A House Judiciary Committee hearing got heated as Rep. Matt Gaetz and other Republicans called out their Democrat colleagues for their hypocrisy and double standards.
Gaetz criticized the proceedings during Wednesday’s hearing to mark up articles of impeachment against President Trump, saying the debate so far “lacks a certain sincerity.”
(Video: YouTube/Matt Gaetz)
The Florida Republican accused Democrats of listing crimes that “you don’t have evidence for,” calling it out as a “Democrat drive-by” following a move by Rep. Jim Jordan to have the first article of impeachment be tossed out. Jordan told the committee that his amendment “strikes Article I, because Article I ignores the truth.”
“This is not a rifle shot impeachment, with facts and evidence. This is birdshot,” Gaetz said during his allotted time as he destroyed the Democrats’ narrative and exposed their lack of evidence, calling the abuse of power article of impeachment against Trump a “total joke.”
“They have to say abuse of power because they don’t have evidence for obstruction. They have to say abuse of power because they have no evidence for bribery or treason,” he said, adding that Democrats are “naming crimes in debate that they don’t even have in their impeachment resolution because they can’t prove them and because there are no underlying facts.”
“Where was all this concern about making the Ukraine great when Obama was President?” he asked at one point.
He read from an interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s adviser, Anton Yermak, in which he said he did not feel pressured by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, just as Zelensky asserted that he felt no demands made upon him during his phone call with Trump in July.
“To accept the Democrats’ theory of the case, you’ve got to believe the Ukrainians are lying to us,” Gaetz said. “That they’re so weak and they’re so dependent on the United States that we can’t believe a word they say. Well, again, where were you during the Obama administration when this weak ally didn’t get Javelins [missiles] that were then withheld?”
Slamming the abuse of power charge against the president, Gaetz noted: “I’ve got a lot of constituents who think Barack Obama abused his power, but you know what? We didn’t do this to the country.”
“We didn’t put him through this nonsense in this impeachment. You all set the standard. We didn’t set it. You said this would have to be bipartisan, compelling and overwhelming,” he added. “It ain’t that, and this looks pretty bad.”
Rep. John Ratcliffe addressed the Democrats’ accusations against Trump for demanding Ukraine investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Democrats have built this entire fake-impeachment scheme around an alleged demand,” the Texas Republican said. “Guess what word is not anywhere in the transcript? Demand.”
“Nowhere in that transcript does the president make a demand,” he added, saying that the first time we heard the word “demand” was from the whistleblower.
Ratcliffe went on to defend Trump, arguing that a president who took the “unprecedented step” to release the transcript of his call with Zelensky “is not obstructing Congress.
“The President didn’t get caught – the whistleblower got caught,” he said
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