Rep. Matt Gaetz: McCarthy Must 'Stand Up To' Cheney, Kinzinger Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol July 29, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 09 September 2021 11:05 AM
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., has called on Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to remove "turncoat Republicans" Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger from all House committees on which they serve as members of the GOP conference.
Cheney, R-Wyo., and Kinzinger, R-Ill., sit on the partisan House select committee that’s investigating events surrounding the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol. The two anti-Trump lawmakers were appointed to the committee by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
"They've crossed the Rubicon, joined the other side," Gaetz said Thursday on his "Firebrand with Matt Gaetz" podcast.
"So how do Cheney and Kinzinger justify a critique of [former President Donald] Trump for destroying our institutions and violating norms when they're participating the Stalinist tactics of the tyrannical left?"
Gaetz said McCarthy, R-Calif., must remove Cheney and Kinzinger from the committees that they serve on pursuant to their membership in the GOP House conference.
"Anything less is weakness inviting attack," Gaetz said, "and our leadership shouldn't invite attack on our people."
Gaetz said McCarthy's style usually is not to have "strong reactions to things," though the leader did admonish the committee after it was reported the panel was seeking phone records of Republican lawmakers.
"How can we trust Kevin McCarthy to go beyond talking tough to Nancy Pelosi when he won’t even stand up to Liz Cheney? Or Adam Kinzinger?" Gaetz said.
Gaetz said he and other GOP firebrands — such as Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia — were "under fire" from the partisan committee, which has been a bit sneaky in its moves.
"They haven't sent subpoenas, yet," Gaetz said. "If your telecom provider gets a subpoena for your records, you get notice — the opportunity to ask a court to quash or block that request. Litigation requires parties to put up or shut up. It can expose a witch hunt.
"So instead of a subpoena, they sent a preservation demand, initially in secret. Then they leaked the names of the targeted Republicans to smear us with a cloud of criminality."
Gaetz said the Democrats method of attack is nothing new..
"Smearing political leaders you don’t like with leaks and lies. Sound familiar?" he asked. "It's exactly the playbook [Rep.] Adam Schiff [D-Calif.] used against Donald Trump during the phony Ukraine impeachment."
Gaetz insisted he and other firebrand Republicans needed to stay the course on issues such as election integrity, where their concerns are "valid and patriotic and necessary."
"Republicans who abandon election integrity as an issue are no use to us," he said. "They are worthless in the fight we are in now, today."