Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

On Thursday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) joined Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Geraldo Rivera to discuss the ousting of Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from the Intel Committee by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

Hannity began the segment arguing that Schiff and Swalwell do not deserve an assignment on the Intel Committee nor a security clearance asking Geraldo, “do you support these guys?”

“I am not and the reason is when Speaker Pelosi deemed that Jim Banks and Jim Jordan were unsuitable to be on the January 6th Committee, that to me was political vengeance. Now good for the goose, good for the gander,” Geraldo said. “The fact that McCarthy is doing it now, they should have known that it’s just a matter of time. Political cycles work their way through and then if you do it to me, I’m going to do it back to you.”

“What I am absolutely outraged by though is how this new Congress is just a reflection of the last Congress. It’s a do-nothing Congress. What in the world are they there for? Matt Gaetz, why are you pursuing Adam Schiff and passing legislation to get him barred from intelligence?” Geraldo demanded in reference to a resolution introduced by the congressman to bar Rep. Schiff from receiving intelligence information. Geraldo then went on to ask what Gaetz is doing for the American people that will bring tangible results to their everyday lives. 

“I think that if you look at the work of the House of Representatives today, we were passing legislation to stop Joe Biden from playing politics with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and you’re absolutely right,” Gaetz said during the interview, adding, “we ought to pursue claw backs where there is fraud in a lot of these programs and we ought to do that before we raise the debt limit. We ought to impose work requirements.”

“Come observe a Congress that is quite different from the last Congress for no other reason than during the battle for the speakership we demanded open rules, open amendments,” the congressman explained. “Today we took votes on 20 amendments some by Democrats some by Republicans. But certainly, no one can defend Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell.”

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“These are people who made careers leaking and then embroidering lies on to those very leaks,” the Florida congressman stated. “And Adam Schiff doesn’t just go on TikTok to publish information, a real critique we have is that for three years when Republicans wanted access to intelligence about the origin of the coronavirus, Adam Schiff was essentially the blocking tackle for the Chinese Communist Party and didn’t get that information out in front of the public.”

Geraldo then went on to claim that the 20 GOP congressmen who stood in opposition to McCarthy were causing “torture” for the speaker and asked what they wanted to get out of the fight.

“So first of all I’ve got some constituents in the military who can talk about real torture, I don’t think sitting through 15 votes quite qualifies. But here’s what we were fighting for,” Gaetz said. “We believe that instead of having omnibus spending legislation that comes to us with only a few hours to consider thousands of pages and then vote on something that funds every agency of the government all at once. We should take individual votes on appropriations bills.”

“That’s a concession we didn’t have when voting began, it’s one we earned by the time it ended. We also believe that when bills are considered they should comport to a single subject so I don’t have to do what I’ve done in the past where I’m voting on the Farm Bill and at the same time you’re voting on whether or not there’s going to be war powers in Yemen,” he explained. “We also wanted open amendments so Republicans or Democrats could offer germane adjustments to legislation and everyone could offer votes on these things. Members of Congress, speakers, they come and go.”

Despite Geraldo’s best attempts to pin down Gaetz, the congressman effectively communicated his position on Schiff and Swalwell while showcasing why he was one of the leaders of the GOP opposition. Gaetz fought for every representative while opposing Speaker McCarthy and the result was a Congress that works for the American people and empowers individual lawmakers. 

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