Having tragically been turned down over his offer to resign from Congress to represent Donald Trump in the impeachment trial, Rep. Matt Gaetz went on Newsmax last night to provide a glimpse of what we missed.
Gaetz told host Greg Kelly that the focus should have been on defending Trump's claims that the election was stolen from him. Gaetz called out hapless Trump lawyer Bruce Castor in particular:
President Trump's defense has missed the opportunity to define the President's concerns about election integrity as… https://t.co/lao7CGte52— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@Rep. Matt Gaetz)1613056588.0
"We need at attack dog, not a cat bath," Gaetz told host Greg Kelly. "He was giving him a cat bath up there. We ought to be pointing out the hypocrisy, the fact that these Democrats are trying to hold the former president to a standard that they themselves cannot live by. That should have been the forceful defense of the president. Instead we got this sort of aw-shucks approach that I don't think played well in the Senate."
Gaetz told Kelly, "we are watching as the Democrats are expanding their indictment beyond just President Trump to his supporters to the people who showed up in Washington DC not to do any harm, not the breach the Capitol, but to express their displeasure with an election that they think should have been run by tighter standards. (The) defense has missed the opportunity to define the president's concerns about election integrity as entirely proper."
Kelly bemoaned the fact that Gaetz wasn't representing the disgraced one. He jumped on the Castor pile.
"Look, I love Team Trump, but I think you could have been a lot stronger. I think there are people out there who would love to see Matt Gaetz on the defense team," Kelly said. "That was actually discussed at one point." Gaetz didn't have much to say about that.
But while it's true that it's empirically impossible for anyone to have performed worse than Castor, the Republican senators would have been terrorized by an argument defending Trump's Big Lie of election fraud, much less having someone like Gaetz advance it. And the whataboutism about Democrats' alleged hypocrisy is expected to be trotted out by the defense tomorrow and Saturday.
Last week, as Forbes reported, "in an interview on Fox News, Gaetz, a fervent supporter of the former president, said he offered to represent Trump "weeks ago" but has not been asked to join Trump's legal team.
"Gaetz stated he communicated the offer through two separate intermediaries: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mark Meadows, Trump's former chief of staff.
Gaetz said that "the conversations ceased" once "ethics advised that sitting House members couldn't do it."
During an appearance on Steve Bannon's podcast Tuesday, Gaetz said he viewed the "cancellation of the Trump presidency and the Trump movement as one of the biggest threats" to his district.
"If the president called me and wanted me to go defend him on the floor of the Senate, that would be the top priority in my life," Gaetz declared.
"I only regret that I have but one political career to give to my president," Gaetz told Fox News.
Too bad Trump didn't take him up on it.