In an extraordinary moment, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) offered an amendment to the articles of impeachment mentioning Hunter Biden — and proceeded to highlight the former vice president’s son and his past substance abuse problem.
This stunned at least one Democrat, who cited lawmakers who might have their own personal problems, an implicit mention of Gaetz and his 2008 DUI arrest.
“The pot calling the kettle black is not something that we should do,” said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), without specifically naming Gaetz.
While he was arrested for alleged drunken driving in 2008, Gaetz was never convicted. Local media in Florida, where the incident occurred, have raised questions about whether he received special treatment because his father was high-ranking local politician.
The moment, which momentarily left the room silent as Johnson awaited for Gaetz to respond, came after Gaetz introduced his amendment to include in the articles of impeachment a mention of Burisma and Hunter Biden’s role on the Ukrainian gas company’s board.
Hunter Biden, who has struggled with substance abuse, was paid $50,000 a month though he had no apparent experience related to the position.
Republicans argue he was hired merely because his father was vice president at the time.
Gaetz highlighted Hunter’s struggles with substance abuse, taking the room through an incident depicted in a New Yorker article, where Hunter was in a rental car crash. According to the story, the Hertz rental officer who oversaw the incident told the journalist he found a crack pipe in the car and white powder reside.
“I don’t want to make light of anybody’s substance abuse issues … but it’s a little hard to believe that Burisma hired Hunter Biden to resolve their international disputes when he could not resolve his own dispute with Hertz rental car over leaving cocaine and a crack pipe in the car,” Gaetz said.
When Johnson spoke up about “the pot calling the kettle black,” he continued: “I don’t know what members, if any, have had any problems with substance abuse, been busted on DUI. I don’t know. But if I did, I wouldn’t raise it against anyone on this committee. I don’t think it’s proper.”
Gaetz looked down and didn’t respond.
In 2014, the Tampa Bay Times quoted him as saying, “I made bad decisions that resulted in an arrest, and that is sort of something that we all live with.”