Matt Gaetz made a huge deal out of Nancy Pelosi ripping up Trump’s State of the Union speech moments after he stopped speaking, even attempting to have Pelosi prosecuted for her actions, as if he lives in some weird human rights-violating country that persecutes people for tearing up pieces of paper.
Gaetz was one of Trump’s key obstructors in the impeachment trial, and over the past three years, he has become very close to the president. His obstruction hasn’t gone unnoticed, however, and now it looks as though he may actually pay for his actions.
The Miami-Dade Democratic Party has officially filed a complaint against Gaetz to the Bar Association asking that he be investigated for trying to enter “secure rooms” during the impeachment process.
According to floridapolitics.com:
“Before Trump’s impeachment, the House assigned a group of committees to investigate his actions regarding Ukraine. As part of the investigation, those committees interviewed witnesses. The interviews were open to those committees only, though Democrats and Republicans sat on each committee.”
“The complaint cites two instances in which Gaetz attempted to enter those restricted interview hearings. In one attempt, two dozen Republicans tried to enter a secure hearing room to interrupt the deposition of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper. Republicans protested what they called a “Soviet-style process” despite, again, several Republicans on the relevant committees being welcome to hear the testimony and ask questions.”
Gaetz even found himself being kicked out of a closed-door meeting in which witness Fiona Hill was being questioned. Law & Crime reports that, “Gaetz, known as a vociferous defender of President Trump and his agenda, was ejected just before the proceeding began.”
CNN’s Manu Raju reported his firsthand account:
“Matt Gaetz emerges from closed-door interview with Fiona Hill saying he was kicked out by House Democrats [because] he’s not a member of the three committees conducting the interview. He said he consulted with the House parliamentarian, who ruled that he could not be there.”
According to the complaint filed by Florida Democrats:
“Both intrusions are improper, unprofessional, and unethical and were meant only to feed Gaetz’s unjustifiably large ego and penchant for grandstanding.”
“These instances were in direct violation of operative rules contained in the 116th Congress Regulations for Use of Deposition Authority.”
It will be hard for Gaetz to wriggle his way out of this predicament, but it will certainly be fun watching him try. The complaint claims that, not only did Gaetz break impeachment proceeding rules, but he broke two Bar rules as well. The report continues:
The complaint cites House rules, which limited members of Congress who could sit in on those depositions. It also references a pair of Bar rules Gaetz allegedly violated.
One states a lawyer may not violate the oath “to support the constitutions of the United States and Florida.”
Another deals with attorneys obstructing an individual’s access to evidence or disobeying “an obligation under the rules of a tribunal except for an open refusal based on an assertion that no valid obligation exists.”
Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chair Steve Simeonidis says that even though Attorney General William Barr could shoot the complaint down, it is still worth pursuing on a state level:
“Impeachment proceedings are a legal process leading to a trial, and therefore covered by The Florida Bar’s rules of conduct.”
“But Republican Attorney General Bill Barr isn’t going to hold a member of his own party responsible. So we must appeal to our state’s institutions to restrain this rogue lawyer who obstructed the impeachment process twice, and generally treats the powers of his elected office like a personal plaything.”