Matt Gaetz Defends GOP Crashing Secured House Impeachment Hearing: Dems Are ‘An Angry Pack of Rabid Hyenas’
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz blasted House Democrats as an “angry pack of rabid hyenas” and claimed their closed-door impeachment hearings were being conducted with “no rules.”
Gaetz lobbed his incendiary claims in a conversation on Fox News with Tucker Carlson that, notably, never addressed the actual testimony given by members of Trump’s own administration about potential White House misconduct in its Ukraine policy. Instead, Carlson started his segment by playing a clip from earlier on Wednesday, when Gaetz and dozens of other House Republicans stormed a secure House Intelligence Committee hearing, ordered pizzas, and temporarily shut down a deposition for five hours in a circus-like political stunt.
“What was the purpose?” Carlson asked, of the stunt.
“We had the audacity to want to know what was going on behind closed doors,” Gaetz said, “where Democrats have engaged in a strategy of secret interviews, selective leaks, theatrical, weird performances of transcripts that never happened and lies about whistleblowers. It’s reasonable to suggest we would want more transparency on behalf of the millions of people we represent.”
Gaetz did not mention that nearly two-dozen of his fellow House Republicans were already inside the committee room, attending the impeachment deposition of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Lisa Cooper, when he and others stormed inside. Nor did he point out that every House member has access to the transcripts of every interview in the impeachment inquiry.
“Do you have a right under Congressional rules to demand it?” Carlson followed up.
“There are no rules,” Gaetz said, contradicting the fact that long-standing House rules prohibit Members of Congress from entering closed-door hearings if they are not assigned to the committee in question. “If we had rules, Nancy Pelosi would have put this to a vote and established rules like happened for President [Bill] Clinton, like happened for President [Richard] Nixon. The Democrats want to preserve the most, like, operational flexibility. If they’re going to have a world with no rules, we have to stop thinking we can use the Marquis of Queensberry rules of engagement when we’re fighting against an angry pack of rabid hyenas and that’s what we’re facing. I think the president is right, as Republicans we need to be tougher and expose this for the kangaroos court that it is.”
Not that long ago, however, House Republicans took the opposite view toward the use of closed-door hearings to investigate potential executive branch misconduct. In 2015, Republicans explicitly defended the closed-door sessions of their Benghazi probes of President Barack Obama’s White House as the means to get “more efficient and effective” interviews.
Republicans conducted hours and hours of cclosed-door interviews during the Benghazi investigation. They explained the secrecy as a way to ensure “more efficient and effective” interviews. They said so here on p. 360 of their report. pic.twitter.com/SQEZGzpOIa
— Jeremy W. Peters (@jwpetersNYT) October 23, 2019
Watch the video above, via Fox News.
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