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WASHINGTON — The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol has named five more Republican congressmen who have sought President Donald Trump’s pardon.

The demands stemmed from their involvement in Trump’s schemes to try to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which Trump insisted he won despite losing millions of votes.

The committee previously revealed that Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) requested a presidential pardon, which the congressman denied.

During Thursday’s public hearing on Capitol Hill, witnesses close to the Trump White House said in previously recorded interviews that Republican Representatives Matt Gaetz (Florida), Mo Brooks (Alabama), Andy Biggs (Arizona) and Louie Gohmert (Texas) also asked for forgiveness.

“The forgiveness he was asking for was as broad as you can describe… for anything and everything,” Trump’s former White House attorney Eric Herschmann said of Gaetz in video testimony that the committee aired on Thursday.

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, confirmed to the committee that Gaetz and the other GOP members of Congress had asked for forgiveness.

“Mr. Gaetz and Mr. Brooks, I know, both pleaded for there to be a blanket pardon,” Hutchinson said.

In a statement after the hearinga spokesman for Brooks said the congressman only wanted a pardon in case Democrats abused the justice system and began “prosecuting and jailing” their political opponents.

Brooks also posted a picture of the email he sent to the White House in December, on his and Gaetz’s behalf, recommending that the president issue “blanket (all-purpose) pardons” to every Republican who voted to overturn the election after the January 6 riot.

In a speech at Trump’s rally ahead of the attack on the US Capitol, Brooks said, “Today is the day American patriots start taking names and kicking ass.”

Hutchinson said she heard Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) also ask for a pardon, but didn’t hear from him directly. “I heard she asked for forgiveness from the White House attorney’s office,” she said.

“The only reason I know to ask for a pardon is because you think you’ve committed a crime,” said Jan. 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).

In a Tweeter After the hearing, Greene didn’t exactly deny she asked for forgiveness, but said, “Saying ‘I heard’ means you don’t know. Spreading gossip and lies is exactly the goal of the January 6 Witch Hunt Committee.

Thursday’s hearing featured testimony from former Justice Department officials Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue, as well as Office of General Counsel Director Steven Engel, who described Trump’s efforts to reject the election despite their objections that it would be unconstitutional and against the wishes of American voters.

Donoghue, who was then acting deputy attorney general, testified that when Trump threatened to replace Rosen as acting attorney general with Jeffrey Clark, an assistant attorney general in the department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division , he was told the change would trigger mass resignations in the Justice Department.

“Mr. President, I would resign immediately. I wouldn’t work a minute for this guy,” Donoghue told Trump, referring to Clark.

During the Jan. 6 committee hearing, Kinzinger described how Perry lobbied the White House to elevate Clark to the Justice Department to enlist his help in overturning the election. Perry improperly brought Clark to a White House meeting and texted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urging him to appoint Clark to a position with “the authority to enforce what needs to be done.” do”.

Perry denied asking for a pardon earlier this month. “The idea that I ever sought a presidential pardon for myself or other members of Congress is an absolute, shameless, soulless lie,” Perry said on Twitter.

Kinzinger deliberately juxtaposed testimony about pardon seekers with live testimony from Justice Department officials who refused to do Trump’s bidding.

“They knew everything they were doing was a lie and it was wrong,” Kinzinger said of those who asked for forgiveness. “It’s all the more reason to respect those who came here to testify today.”

Trump last week reiterated his intention to pardon those charged in connection with the US Capitol riot if he becomes president again in 2024.

“And if I become president, one day if I decide to do so, I will look at them very, very seriously for pardons,” Trump said of those accused of the insurgency.



The Huffington Gt

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