The Republican congressman has a whole new way of attacking the FBI.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) alleged on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show Wednesday — without evidence — that threats against him are not being taken seriously by federal authorities because of his alliance with Trump and constant smears of the FBI.
Gaetz said the U.S. Attorneys Office had reviewed phone messages Gaetz received and determined they were "a non-threat," even though Gaetz believes such messages are "obviously" a crime.
"I just wonder, is it the fact that I've been a critic of some of the senior officials at the FBI that maybe leads to different treatment for the people who threaten me?" he asked.
"As opposed to the people who actually get arrested who have threatened [Democratic Reps.] Eric Swalwell, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib. Those people actually get arrested, whereas when people threaten conservatives — I hope there's not a double standard," Gaetz said.
Gaetz also retweeted conservative commentator Charlie Kirk, who claimed the FBI "ignored" threats made against the congresman. "Is it because Matt exposes FBI deep state corruption?" Kirk asked.
Gaetz announced in June that he would be pressing charges against a woman who threw a drink at him, speculating that without consequences someone may escalate to throwing urine.
Gaetz apparently believes any threats he receives should be treated the way the FBI has treated threats against other members of Congress, whether they pose the same risk to him or not. In April, the FBI arrested a man who made death threats against several members of Congress, but the failure to prosecute people leaving angry messages for Gaetz somehow suggests a "double standard" because of Gaetz's politics rather than the assessed threat level against him.
Gaetz has been one of Trump's staunchest defenders in Congress, pushing the conspiracy theory that the "deep state" is out to destroy the Trump presidency.
The devotion to Trump motivates Gaetz's congressional career.
"I don't know how I'd fit into this place in the absence of the president," Gaetz told Buzzfeed in March. "I wake up every day and I do what I can to expose what I believe is an intractable bias among the people who are investigating the president."
Meanwhile, Gaetz's ally, Trump, has been promoting rhetoric that raises the possibility of threats against officials.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, singled out Trump's racist tweets attacking four Democratic congresswomen in a letter to the chairman of the Capitol Police board.
"As you are familiar, inflammatory remarks targeting individuals on social media and in public arena were a central feature of the presidential campaign and now, presidency of Donald J. Trump," Thompson wrote. "The President's rhetoric may insinuate more attacks on Members of Congress."
Gaetz is pushing an attack against law enforcement while turning a blind eye to Trump's rhetoric that endangers lives.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.