OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Rep. Matt Gaetz has devised a plan to legislatively protect former President Donald Trump from prosecution and, many believe, likely conviction in a D.C. federal courtroom on allegations tied to the Jan. 6 riot.
In an appearance on TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk’s show on the Real America’s Voice streaming network, the Florida Republican laid out how the GOP-led Congress could bring Trump in and compel him to provide testimony that could then “immunize” him from prosecution.
“You can actually bring President Trump in to give testimony to Congress and, in doing so, immunize him,” Gaetz said.
“Now, there’s different forms of immunity that take place at the committee level, subcommittee level, in some instances for full immunity, you have to have more of a supermajority vote,” he continued. “But if you had a supermajority vote of a committee, like Speaker McCarthy could set up a select committee tomorrow that can bring Trump in and immunize him.
“And then we could proceed with the very legitimate investigative work that we’re doing of the Bidens and the corrupt DOJ,” Gaetz continued. “Unfortunately, none of those things are happening. Instead, Congress is not in Washington, not assembled. And I think the timing is on purpose.
“No timing in DC is ever just a mere coincidence. And so right as Congress is leaving town, right as we’re walking away from our equities, you see this acceleration of activity against Trump,” Gaetz added.
Kirk responded, “Let’s be specific here, though. So immunize him from what crimes even if he’s under current indictment? Is that including even the obstruction claims? And give us some examples of how this has been used recently.”
The Florida Republican and Trump ally replied that the procedure has not been used “recently.”
“But obviously, we’re aware of the ability for any person to plead the Fifth,” he said. “You can dissolve someone’s ability to plead the Fifth if you immunize them. And so Congress has this ability that’s been recognized. It’s even laid out in 18 U.S.C. 6002 and 6005. If folks want to look it up.”
“But there you’ve got the ability to say, well, we’re here by compelling your testimony,” he continued. “We’re giving you immunity for anything you say to us and anything that that would lead to. And so, for example, if President Trump came in and said, I’m here to give you testimony about the witch hunt, the abuse of criminal process, that Congress has … legitimate oversight equities to resolve.”
“And if he were to say things to us, we could immunize him for that conduct that he were to discuss,” Gaetz added.
In addition to floating the notion of immunizing Trump, last week, Gaetz also threatened to subpoena special counsel Jack Smith after he charged the former president regarding the Jan. 6 incident earlier this month.
The felony charges — which include conspiracy to defraud the United States — are part of the investigation into alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election, Smith claimed in his filing.
Gaetz took Smith to task, as well as fellow Republicans, after the filing.
“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.”