Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., blasted Democrats at a Friday morning news conference for the double standard at play in their partisan attempt to impeach President Trump — doing so while calling the media to task for not holding Democrats accountable.
The news conference came after the Democrat-run House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against the president in the first party-line vote on impeachment in U.S. history.
“In the media, you should hold the Democrats to the standard that they set for themselves,” Gaetz said. “Not the standard they set back into 1998 when Jerry Nadler said that impeachment would have to be supported by substantially a bipartisan group to be legitimate.”
(Rep. Nadler, D-N.Y., is the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.)
“Look at the standard they set for themselves just a few months ago — Democrats said that the evidence would have to be overwhelming and yet, in hearing after hearing, the evidence they presented was either hearsay, speculation and conjecture, or the result of a policy disagreement about how to treat the Ukrainians,” he added.
The Republican lawmaker noted that Democrats “promised that after public hearings there would be newfound animated public support for impeachment.”
“The reality is they failed to meet their burden,” Rep. Gaetz said. “So now, with no bipartisanship — as a matter of fact the only bipartisan vote will be a bipartisan vote against impeachment — with no direct evidence, with no enhanced public support for impeachment, Democrats will continue to visit the opportunity costs for this division on our country.”
He said that Republicans would prefer to work on other important priorities that will impact the lives of Americans.
“But for Democrats, impeachment is their drug,” Gaetz insisted. “It is their obsession. It’s their total focus and it’s deeply disappointing that they failed to meet the standard that they set for themselves.”
After delaying the vote late last night, Nadler got down to business right away Friday in a convenient move to capture the days news cycle early on.
The weak maneuvering did not escape notice.
“Really? The House Judiciary Committee had to wait overnight to have a party-line vote on articles of #impeachment that took ten minutes?”Breitbart News’ Joel Pollak tweeted. “The weakest case in American history didn’t just magically grow stronger.”
Really? The House Judiciary Committee had to wait overnight to have a party-line vote on articles of #impeachment that took ten minutes? The weakest case in American history didn’t just magically grow stronger
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) December 13, 2019
Instead of focusing on the double standard called out by the GOP, a reporter asked about the precedent set by the Trump White House not complying with the one-sided attempt to take the president out.
“The administration has cooperated with fair and reasonable oversight,” Gaetz replied. “When Democrats made clear this was not about oversight, it was about impeachment, it was about an illegitimate process, then I think that reasonably informed the administration’s position on whether or not to validate this absurd process.”
The reporter pressed, noting that both the Nixon and Clinton administrations had provided some information in their impeachment investigation.
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., stepped forward to say that the Trump administration “has cooperated,” before providing details of that cooperation.
“Just this year — they understand Congress’ oversight responsibility and have acknowledged it — 25 members of the administration have testified before oversight, 20 have testified the Judiciary Committee,” Johnson said. When the impeachment proceeding began over 100,000 pages were submitted by the White House to Congress pursuant to our request. And of course he immediately released the transcript, the famous transcript of the phone call.”
“The president has not been obstructing this at all. What he is worried about is this process, is this unprecedented charade going on,” he added. “[Rep.] Adam Schiff controlling this in a basement. Having secret hearings. Cherry-picking witnesses. Denying Republican questions. Not allowing Republican witnesses to come forward. There’s been no chance for the president’s counsel to participate in the early stages of this. This whole thing was rigged.”
Johnson stressed that he is an attorney, as are many of his Republican colleagues, and if they were advising Trump as a client that “would tell him not to participate in that because it’s an ambush.”
“At every stage the Democrats have tried to railroad the president,” he said. “That’s why he had concern. The fact that they brought an impeachment claim of obstruction is absurd.”
Johnson went on to say we are where we are today because Democrats “guaranteed to the radical left base that they would impeach Donald Trump by Christmas.”
Republicans were out in force, slamming Dems for their one-sided impeachment charade:
Today is a travesty for our country. This has been the most unfair, corrupt, politically biased railroad job I’ve seen in my entire life. Democrats are tearing our country apart with their sham impeachment, and they should be ashamed.
— Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (@RepDLesko) December 13, 2019
🚨 BREAKING: Nadler’s Judiciary Committee passed both articles of impeachment with ZERO Republican votes.
Pelosi, Nadler, and Schiff said impeachment should be bipartisan.
Yet they’ve failed to meet that standard every step of the way.
Today is an embarrassing day for America.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) December 13, 2019
The House Judiciary Committee just passed two articles of impeachment with the thinnest case, most rushed one sided process possible, and worst of intentions. History will be so very unkind to the party over country Democrats pushing this total charade.
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) December 13, 2019
Dems stacked the rules against President Trump from the start, but we will remain united in the fight for fairness and truth.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) December 13, 2019
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