January 6 panel reveals Republicans who sought pardons from Trump

At least five members of Congress asked for pardons for backing former president's bid to overturn 2020 election

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At least five Republican members of the US Congress asked former president Donald Trump for pardons after backing his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, the House of Representatives committee investigating that January 6 insurrection revealed.

The names were revealed on Thursday, the fifth day of the public hearings, in which the panel heard from former Department of Justice officials about the ex-president's efforts to “corrupt” the agency.

Former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and other officials said that Mr Trump had considered replacing him with loyalist Jeffrey Clark, a mid-level department environmental lawyer who embraced the former president's claims of election fraud.

That plan was abandoned after top officials in the Justice Department threatened to resign en masse.

Video evidence aired from other Trump-era White House officials showed Republicans Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert and Scott Perry sought pardons from Mr Trump, which could have prevented them from being prosecuted for any involvement related to the events of January 6.

Committee member Adam Kinzinger said the only reason a person would ask for a pardon “is if you think you’ve committed a crime”.

Mr Brooks acknowledged he sought a pardon from Mr Trump. In a letter posted on Twitter, the Alabama congressman said he would “voluntarily” appear before the January 6 committee but outlined a list of conditions, including that his deposition be conducted during a public hearing.

Representatives Biggs, Gohmert and Perry all denied the allegations in separate statements posted on Twitter.

Not directly addressing the allegation, Mr Gaetz tweeted that the January 6 committee was an “unconstitutional political sideshow”.

Republican Jim Jordan, an ally of the former president, asked the White House about pardons but did not request one for himself, said Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to appoint Mr Jordan, alongside fellow Trump loyalist Jim Banks, to the January 6 panel after they were recommended by Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.

Speaking on Fox News on Thursday night, Mr Jordan said he had not requested a pardon for himself and called the hearing “more lies, more fake news”.

Mr Trump never acted on the reported pardon requests.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Updated: June 24, 2022, 2:28 PM
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