fb-pixel Skip to main content

Here’s a list of people who allegedly requested presidential pardons following the Jan. 6 attack, according to testimony

Cassidy Hutchinson, who worked for former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, takes her seat before a House committee hearing investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, in Washington, June 28, 2022. Hutchinson’s explosive testimony may have increased the likelihood of new prosecutions stemming from the attack on the Capitol, but it also bared lingering conflicts between the Justice Department and congressional investigators. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)Doug Mills/NYT

Among the most explosive revelations that have come out of the House select committee hearings investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol is that a number of those within former president Donald Trump’s inner circle at the White House and in Congress allegedly asked for pardons in the aftermath.

The following is a list of those who allegedly sought a preemptive pardon from Trump after the insurrection, according to testimony provided to the panel during the public hearings so far.

Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama

Representative Mo Brooks, R-Al., spoke on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, at a rally in support of Donald Trump called the "Save America Rally." Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

Five days after the attack on the Capitol, Brooks sent an email with the subject titled “Pardons” to the White House requesting a blanket pardon for himself, Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, and more than 140 other Republican lawmakers who signed onto a Texas lawsuit and objected to certifying President Biden’s win in the 2020 election, according to a letter revealed by the Jan. 6 committee.


In the email, Brooks recommended that Trump give the lawmakers “all purpose” pardons.

Brooks defended the request in a statement provided to media outlets last week. He cited a “concern” Democrats would prosecute and jail Republicans following the siege.

“Fortunately, with time passage, more rational forces took over and no one was persecuted for performing their lawful duties, which means a pardon was unnecessary after all,” Brooks said.

Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida

Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., spoke during a committee hearing in September 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Rod Lamkey - Pool via CNP/Associated Press

Multiple former aides to Trump testified that Gaetz sought a preemptive pardon dated back to early December 2020. The congressman, part of the wing of the Republican Party that has coalesced around Trump and his MAGA platform, is currently under federal investigation for allegations of sex-trafficking.

Cassidy Hutchinson, the top aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows who delivered explosive testimony on Tuesday, said in an interview played by the panel that Gaetz was “personally pushing” for a pardon, but that it was unclear why. She testified that he reached out to her asking to set up a meeting with Meadows to discuss the issue.


Eric Herschmann, a former White House senior advisor, testified the general tone of Gaetz’s request was that “we may get prosecuted because we were defensive of the president’s position on these things,” referring to Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.

“The pardon that he was discussing requesting was as broad as you could describe, from the beginning of time, up until today, for any and all things,” he said. Herschmann said Gaetz brought up the pardon received by former president Richard Nixon, to which he responded that his pardon “was never nearly that broad.”

After the testimony was played during the hearing, Gaetz tweeted that the panel is an “unconstitutional political sideshow” but did not explicitly deny that he had requested a pardon from the White House.

Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona

Representative Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., spoke at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington in July 2021. Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

During a video deposition, Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Andy Biggs was among the group of Republican congressmen who requested a pardon over any connection they had to the attack.

He objected to a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee in May, calling the actions taken by the panel “pure political theater” and a “baseless witch hunt.” The committee said in a statement they were seeking to depose Biggs and others due to their participation in meetings at the White House, conversations they had with Trump “leading up to and during” the insurrection, and their alleged involvement “in the planning and coordination of certain activities” before and after the attack.


After the testimony aired, Biggs released another statement denying that he had requested a pardon. He also claimed that the interview with Hutchinson was “deceptively edited to make it appear as if I personally asked for a presidential pardon.”

Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas

Representative Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, spoke during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington in August 2021. Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Associated Press

Hutchinson testified that Gohmert was one of several Republican lawmakers who asked Trump for a pardon following the insurrection.

Alongside other members of the House Freedom Caucus, Gohmert allegedly supported efforts to overturn the election early on. Such actions included spreading misinformation and attempting to pressure Justice Department officials to investigate allegations of voter fraud, the New York Times reported. He also sued former vice president Mike Pence prior to the attack “over his refusal to interfere in the election certification.”

