OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz has come up with a legislative plan to protect former President Donald Trump from prosecution and, many believe, likely conviction in several pending court cases, including in Washington, D.C., over allegations linked to the Jan. 6 riot.
Gaetz appeared on TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk’s show on the Real America’s Voice streaming network to lay out exactly how the Republican-led Congress could and should bring the former president in and compel him to testify, which would then “immunize” him from any further 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 noted further.
Kirk said: “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 GOP lawmaker and Trump ally responded that the procedure hasn’t been used “recently.”
“But obviously, we’re aware of the ability for any person to plead the Fifth,” Gaetz 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 noted further.
Last month, Gaetz introduced a bill to defund special counsel Jack’s Smith’s ongoing investigation into Trump.
The Florida Republican’s bill came 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 since he was authorized in January. It also comes as Trump predicted that Smith would 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.
“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.
BREAKING: I will be introducing legislation to DEFUND Jack Smith’s witch hunt against President Trump.
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… pic.twitter.com/g8ZAc4PAyb
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) July 18, 2023