How Republicans Have Responded to Donald Trump Pardons Bombshell

Among the several bombshells that came out of the January 6 Committee hearing on June 23, there was the revelation that several Republican members of Congress sought pre-emptive pardons from then-President Donald Trump for their support of the rigged election conspiracy that led to the Capitol riots.

The claims were made by multiple witnesses, including former White House staff members, who testified that at least five Republicans asked for presidential pardons for their role in voting to overturn election results on January 6.

The five Republicans are Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama, Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas, Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.

"Mr. Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon," Cassidy Hutchinson, the aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows who identified the five GOP members, said at the committee hearing on Thursday.

An email from Brooks to the White House sent on January 11, 2021 which was displayed at the hearing, showed that the congressman asked for pardons for himself and Gaetz, as well as for "every congressman and senator who voted to reject the electoral college submission of Arizona and Pennsylvania."

Hutchinson also testified that she heard Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, one of the most vocal supporters of the former president's false claims that the 2020 presidential election had been "stolen", also contacted the White House counsel's office seeking a pardon.

Greene has denied that she asked for a pardon, blasting Hutchinson on Twitter for "spreading gossip," in a post where she also called the January 6 committee the "Witch Hunt Committee."

All six Republicans named at the hearing have denied any wrongdoings related to the events that led to the January 6 riots. Almost all of them have also explicitly denied asking for pardons after the assault on the Capitol.

In a bitter statement published on his website, Gohmert accused the January 6 committee of spreading "Soviet-style propaganda production" and misleading the public "by implying that my documented requests for pardons for other deserving individuals was a request for a pardon for myself is malicious, despicable and unfit for a U.S. Congressional hearing."

Gohmert claims that his request for pardons was for the "brave U.S. service members and military contractors who were railroaded by the justice system due to superiors playing politics, as well as a civilian leader who was also wronged by a despicable injustice."

"These requests were all far prior to, and completely unrelated to January 6," Gohmert claims, adding that he has "nothing for which to seek a pardon."

Biggs also claimed he did not seek a presidential pardon, saying that Hutchinson "is mistaken" and that her testimony was "deceptively edited." He too used the term "Soviet-style" to describe the hearing, calling the committee "illegitimate" and "unAmerican."

Perry also denied seeking a presidential pardon, going as far as claiming he never even spoke to Hutchinson or any White House staff members about a pardon.

"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 scheduler, nor any WH staff about a pardon for myself or any other Member of Congress — this never happened," Perry wrote on Twitter.

Gaetz, for one, did not deny asking for pardon, though he took to Twitter to bash the January 6 special committee, calling it "an unconstitutional political sideshow."

"It is rapidly losing the interest of the American people and now resorts to siccing federal law enforcement on political opponents," he wrote.

Brooks has not yet commented on the claims he asked for presidential pardons after January 6, but he sent a letter to the January 6 Committee on Thursday with his requirements to sit for a voluntary deposition by the committee.

Biggs, Perry and Jordan were also issued subpoenas in May.

Jan 6 Committee hearing gop
Testimony heard during the latest Jan.6 Committee hearing revealed that six Republican members of Congress asked for pre-emptive presidential pardons after Jan. 6. Alex Wong/Getty Images