Florida Republican Matt Gaetz Asked for Preemptive Presidential Pardon for Human Trafficking, Says White House Aide

Toby Hazlewood

Something to worry about?

It emerged on September 18 that one of Florida's more-controversial Republican politicians - Representative Matt Gaetz - had sought a preemptive presidential pardon from Donald Trump, for sex trafficking.

The revelations emerged during the January 6 House Select Committee investigations, in testimony from John McEntee, former director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office in the Trump Administration.

It would seem that Gaetz - was anticipating the ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice for allegedly having trafficked a 17-year-old girl across state borders. It is alleged he had paid money to have sexual relations with the girl.

Gaetz denies the allegations and has not been charged as of now. Investigations are ongoing.

He voted against human trafficking laws too

That Gaetz allegedly sought a presidential pardon form former President Trump before any charges could be made seems indicative of his state of mind on the matter at least, if not being a concrete sign of any guilt.

In addition to seeking the pardon, in July he was one of 20 house Republicans who voted against the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention & Protection Reauthorization Act of 2022. The bill sought to prevent human trafficking and to help those who have been victims of the horrendous crime, and passed by 401 votes to 20.

At the time, his vote attracted predictable cynicism, outrage and mocking from those who suggested that his 'no' vote was a further indicator of concerns, if not that he was guilty of a crime.

No stranger to controversy

Gaetz appears to subscribe to the theory that all publicity is good publicity.

Earlier this year he spoke at the conservative event, the Turning Point USA conference in Florida. In his speech, Gaetz made offensive and insensitive remarks about abortion-rights protesters and reactions to the overturning of Roe V. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court:

"Why is it that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about having abortions? Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb."

Those comments have since been turned against him, by a 19-year-old abortion-rights campaigner from Houston, TX who launched a fundraising campaign for abortion-advocacy groups, citing that Gaetz had 'body-shamed' her. She has since raised millions of dollars off the back of his comments.

Earlier in the year he was criticized for voting against capping the price of the diabetic drug insulin, claiming that diabetics should simply lose weight to control their disease. He has no issue with telling others how to live it seems.

Whether there will yet be consequences from the investigation into his alleged human trafficking, remains to be seen.

Do you think that Matt Gaetz has conducted himself honorably or do his actions speak of someone with something to hide? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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