Matt Gaetz sought preemptive pardon in final weeks of Trump's presidency

Katie Ramirez
April 7, 2021

Former Air Force Capt. Nathaniel Nelson, who served as Gaetz's director of military affairs, said he was contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shortly after news broke that the Department of Justice was investigating whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl in 2019 and broke federal sex-trafficking laws.

Matt Gaetz published an opinion piece in the Washington Examiner defending himself on Monday, where he states that he is not a criminal and that he would not be resigning from public office.

Gaetz did not mention the alleged plot in his op-ed.

"As for me? I'm going to fight like hell for my constituents and the country I deeply love", Gaetz wrote. "I defended Rep. Katie Hill's "throuple" when her own Democratic colleagues wouldn't". I'm not surprised by this.

He also predicted, "I'm sure some partisan crooks in Merrick Garland's Justice Department want to pervert the truth and the law to go after me".

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.

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Notably, Gaetz has previously allied himself closely with both Trump and Barr in innumerable television appearances and social media posts. Instead, the outspoken and increasingly politically outcast Florida Republican repeats the suggestion that he is the target of a political persecution that was initiated by the Biden administration.

After the initial allegations against Gaetz came out in The New York Times, he said that the DOJ investigation was part of a criminal extortion plot led by former Justice Department official David McGee.

Nelson explained that the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed up at his home and interviewed him shortly after the allegations against Gaetz hit the news, and agents claimed media sources had contacted them asserting that Nelson left Gaetz's office because of the accusations surrounding the congressman.

Gaetz's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Because you see from the radical left a bloodlust that will only be quenched if they come after the people who worked so hard to animate the Trump administration with the policies and the vigor and the effectiveness that delivered for the American people", Gaetz said.

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