Rep. Matt Gaetz slams 'outrageous hypocrisy' at the DOJ

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 30, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TRISH REGAN, GUEST HOST: My next guest has said if Jeff Sessions doesn't appoint a second special counsel, then we need a new attorney general. Does he still feel that way?

Let's ask Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz.

Congressman, good to see you.

I know how much you wanted to see a second prosecutor here. You didn't get one, at least not yet. Does that mean you want Sessions to resign?

REP. MATT GAETZ, R-FLORIDA: Well, I think the attorney general needs to do his job.

And what we have seen in the latest developments is a positive step, but it still highlights the outrageous hypocrisy that exists at the Department of Justice, Trish.

When you have Bob Miller find out that he wasn't going to come back and lead the FBI again, Rod Rosenstein appointed him to go after the president within 24 hours with no evidence of collusion.

Here, we have evidence of wrongdoing, and, at the Department of Justice, they think that one of their own employees can investigate it. No reasonable American believes that someone can investigate their own boss.

And since Mr. Rosenstein's conduct is implicated here, we need someone from outside the chain of command in the Department of Justice. And I still think there's a lot of work to be done. This is a positive step, but it's not nearly enough.

REGAN: Does it make sense in any way to say, look, we are going to see what is in the I.G. report, we are going to have a lawyer look at that, and then, based on what we find there, we will determine whether or not there's a special prosecutor down the road?

I mean, bringing in a special prosecutor obviously in anything is kind of a big deal. And so do they want to make sure that they're dotting their I's and crossing the T's here?

GAETZ: Well, you're right that it's a big deal.

It's a big deal when you have got to fire the deputy director of the FBI because he lies four times, twice under oath. It's also a big deal when you have got to reassign people off the Mueller probe, when you have got cash at the Democratic National Committee that is convertible into a warrant to spy on American citizens.

It's a huge deal when you have got people of the Department of Justice and FBI making fundamental misrepresentations to the FISA court. We already know all of that. We don't need an inspector general's report. Those are facts that exist in the record.

So, when the attorney general says there have to be extraordinary circumstances to appoint a special counsel, I'm wondering, what in the world is Jeff Sessions waiting for? We have all of the facts necessary to justify the appointment of a special counsel, and we sure have more of a factual basis now than there ever was to appoint a special counsel to investigate the president.

REGAN: Well, what is he waiting for? What do you think is the reason why Jeff Sessions didn't appoint a special prosecutor? Tell me.

GAETZ: I don't even think Jeff Sessions made the decision.

I think that Jeff Sessions has become an employee of the Department of Justice and that Rod Rosenstein is calling all the shots. Rosenstein knows that his own conduct is implicated because he signed one of the renewals of the FISA warrants to spy on an American using as the basis this political dirt that came from the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC.

And, like, this reminds me of the scene from "The Departed" where Matt Damon is essentially tasked to find the leak, and he is the leak. The problem is at the Department of Justice, and so we need someone from outside of the Department of Justice to do the investigation.

That is basic due process. And we have failed the American people by not having a special counsel appointed to look at what people within the deep state were involved in going after spying on Americans with an improper basis.

REGAN: So, you say you want Sessions to do his job. In your view, he's not doing his job because he hasn't appointed a special counsel.

So, therefore, Representative, must he resign, in your estimation?

GAETZ: Look, I always want to hold out hope that, at any given moment, the attorney general will step up and do his job. I'm not going to get into the H.R. of hiring and firing in the Trump administration.

That would be a full-time job to comment on. But my belief is that what we really need to do is hold hearings in the Judiciary Committee to highlight the double standard that is at play here.

There was clearly a different set of circumstances for the hiring of the special counsel to go after the president than we have got now. And it's clear that people at the Department of Justice who are engaged in wrongdoing want one of their own employees investigating them.

That is not fair. That does not uphold the rule of law in this country.

REGAN: So, Representative, do you want Chairman Goodlatte to do that -- it sounds like you do -- hold these additional inquiries? And is he willing? Will that happen?

GAETZ: Well, we will find out. Yes, we will find out.

And I'm glad that Chairman Goodlatte is going to be on the show in the near future to be able to discuss that. But I suspect we have got to understand, what are the criteria for a special counsel? And if those criteria were met to hire a special counsel to go after President Trump, clearly, they are met when you have got a politicized FBI and Department of Justice, with all of the facts that the American people have already seen, with the facts that were outlined in the Devin Nunes memo, and even more that has come to light in the report from the Office of Professional Responsibility on Andrew McCabe.

So, we have got a lot of evidence here that there was wrongdoing. And we cannot have the Department of Justice investigate themselves. That is ludicrous.

REGAN: You are fired up over this. All right, we will see what the next steps are.

GAETZ: I am.

REGAN: We will be looking to maybe see some hearings there at the committee. Thank you so much, Representative Matt Gaetz. Good to see you.

GAETZ: Good to see you.


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