Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Brooks Gaetz

U.S. Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama (left) and Matt Gaetz of Florida (right) are among the six Republican lawmakers who sought preemptive pardons for their roles in trying to subvert the 2020 presidential election, according to testimony heard at the House January 6 committee hearings on June 23, 2022. (Photo: Fox News screen grab)

House Jan. 6 Committee Reveals 'Seditious Six' GOP Lawmakers Who Sought Trump Pardons

"The only reason you ask for a pardon is if you think you've committed a crime," said one member of the congressional committee investigating the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Brett Wilkins

The House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol revealed Thursday that half a dozen Republican lawmakers sought preemptive pardons from then-President Donald Trump after they tried to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

According to the committee, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) emailed the White House five days after the deadly insurrection requesting preemptive pardons for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), himself and "every congressman or senator who voted to reject the electoral college vote submissions of Arizona and Pennsylvania."

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, said in a video deposition that Gaetz asked for blanket pardons starting in early December 2020. Hutchinson said that GOP Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), and Scott Perry (Pa.) also requested pardons. She also testified that she heard Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) asked the White House counsel's office for a pardon.

Responding to Thursday's revelations, committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) opined that "the only reason you ask for a pardon is if you think you've committed a crime."

Last week, Rep. Pete Aguilar testified before the panel that right-wing attorney John Eastman, who espoused the baseless belief that then-Vice President Mike Pence had the authority to single-handedly reject President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, also sought a preemptive pardon for his actions.

"'I've decided I should be on the pardon list' is one of the most incriminating, damning, guilty, and also dumb things a lawyer could ever put in writing. Literally," quipped MSNBC's Ari Melber in response to Eastman's request.

Several of the implicated Republicans denied asking for pardons.

"It is clear that deep-pocketed and vitriolic Socialist Democrats (with perhaps some liberal Republican help) are going to abuse America's judicial system by targeting numerous Republicans with sham charges deriving from our recent fight for honest and accurate elections," said Brooks.

The January 6 hearings are now on hold until after House lawmakers return from recess on July 11. Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) explained Wednesday that the delay is due to a "deluge of new evidence."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Thousands Sign Open Letter Demanding Biden Order Paid Sick Leave for Railway Workers

"No one, especially in the world's richest nation, should have to choose between forgoing pay or working through severe illness and family emergencies," says The Lever's letter.

Jessica Corbett ·


Right-Wing SCOTUS Majority Signals Support for Anti-LGBTQ+ Reactionaries

"It does not bode well for the future of civil rights law that Gorsuch believes a state imposes 'reeducation training' on employers when it reminds them how to comply with nondiscrimination rules," said one court observer.

Julia Conley ·


Report Reveals Corporate Capture of Global Biodiversity Efforts Ahead of Summit

"Their 'solutions' are carefully crafted in order to not undermine their business models; ultimately they do nothing for the environment," said one Friends of the Earth campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


UN, EU Officials Demand Probe Over Extrajudicial Killings of Palestinians

"In the last 72 hours alone 10 Palestinians were killed by ISF in what appears to be an excessive use of lethal force," the European Union Delegation to the Palestinians noted after the killing of 22-year-old Ammar Mufleh by Israeli security forces.

Brett Wilkins ·


Supply Chains Woes Didn't Slow Down Global Arms Sales, Analysis Shows

Responding to the report, the U.S.-based group Win Without War said that "our economy prioritizes profits over people, leading to unnecessary violence and death. It makes us less safe."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo