Part of today’s House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol hearing on Trump’s attempts to corrupt the Department of Justice to enlist it in his Coup Plot involved testimony about the GQP members of Congress who sought preemptive pardons for their own misconduct.
As Members, we take an oath to support & defend the Constitution. Some of my colleagues failed to uphold that oath & requested pardons from the Trump Administration.
More to come, but the only reason I know to ask for a pardon is because you think you’ve committed a crime. pic.twitter.com/BLKWo5XpUD
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) June 23, 2022
At least five House Republicans — including Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania — asked Trump’s White House for presidential pardons after the Capitol riot, according to testimony from former White House attorneys and aides shown by the Jan. 6 committee Thursday.
The White House discussed providing blanket pardons for any members who objected to the election results, according to testimony to the committee.
Five days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Mo Brooks wrote an email to the White House, obtained by the committee, that said “pursuant to a request from Matt Gaetz” he requested pardons for himself and “every congressman and senator who voted to reject the electoral vote submissions from Arizona and Pennsylvania.”
The committee also showed video of testimony from Herschmann who, when asked if Gaetz requested a pardon, replied, “I believe so.”
Here is the January 6 Committee video from Politicususa.
The committee also showed another video of Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, saying that Gaetz, Brooks, Gohmert, Perry and Biggs had requested pardons. She said that Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, had “talked about” pardons … but he never asked me for one.”
She said that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., never contacted her but that she’d “heard that [Greene] had asked White House Counsel’s Office for a pardon.”
Summing up that turn of events, Kinzinger said: “The only reason I know to ask for a pardon is because you think you’ve committed a crime.”
Wow. Congressmen helping Trump on & before 1/6 & then demanding pardons.
Makes me think of 18 USC 201:
A public official who corruptly seeks anything of value in return for an official act or colluding in fraud shall be imprisoned for up to 15 years & disqualified from office
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) June 23, 2022
CNN adds, Republican members of Congress sought pardons, according to emails and testimony (except):
John McEntee, another Trump aide, told the committee in a deposition interview played at Thursday’s hearing that Gaetz had told him he’d asked for a pardon. “He told me he’d asked Meadows for a pardon,” McEntee said.
McEntee added that he also heard discussions about a blanket pardon. “I had heard that mentioned,” he said.
Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, said at a Dec. 21, 2020, White House meeting there were congressional Republicans who were “advocates” for pardons.
“I guess Mr. Gaetz and Mr. Brooks I know had both advocated there 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,” Hutchinson said. “Mr. Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon.”
Hutchinson also testified that Scott Perry, who played a key role connecting DOJ official Jeffrey Clark to Trump, had sought a pardon, as well as Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona and Louie Gohmert of Texas.
Asked by committee investigators if Perry asked for a pardon to Hutchinson directly, she said, “Yes, he did.”
Hutchinson also testified that she had heard Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene had “asked for a pardon from (deputy White House counsel Patrick) Philbin,” but that she said she didn’t hear it directly.
Rep. Jim Jordan, Hutchinson said, had not asked for a pardon but “more for an update on whether the White House was going to pardon members of Congress.”
“Mr. Gohmert asked for one as well,” Hutchinson said.
Reps. Matt Gaetz’s and “Gym” Jordan’s requests were for a blanket pardon for the 147 Republican lawmakers who still objected to the election results even after the Capitol attack.
They were all co-conspirators in Trump’s Coup Plot, and were accessories who aided and abetted the Coup Plot, and provided aid and comfort to the violent MAGA/QAnon seditious insurrectionists who sacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Under the Seditious Conspiracy criminal statute, 18 USC 2384, “they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.”
Under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, they should all be disqualified from holding any political office.
They are all unfit for public office.
UPDATE: After today’s hearing, Rep. Mo Brooks released this letter in which he formally requested pardons for the Sedition Caucus Republicans.
NEW – Rep. Mo Brooks tells reporters he sent this email after a post-Jan. 6 convo with Trump where the president told him to put the pardon request in writing.
They had a subsequent conversation and “the President thought it would be best just to let it play out” pic.twitter.com/lqlsKhHMg7
— Nicholas Wu (@nicholaswu12) June 24, 2022
As such, I recommend thst President give general (all purpose) pardon to the following groups of people:
Every Republican who signed the Amicus brief in the Texas lawsuit against other states deriving from the violtion of Article I, Section 4 (and, perhaps, other) provisions of the United States Constituion.
Annotation: The 126 Republican House members who signed the Amicus brief in the Texas lawsuit. Includes Arizona Reps. Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko.
Every Congressman and Senator who voted to reject the electoral college vote submissions of Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Annotation: The 147 Republican lawmakers who still objected to the election results even after the Capitol attack. Includes Arizona Reps. Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar (who led the objection), Debbie Lesko and David Schweikert.
Requesting a pardon demonstrates a consciousness of guilt. In Burdick v. United States (1925), the appellant was offered a pardon but declined it, also refusing to testify in criminal court. The opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court held that 1) a pardon can be given before a conviction and sentence; 2) a pardon can be refused, and 3) acceptance of a pardon implies acceptance of guilt.