Matt Gaetz Targeted By Jan. 6 Committee Over His Corruption

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The House committee investigating the Capitol riot spotlighted information related to prominent Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) at its hearing earlier this week.

According to details highlighted by the panel, Gaetz was present for a December 21, 2020, meeting at the Trump White House where GOP members of Congress gathered with Trump and others to discuss the push from lawyer John Eastman for then-VP Mike Pence to take some step to block the Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s win. For Pence to have done so would have been flatly illegal — and although that illegal act stayed hypothetical, it seems like Eastman might nonetheless be guilty of something, considering the Justice Department recently seized his phone. Other GOP members of Congress who went to the White House on the day of that meeting include Brian Babin, Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar, Andy Harris, Jody Hice, Jim Jordan, and Scott Perry. Most of those figures are pretty well-known. Babin, who seems comparatively less prominent, is from Texas.

Pence himself, then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and longtime Trump ally Rudy Giuliani were also present for the December 21 meeting at the White House, as was Marjorie Taylor Greene, who’d won her election to Congress at that point but hadn’t been sworn into office. Among other relevant documentation, the riot committee got hold of an email from Mo Brooks setting up the gathering. “We’ve asked witnesses what happened during the December 21 meeting, and we’ve learned that part of the discussion centered on the role of the vice president during the counting of the electoral votes,” committee member Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) explained. “These members of Congress were discussing what would later be known as the Eastman theory.”

That White House meeting took place days after a December 18 gathering — where Giuliani was also involved — at which the idea of federal seizures of election machines was discussed. There was no real-world evidence calling for such a move and no legal authority on which such an initiative could have been taken. Sidney Powell, a far-right attorney who was once identified by Trump as a member of his personal legal team dealing with challenges to the 2020 election outcome, may have come away from that December 18 gathering under the impression she’d in fact been appointed as special counsel, a role where she’d deal with responding to imaginary fraud. Powell was identified to have been potentially under such an impression by then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone. What corrupt steps might Trump have taken during that meeting to convince Powell of such a thing?

Meanwhile, the committee has previously revealed testimony indicating Gaetz sought a pardon from Trump after the last election. Gaetz’s push for a pardon was well-documented — it was attested to by at least three individuals, including former White House figures Eric Herschmann, John McEntee, and Cassidy Hutchinson. Gaetz is also facing a continuing federal investigation into his potential involvement in child sex trafficking. Other Republican members of Congress apparently also sought presidential pardons after the 2020 presidential election.