Matt Gaetz is now facing the worst case scenario

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In a recent tweet, New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “Hey @mattgaetz while I have you responding to my tweets, can you respond to one more for me: Did you ever ask Trump for a pardon? Let me know in the replies! You clearly know where the button is.”

That’s a question best left unanswered, and Gaetz was happy to oblige. It turns out that two sources familiar with the situation confirmed to CBS that Congressman Gaetz did indeed ask the White House for a blanket preemptive pardon before Donald Trump left office. Trump denies that he was ever asked by Gaetz for a pardon, which may be technically true. Gaetz apparently put the question to White House staff only and not to Trump directly.

One source suggested that Gaetz asked for a pardon for both himself and several other members of Congress. This was not Gaetz being noble. This was Gaetz trying to conceal his specific reasons for needing a pardon beneath the more generic idea that the “the left is ruthless” and they will target GOP lawmakers unfairly. By the time Gaetz was seeeking a blanket preemptive pardon he knew he was under investigation by the FBI for sex traffficking, a federal crime. “Clearly, Gaetz was protecting himself and was pursuing a ‘safety in numbers,’ ‘we’re all martyrs’ strategy without revealing a DOJ investigation!” the source told CBS News.

Gaetz is facing allegations of a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and is reportedly under investigation by the Justice Department for potential violations of sex trafficking laws, because he arranged interstate transportation for her for the purposes of having a sexual relationship with her. A CNN report further claims that Gaetz showed other lawmakers photos and videos of nude women, including while on the House floor. Gaetz insists he’s innocent and says he isn’t going to resign from Congress. Not yet, anyway.

It all could be moot anyway. Gaetz apparently didn’t get his pardon. Neither did a lot of other lawmakers. Clearly the January 6 Committee knows the identities of some members of Congress who sought pardons from Trump’s White House and will reveal those identities at some point.

   

Since Donald Trump is notoriously stingy with pardons, many (if not all) of the pardon seekers came away disappointed. So they will find themselves in the embarrassing legal conundrum of having asked for a pardon without ever having been granted one. It’s truly the worst of both worlds and a twist on the whole idea of being careful what you wish for. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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