Rep. Gaetz: Rosenstein needs to testify before Congress

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 26, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Tomorrow is going to be a red letter day for other developments, including the president's first sit-down with his deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein. That will be at the White House tomorrow. And it will concern his future there.

All of this after comments that Rod Rosenstein allegedly made back in 2017 wondering whether he should wear a wire and whether the president was fit for office, invoking, we're told, according to The New York Times, the 25th Amendment to kick him out of there.

So, what will happen tomorrow with the president? Does he fire him? Does maybe Rod Rosenstein quit? We simply have no way of gauging this.

Let's get the read from House Judiciary Committee member Matt Gaetz, who says that the guy should resign, but for other reasons.

You have a host of reasons, right, Congressman? Explain.


But what has come to light most frequently, I think, if you took it in the light most favorable to Rod Rosenstein, he would have been joking about wearing a wire on the president of the United States.

That is an inappropriate thing to do when you're leading the Justice Department. You don't make jokes about destabilizing the presidency in front of your colleagues and your subordinates and in an administration where there seems to be a culture in some places to resist the president, resist the commander in chief.

It seems as though that this is the type of contribution to that ecosystem that is very unhelpful. So it's my expectation that, if Rod Rosenstein is not before the House Judiciary Committee to give testimony about what happened and the context, that we may force a vote on his impeachment.

CAVUTO: So, if the president is saying, I want you to stay, Rod, and then you're working with your colleagues, including those in the House Freedom Caucus and elsewhere -- I know you're not part of that caucus -- but saying, we kick the guy out, you guys are not on the same page.

GAETZ: Well, we have an obligation that is separate and distinct from the president's, Neil.

Our job is not to work for the president. We work within the Congress to conduct oversight on the Department of Justice. It's literally our job in the Judiciary Committee. So, I wouldn't care if it was a Republican president, a Democrat, a president I liked or didn't like.

If you have employees at the Justice Department making these kinds of jokes, or maybe it was a joke to try to gauge people's reaction to see if it would lead to further conduct. We don't know. But I think it's really bad for the country to be addressing these questions in the absence of facts on the record under oath.

And that's why Mark Meadows is meeting right now with Speaker Paul Ryan to see if we will be able to secure a hearing for Mr. Rosenstein to give that sworn testimony before the Congress breaks for October.

CAVUTO: All right, we don't know what really happened and whether he really made these remarks, or whether they were in jest or in earnest or whether they're taken out of contest, nor do we know maybe how things have changed in the year or so since they were allegedly made.

So, so much we don't know.

But, Congressman, I'm curious to get your gauge on -- let's say you get what you want. Maybe be careful what you wish for, because now you have a guy who would turn into a witness for James Comey, and -- or certainly Bob Mueller, going back to the Mueller -- the Comey firing and everything else.

And that could create an even bigger mess for the president. Right?

GAETZ: I don't think it's about making a mess for the president.

I think it's about transparency for the American people. Whether the information is good, bad, truthful, untruthful, I always think it's good for the country to have these things play out in open hearings, rather than in rumors and leaks and innuendo, because then you really don't know what's going on.

So I think that the American people are pretty smart. They can make a good judgment, but we have got to be able to have the facts together. And if Rosenstein offers testimony or information that's unflattering to the president, you're right. We have got to be able to deal with that.

CAVUTO: All right, real quickly, this concerns again the Judiciary Committee on the Senate side urging, that is the Democrat, to postpone the hearing.

As I told you, sir, many of the Democrats think that it's just a sort of a combination of charges here, that the judge is damaged goods and should step aside. How do you feel about that?

GAETZ: Well, I think it's particularly disappointing that Senator Hirono from Hawaii is actually fund-raising off of this, making statements about the appointment and the advice and consent role of the Senate, and then using it to try to generate campaign contributions.

That is not helpful to the process we're in. I also think, Neil, it's really dangerous if we simply say that the sum of allegations, the volume of allegations is sufficient to not have to test the veracity or truthfulness or legitimacy of those allegations.

We do not want to live in a country where the allegation and the conviction are synonymous. We have got to be able to test those claims. And I think that the Senate set up a fair procedure to do that. And I think that will be able to gauge the credibility and then move forward with the nomination.

CAVUTO: All right, we will see what happens.

Congressman, thank you very much.

There's no response from Chuck Grassley on this call. He's repeatedly denied the necessity of having to postpone anything or put off a vote or do any of things that some of the Democrats are demanding, not the least of which is saying Kavanaugh should step down.

Not happening, at least in the eyes of Republicans and the judge himself.


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