Debate raged on the House floor Wednesday as Democrats sought to impeach President Donald Trump a second time over claims that he incited a violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol last week.
In a fiery speech of his own, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz called out Democrats over what he sees as their stunning hypocrisy on the topic of “political violence.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Gaetz charged Wednesday that those on the left had incited “far more political violence” than President Trump could ever have in a single speech.
“Make no mistake, the left in America has incited far more political violence than the right,” he said, prompting outrage from Dems in the room, according to reports.
“Words don’t matter”
Speaking Wednesday, Gaetz called out Democrat lawmakers like Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley and California Rep. Maxine Waters, saying: “The Speaker [Nancy Pelosi] said to us just moments ago, ‘Words matter.’ But apparently, those words don’t matter when they are uttered by Democrats.”
He went on: “[They don’t matter] when the gentlelady from Massachusetts calls for unrest in the streets. [Or] when the gentlelady from California brazenly brags that she called for people to get in the faces of those who serve and support the president.”
Gaetz made clear that he “denounce[s] political violence from all ends of the spectrum,” but still said Democrats are to blame for much of what has transpired over the last year.
“For months, our cities burned, police stations burned, our businesses were shattered, and they said nothing, or they cheerled for it, and they fundraised for it, and they allowed it to happen in the greatest country in the world,” the congressman said.
“Now some have cited the metaphor that the president lit the flame,” Gaetz added. “Well, they lit actual flames, actual fires,” he charged before he was drowned out by the sounds of boos from Democrats as his time expired, as NBC News reported. Take a look:
Trump impeached anyway
Of course, Gaetz’s speech seems to have done little to sway his colleagues; according to USA Today, the House voted 232–197 on Wednesday to impeach President Trump, making him the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. A trial in the Senate likely won’t begin until after his term is over, however, as reports note.
In the meantime, Gaetz and others in the GOP have continued to make clear that they stand with the president. It remains to be seen whether Republicans in the Senate will follow suit when the time comes.