Matt Gaetz Tried to Get a Preemptive Pardon In 2020. Trump: New Phone, Who Dis?

In this screenshot from the RNC’s livestream of the 2020 Republican National Convention, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) addresses the virtual convention on August 24, 2020.
In this screenshot from the RNC’s livestream of the 2020 Republican National Convention, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) addresses the virtual convention on August 24, 2020.
Photo: Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee (Getty Images)

Matt Gaetz is the definition of a groupie, but a very bad one whose groupie skills are so weak or unimportant that his tricks discard him like an expiring subscription to OnlyFans. Well, let me apologize for comparing Gaetz to OnlyFans creators because those folks actually have skills that, for the most part, justify their subscription rates. Gaetz is just a talentless fuckboi living off daddy’s money, and even that can’t help him anymore.


As The Root previously reported, the Florida congressman is having a rough go at it amid allegations that he slept with a minor and paid for sex with a woman who is of age. Now, according to the New York Times, we know that he sought a preemptive pardon from Donald Trump for any crimes he or congressional allies may have committed. Lawyers at the White House are said to have shut down that possibility because it would set a very bad precedent.

And, yes, presidents can grant preemptive pardons.

Keep in mind that, around the same time Gaetz made this request, he was being investigated by the Department of Justice on whether he had sex with a 17-year-old, which could violate sex trafficking laws. It is not clear if he or the White House knew of the DOJ’s investigation but the Times confirms that Gaetz didn’t tell them about the inquiry. It is also not clear if Gaetz spoke to Trump directly about his request.

Either way, per Politico, Trump and his inner circle are keeping clear of Gaetz. I guess all of those years of clout chasing and ass kissing aren’t helping him now.

Per the Times, Gaetz really tried hard to be Trump’s No. 1 groupie:

In his memoir published last fall, “Firebrand: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the MAGA Revolution,” Mr. Gaetz recalled his first one-on-one phone call with the president in late 2017. Mr. Trump had seen Mr. Gaetz on Fox News attacking Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, and thought he had heard an ally.

“I need warriors, you know what I mean?” the president told him.

Mr. Gaetz knew precisely. Though he came from the more conservative Florida Panhandle, the young congressman shared Mr. Trump’s taste for boasts, particularly about sexual exploits, and a knack for self-promotion. Neither was particularly impressed by the trappings of traditional power in Washington, and both were sons of powerful men. Mr. Gaetz’s father, Don Gaetz, was the president of the Florida Senate and a wealthy businessman, and Mr. Trump’s father a successful real estate developer in New York.

After Democrats took back the House in 2018 and began cranking up pressure on the Trump administration, Mr. Gaetz emerged as a standout in what he called the “warrior class” of lawmakers who made it their mission to protect the president.

“The president has called me when I was in my car, asleep in the middle of the night on my Longworth Office cot, on the throne, on airplanes, in nightclubs, and even in the throes of passion (yes, I answered),” Mr. Gaetz boasted in his book.

In response, Trump and his close allies had this to say: But we don’t love them hoes.

MAGA world isn’t voicing support for Gaetz because they can’t justify it, which is ironic because there was little justification for going hard for Trump given his own personal and professional issues.


“Anyone that has ever spent 10 minutes with the guy would realize he’s an unserious person,” said one former Trump campaign aide about Gaetz, according to Politico.

Basically, Gaetz spent all of that time kissing up to Trump and still didn’t get a pardon. This man’s time in Congress has been very unremarkable and the only reason we know him is because of his sucking up to MAGA world.


And they discarded him like a piece of trash.

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior reporter at The Root. He is currently writing a book proposal that analyzes US-Russia relations from a black perspective.