Former President Donald Trump stated that the New York Times was wrong when it reported that Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is smack in the middle of a controversial federal probe, requested a “blanket pardon.”
“Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon,” Trump said in a statement that was released on Wednesday. “It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him.”
The Times reported Tuesday that sources accused Gaetz of speaking to White House officials about a preemptive pardon from President Trump before he left office. The report claimed the aides had shared the request but did not know whether Gaetz spoke directly to Trump about it.
Gaetz has acknowledged he’s been under investigation for an alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl, including potential violations of sex trafficking laws after accusations that he paid for women to travel with him.
Gaetz has denied wrongdoing, contending the women he has dated are of legal age and any payments were also legal and made to cover travel for women he was dating.
Gaetz alleges that there has been an extortion attempt made against his family for $25 million from a former Department of Justice official who has promised to make the allegations and investigations go away.
“I know there was a demand for money in exchange for a commitment he could make this investigation go away, along with his co-conspirators,” Gaetz said during an interview on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “They even claim to have specific connections inside the Biden White House.”
“Obviously, I don’t need a pardon,” Gaetz said to Carlson during the interview. “I’m not seeking a pardon. I have not done anything improper or wrong. But what I am troubled by is the real motivation for all of this.”
“I have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old girl,” he went on to tell Carlson. “That is false, and records will bear that out to be false.”