Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said he would be willing to give up his House seat to join former President Donald Trump’s defense team during his second impeachment trial if asked to do so.
During a “War Room: Pandemic” interview with Steve Bannon, Trump’s former White House strategist, Gaetz detailed that he and other legislators had discussed the idea of defending Trump, although the House Ethics Committee said they could not because they belong to Congress.
According to Fox News, the Gaetz initially offered to represent Trump through Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, a few weeks ago.
“When ethics advised that sitting House members couldn’t do it, the conversations ceased,” Gaetz said.
“I love my district, I love representing them, but I view this cancelation of the Trump presidency and the Trump movement as one of the major risks to my people both in my district and all throughout this great country,” he said.
“Absolutely, if the president called me and wanted me to go defend him on the floor of the Senate, that would be the top priority in my life,” Gaetz continued, reiterating, “I would leave my House seat, I would leave my home, I would do anything I had to do to ensure that the greatest president in my lifetime—one of the greatest presidents our country has ever had, maybe the greatest president our country has ever had—got a full-throated defense that wasn’t crouched down,” Gaetz added.
South Carolina attorneys Butch Bower and Deborah Barbier, as well as former federal prosecutors Greg Harris, Johnny Gasser, and Josh Howard parted ways as part of Trump’s defense and in exchange announced the integration of trial lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor Jr.
According to a statement from the Office of the Former President, “45th President Donald J. Trump today announced that highly respected trial lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor Jr., will head his impeachment defense legal team, bringing national profiles and significant trial experience in high-profile cases to the effort.”
Last month, the House voted to impeach former President Trump as his final days in office passed. The impeachment is scheduled to take place over the next week.
According to Fox News, Trump will most likely be acquitted given that 45 of 50 Republicans in the Senate voted to dismiss the impeachment on a point of order brought by Sen. Rand Pau (R-Ky.).
Paul forced a vote on the point of order on impeachment, arguing that the Senate should not accept the House’s single article of impeachment against former President Trump on the grounds that he has since left office.
“If you voted that it was unconstitutional, how in the world would you ever vote to convict somebody for this? (…) This vote indicates it’s over. The trial is all over,” Paul asserted, according to National Review.