WASHINGTON — Several GOP lawmakers sought pardons from former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 Capital attacks, according to a testimony shown at a hearing Thursday by the House committee investigating the attack.
The testimony came from Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. She told the committee that on the list of names was U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Tyler, Texas. The others were:
- Matt Gaetz of Florida
- Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
- Andy Biggs of Arizona
- Mo Brooks of Alabama
“The only reason I know to ask for a pardon is because you think you’ve committed a crime,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois, who is one of two Republicans on the House committee.
But Gohmert said these allegations are simply not true, and his documented request for pardons was for other individuals.
Read his full statement below:
"The January 6th Committee hearings have gone beyond the 1950’s Congressional hearing slurs and become nothing more than a Soviet-style propaganda production. Their blatant and disgusting attempt to mislead the public by implying that my documented requests for pardons for other deserving individuals was a request for a pardon for myself is malicious, despicable and unfit for a U.S. Congressional hearing. I requested pardons for brave U.S. service members and military contractors who were railroaded by the justice system due to superiors playing politics, as well as a civilian leader who was also wronged by a despicable injustice. These requests were all far prior to, and completely unrelated to January 6.
"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 was mentioned several times during Thursday’s hearing, which focused on the coordinated effort by Trump and his allies to convince the Justice Department to investigate voter fraud and help overturn election results.
His chief of staff was copied on an email that included allies of Trump saying Vice President Mike Pence “would benefit greatly from a briefing” by John Eastman, the architect of the plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
Ken Blackwell, a former secretary of state of Ohio, wrote the email on Dec. 28, 2020. It also referenced Ken Klukowski, a former White House lawyer who joined the Justice Department in December 2020.
The revelations are the strongest connections yet established by the committee between a Texas lawmaker and the efforts to undermine Biden’s presidency.
The committee also showed a video of Gohmert targeting Justice Department officials for not investigating the unsubstantiated allegations of widespread voter fraud.
“There’s widespread evidence of fraud because people haven’t done their jobs,” Gohmert said in the clip shot on Dec. 3, 2020. “[John] Durham and [William] Barr will deserve a big notation in history when it’s written of the rise and fall of the United States if they don’t clean up this mess, clean up the fraud. Do your jobs and save this little experiment in self-government.”
Barr, Trump’s former attorney general, has said multiple times that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, despite Trump’s insistence to the contrary.
Gohmert was early to speak out against the results of the 2020 election.
He joined a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to discard the votes in four swing states — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — that helped hand Biden the presidency. He also sued Pence days before Jan. 6, 2021, arguing Pence should assert unilateral control over the certification of the election results.
Days before the Jan. 6 attack, the U.S. Capitol Police flagged comments by Gohmert as potentially inciting violence. Speaking on the conservative news network Newsmax, Gohmert said that letting President Joe Biden’s electoral win stand would mean “the end of our republic, the end of the experiment in self-government.”
Gohmert also said on air, “The ruling would be that you got to go to the streets and be as violent as Antifa and [Black Lives Matter].” He later said he was not advocating for violence.
During the insurrection, Gohmert urged people to not be violent. Hours later, Gohmert was among the members of Congress to vote against the certification of the election results in Pennsylvania and Arizona.
This story comes from our KHOU 11 News partners at The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans - and engages with them - about public policy, politics, government, and statewide issues.