MSNBC host Ari Melber confronted Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) about the congressman’s denial that he sought a pardon beginning in December 2020 from then-President Donald Trump, asking him if those who testified under oath claiming that he requested one are all just making it up.
“We’ve got multiple people — the director of White House presidential personnel, a Trump loyalist, lawyer Eric Herschmann, Cassidy Hutchinson — they all testified under oath that you specifically requested a pardon,” Melber said on The Beat Monday before playing a clip of Herschmann that the House Jan. 6 Committee revealed last summer, as well as one of Hutchinson.
Each witness has “an incredible legal liability if they lied about this,” Melber continued. “The question is: can you really say all of them are committing perjury, lying [about] you?” The MSNBC also asked Gaetz directly: “If a pardon was requested, why not tell us? What were you worried about? What was it that you thought others might be indicted for?”
The Washington Post reported last September that Johnny McEntee, the former presidential personnel director, told Jan. 6 investigators that Gaetz asked for a pardon because of a sex trafficking probe which has since resulted in an 11-year prison sentence for Joel Greenberg, a former associate of his.
Gaetz responded by accusing Hutchinson of being “a known liar.”
“There’s testimony she’s given that directly results in perjury, so I would certainly take exception with her testimony,” Gaetz claimed, not specifying which remarks of hers are knowingly incorrect.
“I do not remember it the same way Eric Herschmann does,” Gaetz continued. “I did have conversations with [him] about groups of people that could potentially receive pardons, even including some of the people who may have committed a technical violation of federal law but weren’t engaged in violence on January 6.”
Regarding McEntee’s testimony, Gaetz said he had many talks with McEntee “about pardons for other folks and different groups of people.”
“Whether or not some lawmakers would’ve fallen within those groups I think could be debated and discussed, but when it comes to: was I asking something specifically for me and only me under those circumstances, the answer would be no.”
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