Trump denies Gaetz asked for blanket pardon

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 9, 2021

In the final days of Trump's term, CNN reported that Pat Cipollone and other lawyers for the President told him he should not pardon himself, his family or any Republican lawmakers in a prospective manner unless he was prepared to list specific crimes. "It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him", Trump asserted, in a statement released to media from his post-presidential office. But the effort fuels fresh scrutiny of Gaetz after the Justice Department's investigation became public.

"I am sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today", he said.

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

"Entry-level political operatives have conflated a pardon call from Representative Gaetz - where he called for President Trump to pardon "everyone from himself, to his administration, to Joe Exotic" - with these false and increasingly freaky, partisan allegations against him", the spokesperson told the outlet.

"Just as they once falsely attacked President Donald Trump as a Russian asset, Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a gang rapist, and even John McCain as having fathered a child out of wedlock, they now attack me".

In a brief hearing in Orlando, Greenberg's lawyer, Fritz Scheller, and federal prosecutors told the judge they expect him to strike a plea deal, but the parties did not signal if Greenberg was expected to cooperate in the investigation against Gaetz, R-Fla.

Gaetz has not been charged as part of the investigation, but investigators are said to be examining whether he had sex with a minor in 2019 - the same girl involved in the sex-trafficking count against Greenberg - and if he violated federal sex-trafficking laws.

Legal experts said Greenberg would be a key witness in the investigation against Gaetz if the former tax official agrees to cooperate in the probe.

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