“Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon,” Trump wrote in a statement on Wednesday.
He continued, “It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him.”
Trump statement on Matt Gaetz pic.twitter.com/oxBcjqRFU7— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) April 7, 2021
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Gaetz privately requested the White House give him and unidentified congressional allies “blanket pre-emptive pardons” for “any crimes they may have committed,” citing sources familiar who were told about the request.
At that time, Gaetz was under investigation for alleged involvement with potential sex trafficking violations.
The Times did note that it was unclear whether Gaetz directly spoke with Trump about the request — though Trump now says Gaetz did not.
“Top White House lawyers and officials viewed the request for a pre-emptive pardon as a nonstarter that would set a bad precedent,” the publication reported.
The Times reported on March 30 that Gaetz is under investigation “over whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him.”
Gaetz has denied the allegations of sexual misconduct.