Rep. Matt Gaetz slammed closed-door impeachment hearings with “no rules” that are being run by House Democrats acting like an “angry pack of rabid hyenas.”
The Florida Republican unloaded his frustration to Fox News host Tucker Carlson Wednesday, defending dozens of his GOP colleagues who stormed a secret hearing by House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight Committees in protest of the way Chairman Adam Schiff has been conducting the proceedings.
(Video: Fox News)
“What was the purpose?” Carlson asked the lawmaker on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” referring to his leading members of the Freedom Caucus and other Republicans in storming the classified Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility where Democrats were interviewing Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Lisa Cooper on Wednesday.
“We had the audacity to want to know what in the world was going on behind closed doors where Democrats have engaged in a strategy of secret interviews, selective leaks, theatrical, weird performances of transcripts that never happened and then lies about whistleblowers,” Gaetz replied. “So it’s reasonable to suggest that we would want more transparency on behalf of the millions of people we represent.”
“Do you have a right under Congressional rules to demand it?” Carlson asked.
“There are no rules,” Gaetz responded.
“If we had rules, Nancy Pelosi would have put this issue to a vote and established rules like happened for President [Bill] Clinton, like happened for President [Richard] Nixon,” he said, referring to the House Speaker who has repeatedly refused to hold a formal vote on impeachment.
“The Democrats want to preserve the most, like, operational flexibility. And so if they’re going to have a world with no rules, we have to stop thinking we can use the Marquis of Queensbury rules of engagement when we’re fighting against an angry pack of rabid hyenas and that’s what we’re facing,” he continued. “I think the president is right, as Republicans, we need to be tougher in exposing this for the kangaroo court that it is.”
He noted that the “strategy” being employed by Democrats is to impeach President Trump without holding a formal vote in Congress. He also argued that the two-year-long Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller taught Democrats “a lesson” in wanting to avoid public hearings and testimony.
“They’re trying to use the natural advantage that they have with the mainstream media to have secret interviews and selective leaks, and they’re trying to pollute the American electorate with these lies about the president,” he said, noting how Democrats have moved to block Republicans from having review of testimony and cross-examination of witnesses.
Gaetz urged Americans to contact their representatives in Congress and demand accountability and transparency in the hearings. The Florida lawmaker believed, however, that Democrats cannot keep up the game too long as they are not able to “withstand a review of the facts for any extended period of time.”
“I think impeachment was a functional certainty the moment that Nancy Pelosi grabbed that gavel because the radical left today cannot win a fair debate or a fair election,” he added. “Everything is about trying to de-platform and destroy those who champion the America First agenda.”
Gaetz told a TMZ reporter Wednesday that Republicans have requested a change in the process from Democrats and are awaiting a response. He likened the GOP storming of the hearings to the Spartans in the movie, “300.”
And while Gaetz added that he had not heard from the president about the GOP charge, he suspected he would be hearing something from the Oval Office soon, as he reiterated his support.
“I love the president so much I may never love another president again,” he quipped.