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Ari Melber Brings Instant Receipts After Gaetz Denies Asking Trump For A Pardon–And The Schadenfreude Is Real

Ari Melber made Matt Gaetz squirm with video evidence contradicting his claim he did not ask Trump for a pardon.

MSNBC screenshot of Ari Melber and Matt Gaetz during Gaetz's interview

MSNBC journalist Ari Melber had Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz squirming on the air after presenting video evidence contradicting Gaetz's claim he did not ask former Republican President Donald Trump for a pardon over his involvement in Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election.

Melber noted multiple Trump insiders provided "under-oath testimony" before the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the January 6 insurrection that Gaetz "specifically requested a pardon."

After showing the footage, Melber added:

“So the question is, can you really say that all of them are committing perjury, lying on you?—A."
"And B, if a pardon was requested, why not just tell us what were you worried about?"
"What was it that you thought you or others might be indicted for?”

You can watch what happened in the videos below.

A visibly uncomfortable Gaetz doubled down, insisting he had never requested a pardon from Trump.

At one point Gaetz specifically called out former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson whom he called "a known liar."

He continued:

“I do not remember it the same way Eric Herschmann does."
"I did have conversations with [senior adviser] Eric Herschmann about different groups of people that could potentially receive pardons―even including some of the people who may have committed a technical violation of federal law, but they weren’t engaged in violence on Jan. 6.”
"There were discussions about pardons for President Trump, his family members, his allies, and presumably members of Congress could have fallen in that group."

Many called out Gaetz for denying his own remarks in the face of incontrovertible evidence.

Hutchinson—a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows—testified Gaetz aimed for a pardon much broader than those requested by his cohorts and he had pushed for one since early December.

Former White House senior adviser Eric Herschmann told the committee Gaetz requested a pardon "for any and all things"—a sign Gaetz wanted a pardon in relation to a since-dropped federal child sex trafficking investigation against him.

Federal investigators were at one point investigating Gaetz on child sex trafficking charges after it emerged he allegedly paid a 17-year-old girl and took her across state lines for sexual purposes.

Gaetz denied allegations he violated sex trafficking laws and engaged in other sexual misconduct while in office by citing the age of consent. His supporters in Congress pushed back against the investigation even while they brand other politicians as "pro-pedophile."

In April 2021, Politico reported Trump and his allies had reportedly chosen to distance themselves from Gaetz after news of the DOJ's investigation emerged.

Trump also denied Gaetz directly asked him for a blanket pardon after The New York Timesreported Gaetz met with him and his associates.