Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) went on ABC's "The View" Thursday morning. The congressman's appearance coincided with the sentencing of Roger Stone, a longtime friend and former campaign advisor to President Trump. Stone was convicted of process crimes stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia collusion. The judge handed down a sentence of 40 months, a $20,000 fine and ordered Stone to serve 250 hours of community service work. But the prison sentence is currently on hold pending the outcome of a defense motion for a new trial. It turns out the jury foreperson in the Stone trial was an anti-Trump Democratic activist, the type of person you would expect to find on Robert Mueller's legal team, not leading an impartial jury. Gaetz was asked if he thought the president should pardon Mr. Stone.
"I do," Gaetz answered, "And I think it requires a review of the pardon power." Gaetz fought to answer the question as co-host Meghan McCain took issue with the idea of Trump pardoning Stone.
"Come on. He's the swampiest swap creature," McCain interjected, seemingly unaware of what "the swamp" represents.
"Barack Obama pardoned over 1,700 people," Gaetz continued. "Bill Clinton pardoned 459 people. Bill Clinton pardoned 16 people who were members of a Puerto Rican terrorist organization that planned murders at the Bronx Tavern here in the United States of America."
Gaetz also went on to defend the President's constitutionally given power to pardon, arguing that served as an important check on an otherwise potentially abusive pardon power.
Rep. @mattgaetz tells the co-hosts “Roger Stone should be pardoned,” and says “if you look at the original intent of the pardon power, it cannot be limited.” https://t.co/f8u2wbJuik pic.twitter.com/36GAN36V64— The View (@TheView) February 20, 2020