On Thursday, the House committee investigating former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss revealed several members of Congress had asked for pardons for their role in the attempted insurrection. Rep. Mo Brooks requested a pardon for every member of Congress who voted to reject the electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania on Jan. 6, a list that includes Utah Reps. Chris Stewart and Burgess Owens.
In the days leading up to Jan. 6, both Stewart and Owens publicly said they would vote not to certify President Joe Biden’s win over Trump, citing unfounded claims of election fraud.
On Jan. 4, Stewart posted a thread on Twitter stating he would not accept the Electoral College results because of “voting irregularities.”
Owens was much more explicit than Stewart in the lead-up to Jan. 6. Just days before he took office, Owens said he “absolutely” believed Donald Trump won the election over Joe Biden, despite a lack of evidence. He later backtracked and said he “accepted” Biden as the winner of the election.
Both Owens and Stewart voted to reject the electoral college results from Pennsylvania, joining 137 of their Republican colleagues in the House.
On Thursday, the House committee revealed that several Republicans sought pardons in the aftermath of Jan. 6 before Trump left office: Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Brooks of Alabama, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.
The committee also made public an email from Brooks asking for a blanket pardon for “every Congressman and Senator who voted to reject the electoral college vote submissions of Arizona and Pennsylvania.” That list would include Stewart and Owens.
“The only reason I know to ask for a pardon is because you think you’ve committed a crime,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger said during Thursday’s hearing.
It’s not clear whether Reps. Stewart and Owens were aware of Brooks’ request for a blanket pardon or whether pardons were discussed before they voted to throw out the results from Pennsylvania.
Neither Stewart nor Owens responded to a request for comment.