Multiple Lawmakers Sought Presidential Pardons After Jan. 6: Committee

Members named by the committee said that they were scared Democrats would target them unfairly for supporting Trump's claims
By Joseph Lord
Joseph Lord
Joseph Lord
Joseph Lord is a congressional reporter for The Epoch Times.
June 24, 2022 Updated: June 24, 2022

The House Jan. 6 Committee on June 23 revealed the names of several lawmakers who allegedly sought pardons from President Donald Trump in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

Since its public hearings began, the Jan. 6 panel has made an effort to paint the scattered violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as the culmination of a larger behind-the-scenes effort by Trump and his allies to overthrow the government.

In the hearings, the commission has suggested that many others were involved in the plot, including some sitting members of Congress. Several of these, the panel said on Thursday, sought pardons from the outgoing president.

The lawmakers who reportedly sought these pardons have in the past been targeted by Jan. 6 panel subpoenas and requests for testimony and documents.

“If you’re innocent, you’re probably not going to go out and seek a pardon,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said.

However, testimony also suggested that lawmakers were concerned about retribution from a Democrat-led administration for having been supportive of the president’s position on voter fraud, rather than necessarily concerned that they had broken any law.

In her testimony to the committee Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, named Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), one of the Republicans who has been most heavily targeted by the committee, as one such lawmaker.

Jordan “talked about” pardons, Hutchinson said, but “never asked me for one.”

Hutchinson described the fear of retribution among GOP lawmakers as it became obvious that President Joe Biden would be sworn in come Inauguration Day.

“The general tone was, ‘We may get prosecuted because we were defensive of the president’s positions on these things,'” former White House senior adviser Eric Herschmann said.

According to Hutchinson, Reps. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), and Scott Perry (R-Pa.) also sought pardons.

However, several members named by Hutchinson refuted the claim.

Perry has in the past claimed that he never sought a pardon—a position that he reaffirmed in a statement following Hutchinson’s testimony.

“I stand by my statement that I never sought a Presidential pardon for myself or other Members of Congress. At no time did I speak with Miss Hutchinson, a White House scheduler, nor any White House staff about a pardon for myself or any other Member of Congress—this never happened,” Perry said.

Gohmert also rejected the claim, calling it “propaganda” from the Jan. 6 committee.

“I had and have nothing for which to seek a pardon and my requests were for others unassociated with government in Washington, DC. Any assertion to the contrary is unequivocally and maliciously false. Any Committee Members or witness involved should be ashamed for perpetuating such a falsehood, but that would require a conscience to feel such shame,” Gohmert said.

Biggs also rejected the claim, saying that the evidence presented by the Select Committee had been “deceptively edited.” If true, this is not the first time the panel has been caught red-handed presenting selectively-edited statements and testimony to bolster its case.

“The unAmerican January 6 Committee continues to pursue me with the false allegation that I sought a presidential pardon. To the extent Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House staffer, believes I requested a presidential pardon, she is mistaken,” Biggs said in a tweet responding to the charge. “Today’s video testimony from Ms. Hutchinson was deceptively edited to make it appear as if I personally asked her for a presidential pardon.”

Greene joined her colleagues, suggesting that the testimony given by Hutchinson—who at one point told the committee that she had “heard” that lawmakers were seeking pardons—was based on weak hearsay.

“Saying ‘I heard’ means you don’t know. Spreading gossip and lies is exactly what the January 6th Witch Hunt Committee is all about,” Greene wrote in a tweet.

In a statement to another media outlet, a spokesman for Brooks confirmed the authenticity of an email presented during the hearing but repeated that GOP lawmakers were only pushing for pardons out of a fear that Democrats would abuse the justice system upon taking office.

“There was a concern Democrats would abuse the judicial system by prosecuting and jailing Republicans who acted pursuant to their Constitutional or statutory duties under 3 USC 15,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Gaetz, another lawmaker named by Hutchinson, said in a June 23 tweet: “The January 6 Committee is an unconstitutional political sideshow. It is rapidly losing the interest of the American people and now resorts to siccing federal law enforcement on political opponents.”

Gaetz was likely referencing the decision of the Justice Department, just hours before the June 23 hearing of the January 6 Committee began, to raid the home of Jeremy Clark, a Trump-allied former Justice Department official.

Joseph Lord
Joseph Lord is a congressional reporter for The Epoch Times.