During Thursday’s impeachment hearing, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee repeatedly tried to shift the focus from President Donald Trump’s apparent abuse of power to the Bidens — their goal being to establish that Trump had legitimate reasons to try and cajole the Ukrainian government into investigating one of his domestic political foes.
“There is clear evidence of wrongdoing between Hunter Biden, the former Vice President Joe Biden, and the Ukraine and the corporation Burisma,” Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) said early during Thursday’s hearing, despite the fact that there is no such evidence; and even if there was, the US president doesn’t normally personally ask foreign governments to investigate individual Americans. “So the idea that there was a smear [of the Bidens] going on — let’s look at the facts.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) took this effort to a new level when he went out of his way to bring up Hunter Biden’s well-documented substance abuse issues. But his effort backfired when Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) pointed out that Gaetz, who was arrested for driving under the influence in 2008 (the case was later dropped), doesn’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to trying to score points on substance problems.
While introducing an amendment to the articles of impeachment that would replace a reference to “Joe Biden” with references to Burisma and its “corrupt” hiring of Hunter Biden, Gaetz discussed how Hunter reportedly got into a car accident with a crack pipe in his rental car.
“It’s a little hard to believe that Burisma hired Hunter Biden to resolve their international disputes when he could not resolve his own dispute with Hertz rental car over leaving cocaine and a crack pipe in the car,” Gaetz said.
After he wrapped up, Johnson was recognized to speak. He immediately highlighted Gaetz’s hypocrisy.
!!! After @mattgaetz brings up Hunter Biden's drug problems, @RepHankJohnson alludes to Gaetz's DUI and says, "the pot calling the kettle black is not something we should do. I don't know which members, if any … have been busted in DUI. But if I did, I wouldn't raise it." pic.twitter.com/fHgxNUQ0Tg
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 12, 2019