The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Gaetz asked the Trump administration for “blanket pre-emptive pardons” for himself and unidentified congressional allies for potential crimes they may have committed.
The Times noted around the same time, Gaetz was calling for broad pardons from Trump publicly to combat what he called the “bloodlust” of political opponents.
At the time of his reported request, Gaetz did not inform the White House about the investigation into his alleged involvement with potential sex trafficking violations.
Sources told the Times that White House officials and lawyers saw the request for the pre-emptive pardon as a “nonstarter” and suggested it would “set a bad precedent,” as the Times reports.
It is still unclear whether Gaetz spoke directly to Trump about the pardon.
According to Times reporter Maggie Haberman, advisers have told Trump defending Gaetz against recent reports was a “bad idea” and that “the nature of what Gaetz is being investigated for is so serious this is not something that former president trump should be out on a limb.”
Haberman explained Trump “did like Gaetz. He was a very full-throated supporter. He was defending him during impeachment. He tried to defend him during the second impeachment.”
She also indicated, “Trump’s staff has always had issues with him.”
Last month, the publication reported that Gaetz is under investigation over whether he had a relationship with a 17-year-old girl and “paid for her to travel with him.”
Sources also reported to CNN that Gaetz would brag about his relationships with women to his colleagues.
“Washington scandal cycles are predictable, and sex is especially potent in politics. Let me first remind everyone that I am a representative in Congress, not a monk, and certainly not a criminal,” Gaetz wrote.
He added, “To this point, there are exactly zero credible (or even non-credible) accusers willing to come forward by name and state on the public record that I behaved improperly toward them, in the manner by which Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ten accusers.”
Gaetz also called the allegations a “lie” during a Fox News interview last month.