“It can be difficult to accept that President Trump abused your trust, that he deceived you”
Multiple Republican members of Congress asked White House officials if President Donald Trump would preemptively pardon them for their activities in the lead-up to Jan. 6 before he left office, testimony provided by Trump White House aides to the Jan. 6 committee shows.
The members included Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (Tex.) and Scott Perry (Pa.), the testimony showed.
That suggests that the plotters weighed the possible need for pardons in some considerable measure — that those who led the effort to overturn the election believed they might have enough legal liability that they floated the extraordinary step of obtaining rare, preemptive presidential pardons.
It appears to be the first time we’ve seen firm evidence of such a request. And while by itself it doesn’t constitute an admission of guilt, it fills out a fast-crystallizing picture that those involved in the plot knew that what they were doing was, at the very least, potentially illegal.
We still don’t know how extensive the pardon deliberations were. But what we do know — based on early reporting and on the evidence Thursday — is that people were pretty scared that what they had done could come back to bite them.
“The only reason I know to ask for a pardon because you think you’ve committed a crime,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said.