Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida on Friday called for removing Democrats from the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Federal Government in the GOP-controlled House.
“I’m calling for Democrats to be REMOVED from the depositions of the @Weaponization Subcommittee!” Gaetz wrote on Friday on Twitter, sharing a brief clip of himself addressing crowds at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland.
House Republicans have been leading efforts to investigate the alleged “weaponization” of federal agencies under the Biden administration. In a 221-211 House vote in January, the GOP-controlled House pushed through a resolution to launch the subcommittee.
The subcommittee, which is chaired by Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, consists of 11 Republicans, including Gaetz, and eight Democrats. It aims to investigate a number of subjects, including the alleged involvement of the FBI in censoring conservative voices and Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations into former President Donald Trump.
“These are the [GOP representatives] Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz days and if the Democrats are going to obstruct our investigation, then I am calling to remove the Democrats from our investigation,” Gaetz said on Friday during the CPAC event. “They shouldn’t be allowed to sit in the depositions and hear the evidence if they are going to use that to try to get in the way of thorough rigorous oversight.”
It is unknown whether the subcommittee might consider removing Democrats. In January, Jordan urged Democrats to join the GOP’s investigations through the subcommittee, even though some Democratic members of the House opposed the idea.
In a speech at the time on the House floor rejecting the resolution to approve the subcommittee, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler accused Republicans of creating the subcommittee to investigate “whatever conspiracy theories may be headlining the right-wing echo chamber at the moment” and to “settle political scores” on behalf of Trump.
Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center on March 3, 2023, in National Harbor, Maryland. Gaetz on Friday called for removing Democrats from the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Federal Government in the GOP-controlled House. Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
However, Jordan dismissed Nadler’s and other criticism as he called for a bipartisan investigation.
“They said this is political and we’re gonna fight it tooth and nail. Why?” Jordan told Fox News‘ Sean Hannity in January. “We’re protecting the First Amendment, we’re protecting the Americans, why would you fight it? I thought you guys embraced the Constitution like we all do, love the First Amendment and the rights we enjoy.
“That’s what this is about. We’re gonna do everything we can to protect American citizens’ First Amendment liberty.”
At the CPAC, Gaetz threatened to abolish some federal agencies such as the FBI and the DOJ, claiming that they are used for political purposes.
“It seems like every time I turn around, [federal agencies] engage in surveillance…or monitoring,” Gaetz told the crowd. “I don’t care if it takes every second of our time and every ounce of our energy. We either get this government back on our side, or we defund and get rid of—abolish the FBI, CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives], DOJ—every last one of them if they do not come to heel.”
Newsweek reached out to Jordan’s media office for comment.