Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) slammed House Democrats for barring members of the Judiciary Committee from attending impeachment inquiry hearings, after he was kicked out of attending the deposition of a witness on Monday morning.
“Not only did Adam Schiff not want the American people to see whatever evidence they’re developing, not only do they not want to let the full Congress see their work — they’re even barring members of the Judiciary Committee, and based on every review of impeachment I’ve done, the Judiciary Committee is pretty involved,” he told Breitbart News in an interview.
Gaetz said he did not know why Judiciary Committee members are not allowed to participate in the hearings, when the Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) was the first to announce an impeachment inquiry and hold hearings. Currently, the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs Committees are running the impeachment inquiry.
“I can’t tell if this is just the latest chapter of Adam Schiff’s kangaroo court, or if there’s such diminished trust in Jerry Nadler that our entire committee is now paying the price,” he said.
Gaetz said he believes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took the impeachment inquiry away from Nadler and gave it to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) because doing it through the Judiciary Committee was not fielding results.
“Nancy Pelosi has chosen to reshuffle the legislative deck because her Democrats were getting worked silly on the Judiciary Committee following the Lewandowski hearing, the John Dean hearing, it really was not a forum that fielded results for Democrats,” Gaetz said, recalling previous hearings with witnesses Corey Lewandowski and former Nixon counsel John Dean.
“But just because you don’t like the outcome doesn’t mean that the Speaker and the Democrat leadership should be excluding members who want to participate in a process that could ultimately overturn an election,” Gaetz said.
He blasted the Democrats for making the impeachment inquiry a secret process that has been conducted behind closed-doors.
“This is not a secret meeting to mark up an energy bill — this is a secret meeting to discuss and query the reversal of the will of the American people, and they’re not real confident in their facts. If I was confident in the facts, I’d want everyone to know the facts,” he said.
Excluding the Judiciary Committee from participating has sidelined some of the president’s top supporters in the House, such as Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA), House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-NJ), who has experience with Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
Schiff on Sunday compared the closed-door hearings to “grand jury” proceedings.
“They are making up the rules as they go along,” Gaetz said. “That’s what it’s like today. Last week it looked more like a clown show, because [Schiff] was selectively leaking material, he was fabricating transcripts for theatrical effect. I guess my question to the chairman would be, ‘Which part of the grand jury model that you have in your mind contemplates making up fake transcripts for theatrical effect?’ I didn’t read that anywhere in the grand jury regs,” he said.
Gaetz also revealed that while the House parliamentarian was looking up whether Gaetz could attend the hearing, Schiff attempted to count that time against Republicans’ time to question the witness, Fiona Hill.
“This took 45 minutes to resolve,” he said. “The parliamentarian of course said there’s no basis for that. It shows how determined Adam Schiff is to rig the game.”
Gaetz said once the parliamentarian ruled in favor of the Democrats, he left of his own accord.
“I wasn’t going to make the Capitol Police throw me out by the scruff of my neck,” he said.
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