In a move made last week with little fanfare that only garnered notice in recent days, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) was removed from the newly formed House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, The Hill reported.
The Texas congressman was replaced by his friend and colleague from Florida, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who was himself previously subject to being a target of federal law enforcement.
Roy swapped out for Gaetz
According to the Congressional Record, the swap of Roy for Gaetz on the weaponization subcommittee actually took place on Feb. 1, but it doesn’t appear that anyone in the media noticed that change this week.
CNN reporter Annie Grayer tweeted Tuesday, “Matt Gaetz, who has been subject of a DOJ investigation, is now serving on subcommittee investigating ‘weaponization’ of federal gov including ongoing DOJ criminal investigations. Gaetz switched in for Chip Roy. Roy told me switch was for a ‘variety of good reasons.'”
The Hill noted that the new subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), had been formed as part of the negotiations amid the protracted process for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to garner enough support from his own GOP caucus to wield the powerful gavel.
The committee is tasked with investigating the alleged, though seemingly increasingly apparent, partisan “weaponization” of various federal agencies, particularly those with law enforcement capabilities, to be used against the political opponents of the Democratic Party and Washington D.C. establishment.
A reversal for Gaetz
As implied by the CNN reporter’s tweet, it doesn’t appear that there was anything bad that happened to precipitate the switch, and that was confirmed by a statement on the matter from Rep. Roy himself, according to Business Insider.
The Texas congressman said, “In order to devote adequate time to the Rules, Judiciary and Budget Committees, as well as be a dad and do my job as the Representative of Texas’ 21st Congressional District, I was happy to give my spot on the Weaponization Subcommittee to my friend, Matt Gaetz.”
Interestingly enough, Insider noted that while Gaetz had “championed” the formation of the new subcommittee during the speakership fight, he had initially expressed no desire to serve on the panel, and told the outlet in January that he wasn’t looking for more responsibilities and instead wanted to “make back-benching great again.”
That was in spite of the fact that he likely does have a personal interest in exposing and ending the “weaponization” of federal agencies, given he was under federal investigation for nearly two years for apparently bogus and partisan accusations of sex trafficking minors.
Insider reported that Gaetz’s office declined to specify who was responsible for the switch of Roy for him on the panel, but an aide for the Florida congressman did say that he “is honored to serve on the Weaponization Subcommittee and will be working very hard.”
Work for subcommittee began this week
As was noted in Rep. Roy’s statement, both Insider and The Hill reported that he was part of the Republican lineup for the important Budget Committee that was finally just announced on Tuesday.
His inclusion on that panel may have been known ahead of time, which may have been the main reason for his removal from the weaponization subcommittee that quietly occurred last week.
That new subcommittee held its first hearing on Wednesday, which was focused on “the politicization of the FBI and DOJ and attacks on American civil liberties.”