Currently the Department of Justice is investigating for a few months if Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl And if he paid for her to travel with him, in violation of sex trafficking laws, so forgiveness could be directly linked to that inquiry. It is not clear whether the representative knew about the investigation at the time and did not mention it when requesting clemency.
A Gaetz spokesperson told the Times that his clemency petition was not related to the Justice Department investigation.
In any case, Gaetz’s request, which involved not only him but several people, was not granted by the Trump administration, despite the fact that Gaetz was one of his most faithful allies. According to a report by ABC News, President Trump himself was aware of the request but the idea was quickly scrapped in the White House.
It is also not known if the White House was aware of the Justice Department investigation, but sources at ABC News said that the attorney general, William Barr, was aware of the progress of the investigation and was briefed on several occasions.
Support for presidential pardons
Earlier, Gaetz had voiced support for Trump’s presidential pardons. Two weeks after Trump’s defeat, the representative said the president should “forgive everyone” before leaving office or they would be targeted by the “radical left.”
In his speech on Fox News, the Republican said that Trump should “forgive Michael Flynn, he should forgive the Thanksgiving turkey, he should forgive everyone, from himself to his administration officials and Joe Exotic if he has to. “.
“… Because you see in the radical left a thirst for blood that will only be quenched if they go after the people who worked so hard to encourage the Trump administration with the policies, vigor and effectiveness they gave to the American people.” Gaetz said then. “I believe that the president should exercise that power of forgiveness in an effective and forceful way,” he added.
Last week that newspaper reported that the DOJ investigation also involved former Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg, indicted on federal sex trafficking charges and who would have found the women on dating sites and convinced him to have sex in exchange for money. , gifts, travel and others. Greenberg allegedly introduced these women to Gaetz, who also reportedly had sex with them, the sources said. Times.
At this time, no charges have been brought against Gaetz.