Representatives erupt at committee hearing on holding Bannon in contempt: 'Blah, blah, blah'

·3 min read

Reps. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., traded barbs on Wednesday during a House Rules Committee meeting on a resolution recommending that the House hold former President Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt after he denied a congressional subpoena.

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol voted earlier this week to hold Bannon in contempt. They approved a contempt report that is set to recommend charges against Bannon, who was in contact with Trump prior to the riot.

Gaetz, who appeared before the meeting on Wednesday, criticized the panel and other lawmakers for focusing on Bannon instead of supply chain shortages, immigration and other issues.

“Here we are, reviewing Steve Bannon’s podcast. You know, the average American, when they wake up, I don’t think one of the first hundred things they think about is Steve Bannon’s podcast, the things he said before or after Jan. 6,” the Florida lawmaker said.

But Raskin, a member of the House Rules Committee, pressed Gaetz on the 2020 presidential election.

Raskin asked Gaetz, “Do you accept that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election?” Gaetz responded, "I accept that Joe Biden is the president” before criticizing mail-in ballots used in the election last year.

The Maryland lawmaker then asked Gaetz about claims of election fraud, posing “Do you agree that 61 different federal and state courts, including 8 judges that Donald Trump appointed himself to the federal bench, have rejected every claim of electoral corruption or fraud that have been advanced?”

Gaetz criticized the handling of election cases by many courts, and Raskin continued to press his fellow lawmaker on evidence for electoral fraud.

"That might work on Steve Bannon’s podcast, but that’s not going to work in the Rules Committee of the United States House of Representatives,” Raskin said.

Watch: What to know about Breitbart News co-founder and Trump advisor, Steve Bannon

Washington: January 6 committee votes to hold Steve Bannon in contempt

Raskin also questioned Gaetz on why he voted against the formation of a commission to investigate the insurrection on Jan. 6, and the two continued to disagree until Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., the chair of the House Rules Committee, had to ask the pair to not speak over each other as a stenographer struggled to record their comments.

And as Gaetz continued to criticize Democratic lawmakers, Raskin responded “Blah, blah, blah.”

The interaction quickly caught the eye of journalists and other social media users on Twitter.

Bannon’s attorneys notified the committee that he would refuse investigators’ requests last week, citing executive privilege. Bannon served as White House chief strategist early in the Trump presidency before leaving in August 2017.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gaetz, Raskin argue at hearing over holding Bannon in contempt

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