Speaking as the House debates a vote on impeaching President Trump a second time, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., was loudly booed after he accused Democrats of setting cities on fire over the summer.
Gaetz, one of Trump’s closest allies and defenders, called impeachment “an itch that doesn’t go away with just one scratch,” referred to what he called the “the Biden crime family” and mentioned the same false claims about a wrongfully decided election that led to last week’s Capitol riot.
“I denounce political violence from all ends of the spectrum,” Gaetz said. “But make no mistake, the left in America has incited far more political violence than the right. For months, our cities burned, police stations burned, our businesses shattered.”
“Some cited the metaphor that the president lit the flame, well they lit actual flames, actual fires,” Gaetz said, drawing loud boos from Democrats as he pointed to their side of the chamber. “And we have to put them out.”
According to a pool report, as Gaetz began his speech, Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., lifted his right hand and pointed his finger to his head and twirled it as if to signal that Gaetz is crazy. He later shook his head several times through Gaetz’s speech.
Democrats shouted back at Gaetz as he ended his speech, giving him a smattering of boos and calling for “order” as the chair used the gavel to try to calm the scene.
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