Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz has expressed his disapproval of Jack Smith and other fellow Republicans after the special counsel filed new charges against former President Donald Trump last week.
The felony charges, which include conspiracy to defraud the United States, are part of the investigation into alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election leading up to the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
As a result, Gaetz has threatened to call Smith before a congressional committee.
“House Republicans should immediately demand that Jack Smith present himself for a transcribed interview with the Judiciary Committee in the next 15 days.,” Gaetz said in a Newsmax interview he posted to YouTube.
“If he does not do that, we should send a subpoena. If he ignores the subpoena, we should hold him in criminal contempt of the Congress, so that he is the first prosecutor in American history to prosecute a case while himself under criminal contempt,” Gaetz added.
He also said he is prepared to try and force U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s hand on the matter.
“If Merrick Garland doesn’t enforce that contempt, then we ought to impeach Merrick Garland,” he said.
“To showcase how political and indeed dirty this has all become, we can utilize congressional immunities to immunize President Trump,” he added, citing a section of statutory law, since upheld by the Supreme Court, that “gives any committee or subcommittee of the Congress the power to subpoena a witness, bring them in and partially immunize them.”
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) August 1, 2023
The law requires transactional immunity in exchange for compelled testimony; “transactional,” in this sense, “means that once a witness has been compelled to testify about an offense, he may never be prosecuted for that offense, no matter how much independent evidence might come to light,” according to a constitutional explainer on Congress’ website.
Gaetz said it is necessary to “stand up for Congress’s equities when it comes to election interference [and] when it comes to misuse of the DOJ.”
“This is all an effort to try to distract us from the very real crimes committed by Hunter and Joe Biden,” Gaetz added.
“It’s not a coincidence that Joe Biden is going to the beach now, but it is especially not a coincidence that, on the heels of their former business partner, Devon Archer, saying that Joe Biden was functionally the closer — the guy that gave the credibility to the Biden brand so they could engage in their international influence peddling — this indictment reads like a torturing of First Amendment-protected activity,” he continued.
Last month, Gaetz introduced legislation to defund Smith’s investigation.