GOP House members sought blanket pardon from Trump after Jan. 6 riot, committee says

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) attends a rally for then-President Trump.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) attends a rally for then-President Trump in Ocala, Fla. Gaetz was among the House members who sought a pardon from Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, a House committee said Thursday.
(Associated Press)

Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Mo Brooks of Alabama were among a handful of Republican members of Congress who sought pardons for their actions in connection with President Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to testimony from former White House officials made before the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.

Brooks sent a letter on Jan. 11, 2021, to the White House at the request of Trump and Gaetz asking for a blanket pardon for everyone who voted to reject the electoral college submissions from Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, said in a video deposition that Gaetz and Brooks asked for blanket pardons, as did Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.). She said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked for updates on whether the White House was offering pardons.

Hutchinson also noted that Patrick Philbin, the deputy counsel to the president, told her that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) asked for a pardon.

John McEntee, the former director of the White House presidential personnel office, also testified that Gaetz told him to ask Meadows for a pardon.


“The only reason I know to ask for a pardon, is because you think you’ve committed a crime,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).

Last week, the committee revealed that conservative California attorney John Eastman also sought a pardon.

“I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works,” he wrote in an email to fellow Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani after the Jan. 6 attack.

In an earlier hearing, Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said that multiple members of Congress sought pardons, including Perry. Perry denied making the request.

“The notion that I ever sought a Presidential pardon for myself or other Members of Congress is an absolute, shameless, and soulless lie,” he tweeted on June 10.