largely asking whether or not the White House was going. grant pardon to the legislator.

Perry previously denied asking for a pardon and stood by in light of the new testimony.

“I stand by my statement that I never sought a presidential pardon for myself or other members of Congress. At no time did I speak with Ms. Hutchinson, a White House programmer, or any White House staff member about a pardon for myself or any other member of Congress; this never happened,” Perry said in a statement.

A spokesman for Perry previously denied that he has asked for a pardon, calling it “laughable, ridiculous and a completely heartless lie.”

Greene, Hutchinson said, did not contact her directly, but said she had heard Greene contacted the White House counsel’s office to obtain a pardon.

Green delayed about the testimony in a tweet, but did not directly deny apologizing.

“Saying ‘I heard’ means you don’t know,” Greene said. “Spreading gossip and lies is exactly what the January 6 Witch Hunt Committee is all about.”

The Jan. 6 committee also asked Eric Herschmann, a former Trump White House lawyer, if Gaetz was seeking a pardon.

“I think so,” Herschmann said in a video released at the hearing. “The general tone was, ‘We can be prosecuted because we were defensive of, you know, the president’s positions on these things.’

Herschmann said that Gaetz’s clemency request was “for any and all things,” and that Gaetz said he had mentioned the clemency of former President Richard Nixon. Herschmann said Nixon’s pardon was not that broad.

Trump adviser John McEntee also testified that Gaetz told him he apologized to Meadows.

A spokesperson for Gaetz responded to testimony about the clemency request by pointing to a cheep of Gaetz calling the committee a “political sideshow.”

Updated at 7:13 pm




Reference-thehill.com

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