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New York Times: Matt Gaetz sought preemptive pardon in final weeks of Trump's presidency

April 7, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 59%. 1 min read.

Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, listens during a House Judiciary Committee markup on H.R. 7120, the "Justice in Policing Act of 2020," in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. The House bill would make it easier to prosecute and sue officers and would ban federal officers from using choke holds, bar racial profiling, end "no-knock" search warrants in drug cases, create a national registry for police violations, and require local police departments that get federal funds to conduct bias training. Photographer: Erin Scott/Bloomberg

Rep. Matt Gaetz privately sought blanket preemptive pardons for himself and his congressional allies during the final weeks of Donald Trump's presidency, two people familiar with the discussions told The New York Times.

(CNN)Rep. Matt Gaetz privately sought blanket preemptive pardons for himself and his congressional allies during the final weeks of Donald Trump's presidency, two people familiar with the discussions told The New York Times.

But the effort fuels fresh scrutiny of Gaetz after it became public that the Justice Department is investigating him over allegations involving sex trafficking and prostitution, including involving a minor, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

The Times reported Tuesday that it's unclear what Gaetz knew of the inquiry at the time of his request, and he didn't tell White House aides when he sought the pardons that he was under investigation.

A spokesperson for Gaetz, however, denied to the Times that his pardon request was related to the Justice Department investigation.

Gaetz has denied all allegations against him since news broke that federal investigators are examining whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, CNN and The New York Times have reported.

The Times first disclosed the investigation into Gaetz.

A person briefed on the probe confirmed to CNN that federal authorities were investigating Gaetz as part of a broader probe into trafficking allegations against another Florida politician, an investigation that began in the closing months of the Trump-era Justice Department under Attorney General William Barr.

CNN has previously reported that investigators are examining whether Gaetz's involvement with other young women broke federal sex-trafficking and prostitution laws, according to the person briefed on the probe and another person briefed on the matter.

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