Rep. Matt Gaetz says a second special counsel is needed to hold the FBI and DOJ accountable regarding potential FISA abuses; FNC's Jeanine Pirro interviews Gaetz.
"We cannot live in a country where losing an election functions as de facto immunity deal," Gaetz said about the continuing investigation into the Clinton campaign's 2016 tactics.
"I did sit down with the attorney general," Gaetz explained. "Along with Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and many others. And I was disappointed that the attorney general didn't seem to be very engaged on any of these issues regarding existential threats to the Trump administration. He was deferring to a team that answered to Rod Rosenstein for goodness sakes and it was Rosenstein's very signatures that reauthorized these wiretaps based on false information that the Department of Justice and FBI knew was false information."
Gaetz added: "So, I think we need a more engaged attorney general."
"It was the members of the Rosenstein team that were present and when members of Congress asked Jeff Sessions to be more assertive and take action on second special counsel, he deferred to staff members," he explained.
"I fear, Judge, that Jeff Sessions has become an employee at the Department of Justice and he’s not fulfilling his duties as attorney general."
PIRRO: Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz calling for a special counsel, a second special counsel. He joins us now. All right. Good evening, Congressman.
GAETZ: Good evening, Judge.
PIRRO: All right. Now, you are renewing as are many Republican congressmen, the request for a second special counsel. Now, I imagine that most viewers are saying they did it before. Why should it happen now and what's new that they are asking for it again?
GAETZ: Well, judge, the last time we spoke about the ability for Democrats to convert political cash into a government-sponsored warrant to spy on members of the Trump transition team, you said you wanted to see people led away in handcuffs.
GAETZ: Not just fired but led away in handcuffs.
Well, you know what? The FBI and the Department of Justice aren't going to be putting the handcuffs on themselves to lead a second special counsel just as Congressman Lee Zeldin has recommended so we can take the findings of the IG report, we can take the information we have learned in congressional hearings and actually have prosecutions because my fear is that if we don't have a second special counsel, this will turn out a lot like the Benghazi investigation where we learn a lot about facts but no one is really held accountable.
PIRRO: You know what bothers me, Congressman, is that given the FBI and the Department of Justice, dilatory approach, you know, to everything, from the hanging over of emails from the redactions, from the outright refusal by even the FBI director saying, well, we will work out what we're going to give Congress which has oversight over justice and the FBI, you know, it seems to me that they -- it is impossible, they basically have said everything but we dare you because we're not going to do anything anyway.
What do we do about this?
GAETZ: Well, Congress doesn't have the power to throw people in jail but we have the responsibility to find the evidence and show it to the American people. And to your point, Judge Jeanine, if we had not had congressional oversight and hearings and subpoenas, we wouldn't even know about the text messages between Pete Strzok and Lisa Page that demonstrate a substantial anti-Trump pro-Hillary bias.
You mentioned Andrew McCabe earlier, his testimony before the judiciary committee in closed session showed me that Hillary Clinton was never really put in jeopardy as a result of her use of a private email server and the leaking of classified information because she had people that were running interference for her at the DOJ.
PIRRO: What do you say to people who say I am so sick and tired of this Clinton email investigation thing, let it go? What do you say to them?
GAETZ: Well, we cannot live in a country where losing an election functions as de facto immunity deal. If people broke the law, they have to be held accountable, because if we just allow that to happen, then we invite that type of crime in the future. That's why the rule of law matters and now, the Clintons, they’ve got decades of ignoring the rule of law and never being held accountable. And we’ve got a chance to change it and we should take that opportunity.
PIRRO: So, what are the chances of getting a special counsel, a second special counsel?
GAETZ: Well, that is up to Jeff Sessions, and frankly, I’m very disappointed.
PIRRO: Is he a guy who took himself off within 24, 48 hours of being appointed the attorney general? He tells the president I’m recusing myself. I mean, this is beyond the pale.
Jeff Sessions is not going to do it. Jeff Sessions says, I’m getting an inspector general. Oh, we can spend another year and a half on inspector general coming up with a conclusion. The inspector general doesn’t have the right to go to a grand jury and subpoena anybody. So, what is this guy doing?
GAETZ: Well, if Jeff Sessions does not appoint a second special counsel, then we need new attorney general, Judge, because you are absolutely right, even if we learn more horrifying things from the inspector general, we can't actually prosecute somebody for those things because we would need somebody to be able to bring that case and the Department of Justice and FBI obviously won't be bringing a case against themselves.
So, Jeff Sessions needs to get rid of this mind set that dereliction of duty and he needs to do what Congress has called for and appoint a second special counsel to get to the bottom of this.
PIRRO: But Jeff Sessions, you know, said he was considering that and considering investigating certain cases. I don't know whether it was the email thing or the foundation, whatever it was. He kind of -- he gave us all hope a few months back. Nothing has happened from that either.
The president doesn't appear that he is going to get rid of sessions, right? Because, you know, everybody I’m sure will have a conniption and all his senator friends will say it's a Saturday night massacre. So, I mean, does America just kind of keep moving as though it doesn't matter who violates the law?
GAETZ: I never under estimate the power of the American people. Remember when there were some people in the intelligence community who didn't even want to release the Nunes memo. But because tens of thousands of Americans contacted their members of Congress and demanded transparency, we got it.
And that's why the American people need to back up what Lee Zeldin and many other members of Congress are fighting for to get a second special counsel so that people are held accountable and thrown in jail for the crimes committed against the Trump administration during the transition.
PIRRO: All right. And, finally, you know, you guys now are really pushing hard on this. Do you have meetings with the attorney general? I mean, have you sat down with him and said, you know, maybe -- you know, over a glass of milk, a glass of bourbon, I mean, whatever, and said, come on, somewhat problem here?
GAETZ: I did sit down with the attorney general, along with Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and many others. And I was disappointed that the attorney general didn't seem to be very engaged on any of these issues regarding existential threats to the Trump administration. He was deferring to a team that answered to Rod Rosenstein for goodness sakes and it was Rosenstein's very signatures that reauthorized these wiretaps based on false information that the Department of Justice and FBI knew was false information.
So, I think we need a more engaged attorney general.
PIRRO: Well, was the attorney general in the company of Rod Rosenstein at that point or Rosenstein's chief of staff as I understand usually is?
GAETZ: It was the members of the Rosenstein team that were present and when members of Congress asked Jeff Sessions to be more assertive and take action on second special counsel, he deferred to staff members.
GAETZ: I fear, Judge, that Jeff Sessions has become an employee at the Department of Justice and he’s not fulfilling his duties as attorney general.