Rep. Gaetz: House Democrats don't want transparency in impeachment inquiry

House Democrats want impeachment inquiry hearings kept secret and leaked as their prerogative because the Russia investigation failed to garner support, House Judiciary Committee member Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said Tuesday.

Republicans are calling the hearings – spearheaded by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – unfair and pointing to a lack of transparency.

Appearing on "America's Newsroom" with host Bill Hemmer, Gaetz recounted Schiff removing him from a closed-door hearing on Monday.


"It's like watching the Keystone cops run an impeachment where I've got Chairman [Jerrold] Nadler in the Judiciary committee announcing the beginning of this investigation, and then I've got Chairman Schiff literally throwing me out of the room," he told Hemmer, frustrated.

"And, I guess my question is: If the evidence is so good, why are House Democrats doing so much to keep it so secret?" asked Gaetz.

Gaetz, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, was told he had to leave because he was not a member of the House Intelligence Committee. The House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees are conducting the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

"The only reason the Judiciary committee has been excluded is because we've got a number of the president's strongest supporters on Judiciary," Gaetz added.

"We beat the Democrats on the Russia probe; they were unable to move numbers there. So, now you see Nancy Pelosi reshuffling the latest deck to try to get an outcome she wants, to exclude people like me who defend the president," he told Hemmer.

On Monday, former top National Security Council expert on Russia Fiona Hill testified before the committee. Hill, who left her job on the National Security Council just days before the July phone call between President Trump and Ukraine's president, was the first person who worked in the White House to be interviewed by House investigators.

Details from the hearing were later published in reports in The New York Times. Gaetz said those reports lack the "context or the completeness of a full transcript or a full review of the evidence."


"Before the investigation, they were willing to put Bob Mueller in front of the American people; they were willing to question Corey Lewandowski in front of everyone. ... The that it went tragically bad for them," he said.

"After those hearings, they were unable to gin up more support for impeachment," Gaetz continued. "So, the new strategy is to have limited public view of the evidence, do everything in the basement of the Capitol in secret – with I think only about 12 members participating – and then to selectively leak information to try to reshape how people view the president."

Gaetz concluded that the American people should be questioning the House Democrats' process.

"The American people should be asking, why does Nancy Pelosi enact a system that provides less due process for President Trump than Republicans provided for President Clinton? What is it about this impeachment of President Trump that is so different, that would have Nancy Pelosi go to such extreme measures to keep the evidence secret?"

Fox News' Andrew O'Reilly contributed to this report.