Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) slammed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Wednesday, saying his colleague was “never” going to impeach President Joe Biden, accusing the Republican leader of gaslighting members of his party.
“He’s throwing impeachment out like an ill-cast lure with no real intention to follow through,” Gaetz said of the speaker in an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber. “If you were really serious, you would subpoena Hunter Biden, get answers. They’re not serious. And that’s why you see this failure theater in the absence of real accountability.”
McCarthy said Tuesday he was unilaterally directing House committees to launch an impeachment inquiry into the president, saying Republicans had uncovered “serious and credible allegations” that “paint a picture of a culture of corruption” in the White House. Those claims center on millions of dollars in payments made by foreign nationals to the president’s son, Hunter Biden, including during years when Joe Biden was serving as vice president.
The allegations, however, rely on exaggerations pushed by a far-right faction in the Republican Party that includes Gaetz.
The White House has rejected the claims as “unprecedented” and “unfounded,” adding that “in virtually all cases, [the claims] have been actively disproven.”
“They have turned up no evidence,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said this week. “This is a political stunt.”
Despite McCarthy’s announcement, Gaetz called the speaker’s impeachment plans a “baby step,” dismissing the inquiry Wednesday as “the same illusion and the same mirage” he’s used before.
McCarthy has responded to his colleague’s rhetoric with his own attacks, saying Gaetz was “upset about an ethics complaint.” The speaker was referencing an ongoing House Ethics Committee investigation into allegations Gaetz engaged in sexual misconduct and drug use.