Jan 6 committee finds Gaetz, Mo Brooks wanted pardons for Capitol rioters

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Jan 6 committee finds Gaetz, Mo Brooks wanted pardons for Capitol rioters

The House January 6 committee found that the Republicans Matt Gaetz and Mo Brooks wanted a blanket pardon of members of Congress who were involved in Donald Trump's attempt to overturn his defeat by Joe Biden through lies about electoral fraud.

Andy Biggs of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania also contacted the White House about securing pardons, according to a witness. The former Trump White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, said she heard Marjorie Taylor Greene, an extremist from Georgia, wanted a pardon.

The committee posted an email written by Brooks, of Alabama, on January 11th, 2021, five days after the deadly attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters.

A total of 147 Republicans lodged such votes, even after the Capitol was stormed, an attack that endangered the life of the vice-president, Mike Pence, and a bipartisan Senate committee linked seven deaths, because Brooks, who delivered a fire-breathing speech at a rally before the Capitol riot, sought pre-emptive pardons for every Congressman and senator who voted to reject the electoral college vote submissions of Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Among the potential rivals to Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 were Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley.

For the January 6 committee, Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger said Brooks emailed the White House, quote, in response to a request from Matt Gaetz of Florida requesting a pardon for Representative Gaetz, himself and unnamed others.

According to witnesses, the president considered giving pardons to a wide range of individuals connected to the president, according to Kinzinger.

It is widely reported that Trump allies sought January 6 related pardons before Trump left office, and that Trump considered offering pre-emptive pardons to himself and family members. He has repeatedly suggested that he should pardon Capitol rioters if he returns to power.

The January 6 committee previously revealed that John Eastman, the law professor who pushed Pence to overturn election results, contacted Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, to ask if a pardon was possible.

Eric Herschmann, a Trump White House lawyer, said in testimony on Thursday that the general tone was, We may get prosecuted because we were defensive of the president's positions on these things. From the beginning of time up to today, he requested a pardon that was as broad as possible, for any and all things.

He mentioned Nixon and I said Nixon's pardon was never quite that broad. Richard Nixon resigned over Watergate scandal in 1974, involving political dirty tricks and their cover-up. He was pardoned by Gerald Ford, his successor in office.

In other testimony played on Thursday, Mark Meadows, a former assistant to Trump's chief of staff, said Mr Gaetz and Mr Brooks, both of whom I know advocated for a blanket pardon pre-emptive pardons.

Since early December, Gaetz has been pushing for a pardon. He reached out to me to ask if he could meet with Mr Meadows about receiving a presidential pardon. Hutchinson listed the other Republicans who requested pardons.

The last Republican president to be sworn in without congressional Democrats objecting to electors was George HW Bush, according to Gaetz. He didn't immediately make a statement about the pardon revelations.

Kinzinger said that the only reason to ask for a pardon is because you think you have committed a crime.