The Republican congressman has every reason to be concerned.
Former special counsel Robert Mueller is set to testify before two House committees on July 17, and at least one top Trump defender is scared.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said on Fox News on Tuesday night that he's scared Mueller's public testimony will lead to Trump's impeachment.
"I hope we are not in store for 'impeachment-by-surprise,' as this seems to feed into the elements of the Democratic Party that are more focused on President Trump — and sort of relitigating the Mueller report — than in dealing with the humanitarian crisis at the border or dealing with many of the other challenges that I think a lot of swing-district Democrats would like to be working on at this time," Gaetz said, after two House Democratic committee chairs announced Mueller's testimony.
First, Gaetz has reason to be worried.
Hearing Mueller testify in public about the contents of his report — which detail the Trump campaign's coziness with Russia and Trump's multiple attempts to obstruct justice — could be extremely compelling to the public. By hearing Mueller highlight parts of the report out loud, it could grow the public demand for impeachment, putting Trump and Republicans in a bad place.
And that would be especially bad for Gaetz, who has said that protecting Trump is his No. 1 goal as a member of Congress.
"I don't know how I'd fit into this place in the absence of the president," Gaetz told BuzzFeed News back 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," Gaetz added at the time.
Of course, Gaetz attempting to criticize Mueller's testimony by saying that Democrats are focused on the Mueller investigation rather than other things — such as the humanitarian crisis on the border — is complete and total hogwash.
As Gaetz was running his mouth on Fox News, House Democrats passed a bill that provides more aid to address the problems at the border, while at the same time adding protections to ensure that immigrant children aren't being jailed in unsafe and unsanitary conditions by Trump border officials. Just three Republicans voted for the aid package, and Trump is expected to veto it because he wants the power to jail more kids.
Ultimately, Republicans like Gaetz are worried about Mueller's testimony. And for good reason — it could lead to embarrassment or worse for the lawless president they've been running defense for.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.