Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL) says he loves his district and his constituents — but that doesn’t mean he’s not willing to step down from his seat in the U.S. House to fight for what he believes in most.
According to the New York Post, Gaetz announced during an interview Wednesday that he’d submit his resignation if asked to defend former President Donald Trump in his upcoming Senate impeachment trial.
“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 said on the War Room Pandemic podcast with host Steve Bannon, as the Post reported.
A second trial
Gaetz’s comments came as the Senate is gearing up to decide whether to convict Trump on a single article of impeachment passed by the House over the former president’s alleged role in inciting a violent riot at the U.S. Capitol last month.
It’s the second time Trump will face a trial in the upper chamber; a year ago Friday, the then-president was acquitted of charges stemming from a controversial phone call he held with Ukraine’s leadership, as MarketWatch reported.
This time around, Gaetz wants to ensure Trump sees the same result.
“A full-throated defense”
Speaking Wednesday, the congressman vowed that he’d leave his job, his home, and everything in between to ensure Trump gets “a full-throated defense,” as the New York Post reported.
“I would leave my House seat, I would leave my home, I would do anything I had to do,” the Republican said, “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, that wasn’t in fear of losing some moderate Republican senator, but that was worthy of the fight that he gave to the great people of this country for four years.”
Gaetz went on: “I love my district. I love representing them. But I view this cancellation 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.”
A look ahead
Of course, Gaetz isn’t the only member of the GOP who’s willing to go to bat for the former president. As recently as last week, The Hill reported that the Senate Republicans had signaled readiness to acquit Trump by voting overwhelmingly against moving forward with the trial on the grounds that it’s unconstitutional.
After all, Trump is no longer the president, and it’s still up in the air whether it’s legal to convict a private citizen on impeachment charges.
Some, including Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, suggested such a move would set a dangerous precedent. According to The Hill, Cornyn pressed: “Could we go back and try President Obama?”