Republican lawmakers returning to the Capitol after a break are about to be confronted with working with -- and questions about -- Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) this week, reports CNN.
During Congress's Spring break, the controversial Florida lawmaker became even more controversial after it was leaked that he is under multiple investigations related to sex trafficking and allegedly paying women for sex. Now as lawmakers return, they can expect to be inundated with questions from the press as to whether the Gaetz should resign.
As CNN notes, to date, most Republicans have been silent on Gaetz's legal problems.
"When it was first revealed that Gaetz was under investigation by the FBI, the House was in a two-week recess, allowing Republican leaders to largely ignore the scandal and its political implications. Now the House is returning Tuesday to major debates on President Joe Biden's massive infrastructure plan and the record number of unaccompanied minors on the southern border, but questions about Gaetz threaten to distract from Republicans' messaging," CNN reports. "But even before the allegations surfaced, Gaetz didn't have many friends in the House Republican Conference. He quickly rose to prominence through conservative cable television by tying his fortunes to former President Donald Trump and openly challenging Republican establishment leaders like House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming."
With reports stating that even Donald Trump has been keeping his distance from Gaetz, who is one of his most rabid supporters, one person close to the ex-president said things aren't looking good for the conservative lawmaker.
"With his political future under threat, Gaetz has received only tepid support from Trump. The former President issued a statement saying Gaetz had not asked him for a pardon, adding, 'It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him,'" the report states with the former Trump campaign official stating, "I think everyone's trying to keep it off their plate right now. I think everyone thinks that this is going the wrong direction for him."
The report goes on to note that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is set to speak with Gaetz upon his return after telling reporters the allegations about the lawmaker are "serious" as he also faces a House Ethics Committee inquiry.
CNN reports, "One question looming is whether Gaetz returns to Washington on Tuesday for House votes. He submitted a letter to the House clerk last month allowing him to vote by proxy -- which is allowed under House rules due to the pandemic -- but it's not clear if he will use it. Rep. Michael Waltz, the Florida Republican designated as his proxy, had not been asked to cast votes on Gaetz's behalf as of Sunday evening, according to Waltz's office."
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‘Bannon is up to his eyeballs’: Watergate’s John Dean reveals why his testimony could implicate Trump
Former White House counsel John Dean explained why it is so important for the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. to interview Steve Bannon.
Dean, who was disbarred after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice in the Watergate scandal that drove Richard Nixon from office, offered his analysis in an interview with CNN's Jim Acosta.
"I think we have to be careful about what inferences we draw from non-appearance or non-testimony but, I think Bannon is up to his eyeballs," Dean said. "I think he's a vital witness."
"I think he could lead to Trump or those closest to trump and I do believe that the indications are that Trump is much more involved in this whole thing than we think he was," Dean said.
"Do you think this committee will ultimately get access to the documents and testimony they want and if so, by the time the next election rolls around?" Acosta asked. "Every cynic in Washington is just shaking their heads and saying no."
"Well, it's a good question," Dean replied. 'Trump has been as good a president as any to obfuscate and delay and do it with some success. I don't have a crystal ball as to how this is going to come out."
"I think this committee is determined. I hope, Jim, they get their act together and use the power they do this, which is inherent contempt powers. In 1934, the Senate sent the sergeant at arms down to get an assistant secretary of commerce and put him in jail, put him in the Willard [Hotel] for ten days until he agreed to cooperate. That's still good law," he explained. There's Supreme court rulings back as early as 1821 that the House could do this. I think they should and I think they should do it next week, if you will."
John Dean www.youtube.com
CNN anchor Jim Acosta lectured Republicans on Saturday for creating a situation where Donald Trump can destroy their electoral hopes in the 2022 midterm elections.
Acosta noted Trump's support for Republican Glenn Youngkin, who is running for governor of Virginia in November's election.
"Youngkin has made the non-issue of election integrity a big part of his campaign, even though there was integrity in the last election, it's just that Trump lost," Acosta noted. "But as one Trump adviser told me recently, the GOP is now being held hostage by the former president who is threatening sabotage if he doesn't get what he wants."
Acosta read a statement that Trump issued on Wednesday.
"If we don't solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in '22 or '24. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do," Trump argued.
Acosta noted Trump is now fundraising off of his statement.
"Grifting on his hostage taking," is how Acosta described it.
"Republican operatives are privately grumbling that Trump is repeating what he did in the last Georgia senate race, encouraging his supporters to stay home and helping Democrats capture the senate. If it happens again next year, democrats will keep control of Congress," Acosta explained.
He suggested Trump warned Republicans he would eventually turn on them, playing a clip of a 2017 rally where he told the parable of a woman who was poisoned by a snake, with the snake noting that she knew he was a snake.
Acosta said, "with Trump, of course, this is not a poem, it's projection."
"Trump's political career would have ended had Republicans just finally given up on him after January 6th. Instead, they took in that half frozen snake and they gave him another chance. In return, Trump is threatening to poison the party once again," Acosta said. "A lesson, not just for Republicans, but the rest of the country. Letting tTump off the hook would almost certainly breathe new life into his chances for 2024. As the snake warned all of us, 'You knew I was a snake before you took me in.'"
Jim Acosta youtu.be
Vance was one of five Senate candidates in Ohio who spoke at a Northeast Hamilton County Republican Club pancake breakfast on Saturday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
"Vance praised the keynote speaker for the event, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Cameron's handling of the investigation has sparked controversy. No police officers were charged with Taylor's death and only one officer faced charges of wanton endangerment for shooting into a neighbor's house," the newspaper reported.
Vance did not mention Taylor by name, but the newspaper reported it seemed clear he was talking about her killing.
"It was a shootout with an unfortunate outcome and very few national Republicans were honest about it," Vance said. "Everybody was apologizing for it. Everybody was sort of defensively accepting the idea that the police were at fault."
"We need somebody who is just honest about the fact that what happens when a violent criminal opens fire on the police is that the police should open fire back to protect our people and to protect our communities," Vance argued.
Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, former Ohio Republican Chair Jane Timken, car dealer Bernie Moreno, and investment banker Mike Gibbons also addressed the Ohio Republican Pancake Breakfast.
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau senior advisor Morgan Harper are seeking the Democratic Party nomination.
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