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Gaetz Threatens to Subpoena Jack Smith, ‘Immunize’ Trump, After Latest Charges

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz has threatened to call Jack Smith before a congressional committee 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.

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.

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“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.”

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.

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“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.

The Florida Republican’s bill comes as Robert Hur, a special counsel appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate President Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, hasn’t been heard from much since he was authorized in January. It also comes as Trump predicted that Smith would soon indict him over the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

“I will be introducing legislation to DEFUND Jack Smith’s witch hunt against President Trump,” Gaetz wrote on Twitter just hours after Trump’s announcement on Truth Social.

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“They are attacking our democracy and engaging in election interference right now. The United States Congress has the capability to stop this election interference, and we must act immediately!” Gaetz noted further.

In a video clip of his podcast posted along with his remarks, Gaetz argued that Trump would not be facing such legal jeopardy if he wasn’t leading President Joe Biden in a growing number of polls.

In addition, the GOP lawmaker ripped what he described as a “lack of transparency” from the Justice Department regarding who is actually involved in the probe, referencing concerns about “the team of vicious Democrats” who were a part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s ‘Russia collusion’ probe stemming from Trump’s 2016 campaign.

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