During a hearing of the House Rules Committee on Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) got publicly shut down by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) over the Florida Congressman’s relentless promotion of the lie that systematic fraud was somehow responsible for Joe Biden’s presidential election victory. Gaetz was there arguing against a contempt finding that was recently approved by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot against top Trump ally Steve Bannon, who has defied a subpoena from that panel. Gaetz — employing his familiar, clownish theatrics — self-confidently asserted as his speaking time got underway that “all of this is ridiculous.”
Gaetz also attempted to distract from the issues at hand with an array of nonsensical claims. He said, for instance, that Afghan refugees were being brought into the United States with no meaningful vetting, which is false. He also characterized the Biden administration’s immigration policy as “import and release” — meaning importing and releasing migrants — which is nonsense. Eventually, Gaetz got to his point and complained about the scrutiny that’s been placed on Bannon, characterizing the focus on Capitol riot-related issues as a fundamental disconnection from the needs of the American people. The reality is, however, that Donald Trump is leading a cultish movement that seeks to de-legitimize the electoral process in the United States. That’s not trivial.
Eventually, Raskin posed the following question to Gaetz:
‘Here’s the question I want to ask you: let’s just start with basics. Do you accept that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election?’
Gaetz proved unwilling to make such an acknowledgment. He said that he “accept[s] that Joe Biden is the president,” which is obviously not what Raskin asked. What he asked was whether Gaetz accepted that the process which placed Biden in the presidency was legitimate. Raskin posed a follow-up question, asking if Gaetz “accept[s] that [Biden] won the election by more than seven million votes and defeated Donald Trump by 306 to 232 in the electoral college” — and Gaetz refused to accept that. Gaetz said in contrast that he believes that “our election was uniquely polluted by these indiscriminate mail-in ballots.”
Raskin followed that up by asking Gaetz if he believes that there’s evidence of fraud that “materially altered the outcome of the presidential election” (in other words, that was responsible for Biden’s win). (Hint: there’s not.) Gaetz said that he believes that “had mail ballots not been sent to people who had not requested them… Donald Trump would be sitting behind the Resolute Desk right now” — which is just utter nonsense. Later on, Raskin — who kept a similar line of questioning going — asked Gaetz if he had any court case-related evidence to back him up in his claims about the election, and he admitted that he had none, although he called his lack of evidence “a real failure of the judiciary” instead of admitting that there’s just nothing there.
Gaetz eventually rambled about the supposed quest for an adequate legal remedy for the imaginary election fraud, and Raskin demolished the argument, contemptuously noting to the Congressman that “there’s no remedy because there’s no violation, Mr. Gaetz.” Raskin also pointedly noted that Gaetz’s argument “might work on Steve Bannon’s podcast, but that’s not going to work in the Rules Committee in the United States House of Representatives.” Check out the exchange below: