Wednesday during an appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) elaborated on the effort he led with Republican members of Congress protesting the so-called impeachment inquiry hearings conducted behind closed doors by House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).
The Florida Republican remarked that if House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) were refusing the have no rules, there was no reason for Republicans to adhere to rules, either.
Partial transcript as follows:
CARLSON: Gaetz and other members ultimately delayed today’s hearing by about five hours. Congressman Matt Gaetz joins us today in studio. Congressman, thanks so much for coming on.
GAETZ: Good to be with you.
CARLSON: So what was the purpose?
GAETZ: 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.
And so it’s reasonable to suggest that we would want more transparency on behalf of the millions of people that we represent.
CARLSON: Do you have a right under congressional rules to demand it?
GAETZ: There are no rules, Tucker. If we had rules, Nancy Pelosi would have put this issue to a vote and established rules like it happened for President Clinton, like it happened for President Nixon.
But the Democrats want to preserve the most like operational flexibility. And so if they’re going to have a world with no rules, we’ve got to stop like thinking that 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. And I think the President is right, as Republicans, we need to be tougher and exposing this for the kangaroo court that it is.
CARLSON: Can you impeach the President without holding a vote?
GAETZ: That seems to be the Democratic strategy to date, and really what they’re trying to do is to —
CARLSON: Can you pass the laws without voting on them now?
GAETZ: Well, I mean, we appropriate money all the time without voting on it. Just a few people show up in the middle of the night and, you know, spend millions of dollars, but Democrats have learned a lesson from Russia.
In the Russia investigation, they did hold open hearings. We saw Robert Mueller in his failure to adequately defend his report. We saw the Corey Lewandowski hearing, which was just a total disaster for Democrats. And so they’ve moved away from allowing Republicans to have cross examination, thorough review, check testimony against documents and timelines and they’re just trying to use the natural advantage 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.
CARLSON: Is there any way for the rest of us following at home to know what’s going on inside?
GAETZ: Members of Congress need to hear from their constituents. The American people need to demand more transparency. And I think, look, regardless of what people think about President Trump, it is a legitimate question to ask, why does President Trump not get the same due process from Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats that Newt Gingrich and the Republicans gave President Clinton?
CARLSON: I mean, how long can this go on?
GAETZ: I think that they don’t really want an extended process because they can’t withstand any review of the facts for a long period of time. I think we’re on a rocket docket to impeachment in the House.
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, and so everything is about trying to do platform and destroy those who champion the America First agenda, and we’ve just got to stop reading and reacting. We’ve got to be, I think very proactive in terms of exposing this corruption to the country.
CARLSON: Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida. Thank you very much.
GAETZ: Thank you.
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