One thing I would definitely not do if I’d been falsely accused of sex trafficking is ask Donald Trump for a preemptive pardon for sex trafficking, because that does not look very good at all.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), the frat boy congressman and Trump super-fan who said women are too ugly to need abortions, reportedly asked former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows if Trump could get him out of the Justice Department’s sex trafficking investigation that was ruining his life. The Washington Post broke the news on Saturday that former Trump “super-aide” Johnny McEntee told the House January 6 investigators that Gaetz said “he did not do anything wrong but they are trying to make his life hell, and you know, if the president could give him a pardon, that would be great.”
The DOJ is investigating claims that Gaetz, 40, paid for women to cross state lines to have sex and also “had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl,” as the Post put it—which is statutory rape in Florida. Gaetz’s former associate and friend Joel Greenberg pleaded guilty to sex trafficking charges last spring and has been providing investigators information about the congressman’s involvement.
Gaetz denies the allegations and told the Washington Post in a statement that he did not directly ask Trump for a pardon:
“Congressman Matt Gaetz discussed pardons for many other people publicly and privately at the end of President Donald Trump’s first term,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “As for himself, President Trump addressed this malicious rumor more than a year ago stating, ‘Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon.’ Rep. Gaetz continues to stand by President Trump’s statement.”
As a reminder, this is the same sitting congressman who told a group of students in Tampa this summer that women who advocate for abortion rights are not fuckable.
“Why is it that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about having abortions?” Gaetz said to a room full of teenagers. “Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb.”