Gohmert was mentioned during the June 23 hearing several times. The Texas Republican issued a statement after it concluded, claiming that he “requested pardons for brave US service members and military contractors who were railroaded by the justice system ... as well as a civilian leader” and not himself.

“I had and have nothing for which to seek a pardon and my requests were for others unassociated with government in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “Any assertion to the contrary is unequivocally and maliciously false.”

Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania

Representative Scott Perry, R-Pa., spoke during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington in August 2021.Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Associated Press

During the first prime-time hearing held by the committee, Republican Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the panel’s vice chair, said Scott Perry “contacted the White House in the weeks after January 6th to seek a presidential pardon,” adding that “multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”


During her interview with the committee, Hutchinson said Perry was one of the lawmakers who sought a pardon from Trump. Perry, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, has refused to testify before the committee.

The Pennsylvania Republican played a key role in promoting false claims of vote manipulation and fraud, including his amplification of one conspiracy theory referred to as “Italygate,” according to testimony and text messages provided to the panel.

Perry has denied requesting a presidential pardon for himself or others.

“At no time did I speak with Ms. Hutchinson, a White House scheduler, nor any WH staff about a pardon for myself or any other Member of Congress — this never happened,” he tweeted.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., on Capitol Hill in Washington in April.Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

Hutchinson testified that Majorie Taylor Greene did not ask her for a pardon. But the former special assistant to Meadows said she allegedly “heard that [Greene] had asked the White House Counsel’s Office for a pardon” from Patrick Philbin, the former deputy White House counsel.

“I didn’t frequently communicate with Ms. Greene,” Hutchinson said.

Greene is among the most divisive members of Congress, even within the House Freedom Caucus, a group that staunchly defends Trump and frequently promotes incendiary right-wing rhetoric. The Georgia Republican often peddles dangerous far-right conspiracy theories, including about the election.


Although she did not deny having asked for a pardon, Greene responded to the Tuesday testimony by claiming that the panel is “spreading gossip and lies.” She also tweeted about Hutchinson, “saying ‘I heard’ means you don’t know.”

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows

Then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows spoke with reporters at the White House in October 2020.Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Hutchinson, who worked closely with Meadows, testified on Tuesday that he sought a presidential pardon related to the attack on the Capitol.

She has provided a window into his actions, serving as a key witness to the committee after Meadows, who was initially cooperative, refused to sit down for a deposition last December. At that point, he had already turned over thousands of text messages. The Justice Department declined to prosecute him on criminal charges in June.

Rudy Giuliani

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was a lawyer for Donald Trump, spoke during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington in November 2020.Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

Hutchinson also told the committee on Tuesday that Rudy Giuliani, who served as a lawyer for Trump and played a major role in his efforts to overturn the election, sought a pardon from the White House in the aftermath of the attack.

The New York Times reported in December 2020 that Giuliani spoke with Trump about being pardoned in the waning days of his presidency. While his “potential criminal exposure” was unclear, the Times reported that he was allegedly under investigation the previous summer over his business dealings in Ukraine — a plot at “the heart of the impeachment” of Trump.

Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, tweeted after the hearing that he “specifically told President Trump I did not want or need a pardon” and also said he had witnesses to corroborate his claim.

Lawyer John Eastman

John Eastman spoke in Boulder, Colo. in April 2021. Andy Cross/Photographer: Andy Cross/MediaNe

Conservative lawyer John Eastman, a key figure in Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the election, emailed Giuliani requesting that he “be put on a list of potential recipients for a presidential pardon,” the committee revealed during a hearing.

In an email to Giuliani, who was serving as a personal attorney to Trump at the time, Eastman wrote that he had “decided that I should be put on the pardon list, if that is still in the works.”

But Eastman, who helped to advise Trump on how to remain in power, did not receive a pardon. When he was deposed by the committee, he repeatedly pleaded the Fifth Amendment, according to video testimony played during the hearing. The panel said he ultimately issued that same response 100 times.

Amid mounting legal troubles, Eastman dropped his lawsuit blocking the committee from obtaining his phone records late on Tuesday.

Shannon Larson can be reached at shannon.larson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.