Rep. Matt Gaetz allegedly sought a pardon from former President Donald Trump related to the Justice Department’s probe looking at whether he had violated federal sex trafficking laws.
The Florida Republican reportedly told former White House aide Johnny McEntee that it would “be great” if Mr. Trump pardoned him over the allegations while asserting his innocence.
Mr. McEntee disclosed his conversation with the congressman while providing testimony to the House Jan. 6 committee, according to The Washington Post.
Mr. McEntee, who served as the director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office under Mr. Trump, said Mr. Gaetz said there was an investigation underway on him without saying who would be probing him.
The congressman said “he didn’t do anything wrong but they are trying to make his life hell, and you know, if the president could give him a pardon, that would be great,” according to Mr. McEntee.
Mr. McEntee also said Mr. Gaetz had requested a pardon from former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
The Justice Department opened an investigation into Mr. Gaetz on whether he had paid women to sleep with him, paid for them to travel across state lines for sex, and whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old.
The investigation came following a federal investigation into Mr. Gaetz’s associate, Joel Greenberg, who is now a convicted sex trafficker.
Mr. Gaetz has maintained his innocence and has not been charged with any crimes.
His office asserted that while Mr. Gaetz had publicly and privately discussed pardons during the final months of the Trump administration, he has never sought one himself, which Mr. Trump has also publicly said.