A bulldog in defense of the Trump administration thus far in impeachment proceedings brought by House Democrats regarding the Ukraine scandal, Rep. Matt Gaetz outdid himself last week.
It was during the official House Judiciary Committee markup on Thursday of the articles of impeachment being brought against President Donald Trump, according to Politico, that the Florida Republican tore into allegations the president had illegitimately leveraged U.S. aid to Ukraine to try to spur criminal investigations into potential 2020 opponent Joe Biden.
Instead, Gaetz proposed an amendment to the impeachment articles to remove a reference to Joe Biden and replace it with his son, Hunter Biden. Gaetz argued Trump had legitimate cause to pursue international corruption investigations into the former vice president’s son with regard to his lucrative role as a board member for the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings — a role many claim Biden was unqualified for and had no business holding.
“Hunter Biden and Burisma, that’s an interesting story and I think just about every American knows there’s something up with that,” Gaetz said. “Maybe I’ll use language familiar to the former vice president: Come on, man. This looks dirty as it is.”
“Hunter Biden was making more than five times more than a board member for Exxon Mobile,” Gaetz added. “I’ve heard of that company.”
And, referencing a bombshell July report from The New Yorker on Hunter Biden’s questionable lifestyle choices prior to his role on the board at Burisma, the two-term representative — and proud antagonizer — would go on to make the case against Biden’s qualifications for a seat on the board crystal clear.
If ever there were concrete evidence to support the fact that Biden’s role at the firm was no more than that of an influence peddler, Gaetz said, it was The New Yorker’s incredibly detailed report on his inability to resolve problems with The Hertz Corp. after a days-long bender resulted in his totaling of a rental car in 2016.
“[Biden] called Hertz,” Gaetz said, then read from The New Yorker piece, written by Adam Entous: “The Hertz rental officer told me [Entous] he found a crack pipe in the car and a line of white powder residue. Hertz called the Prescott police department and officers filed a narcotics offense report, listing the items seized from the car, including a plastic baggie containing a ‘white powdery substance,’ a Secret Service business card, credit cards, and Hunter’s driver’s license.
“That is what we would call evidence,” Gaetz said.
Check it out here. The relevant Gaetz quotes start about the 53-second mark.
“It’s a little hard to believe that Burisma hired Hunter Biden to resolve their international disputes when he could not resolve his own dispute with Hertz rental car over leaving cocaine and a crack pipe in the car,” Gaetz railed.
Gaetz went on to discuss other parts of The New Yorker article detailing Hunter’s Biden’s drug use, then talked about testimony about Burisma’s known problems with corruption.
“We have the ability to show that Burisma is corrupt. We have the ability to show that Hunter Biden is corrupt,” Gaetz eventually said in closing. “That totally exculpates the president.
“Because there is no way in the United States of America that honestly pursuing actual corruption is an impeachable offense,” he added.
Now, admittedly, Gaetz may not have been the best bearer for this message considering there has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding a citation for suspicion of driving under the influence faced by Gaetz himself in 2008, according to USA Today.
And Gaetz was reprimanded for this by Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson — who was out of line himself at one point during the hearing, claiming Trump’s treatment of Ukrainian officials was similar to that of a low-life kidnapper and extortionist.
Still, the messenger and the delivery are neither here nor there.
Gaetz raised some very valid questions.
With a record of drug problems and absolutely no related job experience, why on earth would Burisma take on Hunter Biden with such a huge salary?
Why on earth was Hunter Biden taking a job with a reputedly corrupt, little-known energy firm in a nation where his father was the lead on diplomatic relations for the United States?
Of course, in a committee overseen by anti-Trump partisan Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, those questions are irrelevant, and Gaetz’s amendment failed.
Democrats are after Trump, and they don’t care how they get to him.
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