Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was handed a tricky situation in the form of the Matt Gaetz scandal, but one with a rather easy and obvious solution. Unfortunately for McCarthy, he’s in so deeply over his head, he managed to fumble it completely.
McCarthy is facing repeated questions about removing Matt Gaetz from his committee assignments. This is a big deal, because Gaetz sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees the FBI, which is in turn criminally investigating him. As a practical matter Gaetz can’t use his position to influence the investigation, since the Democrats control the committee. But it’s nonetheless a situation that, on principle, can’t stand.
Kevin McCarthy has an easy way out. All he has to do is announce that in the name of propriety, he’s pulling Matt Gaetz from the House Judiciary Committee until the federal investigation concludes – and that if Gaetz is exonerated, he’ll be reinstated.
Instead Kevin McCarthy is stupid enough to keep insisting that he’ll only pull Matt Gaetz from committees if he’s indicted. This means McCarthy is leaving a guy on the House Judiciary Committee who’s currently under federal criminal investigation for underage sex trafficking, which in turn means that the media is going to keep pestering McCarthy about it every day. McCarthy is in over his head and drowning in it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report