Six GOP Congressmembers Sought Pardons After Trying to Help Trump Subvert Vote

The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol revealed Thursday that six Republican members of Congress who supported Donald Trump’s lies sought broad presidential pardons for their involvement in the campaign to discredit the election results: Mo Brooks of Alabama, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Andy Biggs of Arizona. “The only reason I know to ask for a pardon is because you think you’ve committed a crime,” noted Republican committee member, Congressmember Adam Kinzinger.

TRANSCRIPT

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AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, the January 6th committee revealed six members of Congress who supported Trump’s coup attempt sought presidential pardons: Mo Brooks of Alabama, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Andy Biggs of Arizona. This is Republican Congressmember Adam Kinzinger.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER: My colleagues and I up here also take an oath. Some of them failed to uphold theirs, and instead chose to spread the big lie. Days after the tragic events of January 6th, some of these same Republican members requested pardons in the waning days of the Trump administration.

Five days after the attack on the Capitol, Representative Mo Brooks sent the email on the screen now. As you see, he emailed the White House, quote, “pursuant to a request from Matt Gaetz,” requesting a pardon for Representative Gaetz, himself and unnamed others.

Witnesses told the select committee that the president considered offering pardons to a wide range of individuals connected to the president. Let’s listen to some of that testimony.

INVESTIGATOR: And was Representative Gaetz requesting a pardon?

ERIC HERSCHMANN: Believe so. The general tone was we may get prosecuted because we were defensive of, you know, the president’s positions on these things. The pardon that he was discussing, requesting was as broad as you could describe, from beginning — I remember he said, from the beginning of time up until today, for any and all things. Then he mentioned Nixon. And I said, “Nixon’s pardon was never nearly that broad.”

INVESTIGATOR: And are you aware of any members of Congress seeking pardons?

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: I guess Mr. Gaetz and Mr. Brooks, I know, have both advocated for there to be a blanket pardon for members involved in that meeting, and a handful of other members that weren’t at the December 21st meeting, as the preemptive pardons. Mr. Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon, and he was doing so since early December. I’m not sure why. Mr. Gaetz had reached out to me to ask if he could have a meeting with Mr. Meadows about receiving a presidential pardon.

INVESTIGATOR: Did they all contact you?

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: Not all of them, but several of them did.

INVESTIGATOR: So, you mentioned Mr. Gaetz, Mr. Brooks.

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: Mr. Biggs did. Mr. Jordan talked about congressional pardons, but he never asked me for one. It was more for an update on whether the White House was going to pardon members of Congress. Mr. Gohmert asked for one, as well.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, in her videotape deposition. Oh, and before her, senior White House legal adviser Eric Herschmann.

To see Thursday’s full hearing, go to democracynow.org, as well as all five of the hearings in full. The public hearings of the January 6th committee will resume in mid-July.

That does it for our show. A very happy birthday to Karen Ranucci! And a happy sixth birthday to Ava Crosby Wallach!

Democracy Now! is produced with Renée Feltz, Mike Burke, Messiah Rhodes, Nermeen Shaikh. I’m Amy Goodman. Thanks so much for joining us.