Embattled MAGA congressman Matt Gaetz enthusiastically endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s suggestion to jail members of the Jan. 6 House committee, telling ex-Trump strategist Steve Bannon on Monday that “Newt’s right” and Republicans should not be “limp-wristed.”
Gingrich, the once-powerful Capitol Hill lawmaker turned bomb-throwing pundit, sparked outrage on Sunday when he argued on Fox News that lawmakers on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection could face arrest if Republicans take over Congress next year.
“I think when you have a Republican Congress, this is all going to come crashing down,” the Fox News contributor exclaimed. “And the wolves are going to find out that they’re now sheep and they’re the ones who are in fact, I think, face a real risk of jail for the kinds of laws they’re breaking.”
While the two GOP members of the committee have fired back at Gingrich, saying a former speaker “threatening jail time” for lawmakers investigating a violent attack “is what it looks like when the rule of law unravels,” other Trump-boosting Republicans have openly backed Gingrich’s tacit threat.
During a Monday morning appearance on Bannon’s War Room: Pandemic podcast, Gaetz—who is currently under federal investigation of sex trafficking and obstruction of justice—first framed his own legal troubles as part of a “Deep State” conspiracy that included the Jan. 6 attack. (Both Gaetz and Bannon have repeatedly peddled baseless theories that the Capitol riots were a “false flag” operation orchestrated by the federal government.)
“Now you have the Jan. 6 event, where I expect that there will be these shadowy, gray area, national security types that are in and around the activation of the increase in criminal acuity of that day,” the Florida congressman blared. “And not for nothing, Steve, but using a cut-out seems like exactly what they were trying to do to me!”
After invoking the case of a man recently indicted for attempting to extort him and his father, Gaetz suggested that was part of an FBI plot to set him up, claiming the man wasn’t acting alone and was “very likely was answering to a cut-out” working with the feds in order to “destroy” him.
“Because, you know what, Newt’s right!” Gaetz declared, turning to Gingrich’s comments. “We are going to take power!”
Referencing previous Republican leaders, the pro-Trump congressman then casually invoked homophobic language while promising to take aim at those currently probing last year’s seditious attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“And when we do, it's not going to be the days of Paul Ryan and Trey Gowdy where the Republicans go limp-wristed, where they lose their backbone, and they fail to send a single subpoena,” he seethed to Bannon, who recently spurned a congressional subpoena.
“It’s going to be the days of Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, and you know what, we’re going to get answers,” Gaetz continued, before running off a laundry list of pet right-wing grievances. “Real answers about what happened in the election, answers about the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and certainly answers about a Department of Justice and a national security apparatus that has gone totally off the rails!”
The self-proclaimed “firebrand” wrapped up his Trumpian rant by saying there’s a “lot of swamp left to drain” and he “can’t wait to get the gavels in our hands [and] to get the subpoenas ready to go!”