Last week, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz proposed a piece of legislation that would defund the investigations into former President Donald Trump conducted by Special Counsel Jack Smith. Gaetz is no stranger to controversy and this measure has caused quite a stir.
Gaetz understands that it is unlikely that his bill will pass but he believes it serves an important purpose in letting American voters know exactly where their representatives stand on the issue. The Florida Republican said he wants to give them “a chance to weigh in” before any decisions are made about the investigations into Trump.
The bill has sparked debate among both Republicans and Democrats, with some arguing it is simply part of a political game and others believing it could help bring transparency and accountability to the process.
Supporters argue that defunding the investigation would prevent unfair or excessive spending on what they deem as an unnecessary investigation into the former president’s activities while opponents contend that such measures could hinder justice from being served.
“Rep. Gaetz’s bill would block federal funds authorized or appropriated by federal law or any funds in any trust fund of the federal government from being used for Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office and investigation,” Gaetz’s office noted in a statement.
“On July 18th, 2023, President Donald J. Trump released a statement indicating he is the target of the investigation by Special Counsel Smith related to January 6th. This indicates Special Counsel Smith’s office has engaged in election interference by using his investigation to go after President Trump, who public polling has indicated is the leading contender in the 2024 Republican primary for president,” the statement continued.
“In addition, his office has lacked transparency, failing to answer correspondence from my office to produce specific documents related to his staff and the investigation,” the statement added.
“The government is being weaponized to go after President Donald J. Trump. The House of Representatives must defund Jack Smith’s office and end the witch hunt,” said Gaetz. “The power of the purse is not some intermittent thing that we wield every fiscal cycle.
“It’s something that we have to wield day in and day out to achieve victory for our people and to stop this. I’m under no illusion that the Democrats will bring such legislation up in the Senate, but the American people deserve to know where members of Congress stand,” he said.
The Florida Republican’s bill comes as Robert Hur, a special counsel appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate President Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, hasn’t been heard from much since he was authorized in January.
It also comes as Trump predicted last week that Smith would soon indict him over the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
“I will be introducing legislation to DEFUND Jack Smith’s witch hunt against President Trump,” Gaetz wrote on Twitter, now called “X,” just hours after Trump’s announcement on Truth Social.
“They are attacking our democracy and engaging in election interference right now. The United States Congress has the capability to stop this election interference, and we must act immediately!” Gaetz noted further, per Fox News.
GOP lawmaker ripped what he described as a “lack of transparency” from the Justice Department regarding who is actually involved in the probe, referencing concerns about “the team of vicious Democrats” who were a part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s ‘Russia collusion’ probe stemming from Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Fox News added:
Gaetz’s bill comes after Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 federal charges stemming from Smith’s investigation into his alleged improper retention of classified records at Mar-a-Lago last month.
The charges include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements. The indictment is the first time in U.S. history that a former president has faced federal criminal charges.
Trump is also facing 34 felony charges in New York for allegedly falsifying business records.
“Deranged Jack Smith, the prosecutor with Joe Biden’s DOJ, sent a letter (again, it was Sunday night!) stating that I am a TARGET of the January 6th Grand Jury investigation, and giving me a very short 4 days to report to the Grand Jury, which almost always means an Arrest and Indictment,” Trump posted on his Truth Social platform