Rep. Louie Gohmert of East Texas, one of President Trump’s staunchest defenders on the House Judiciary Committee, launched into a public temper tantrum during Monday’s impeachment hearing.
“I’m gonna use my five minutes but not to ask questions,” Gohmert said when it was his turn to question the witnesses, before launching into an anti-impeachment screed.
Earlier in the day, he stormed out of the hearing room during opening statements.
Upon his return to the hearing, Gohmert tried to muddy the waters by discussing topics unrelated to the impeachment inquiry revolving around Trump and Ukraine.
“Of course [Trump] could fire Mueller,” he yelled. “He could fire or not fire Mueller, he could appoint a special prosecutor to invest [sic] Mueller.”
Gohmert also ranted about treason, claiming Democrats did not have enough witnesses to make a treason case– yet, as one of the witnesses pointed out, the impeachable offenses Trump is accused of are abuse of power and bribery, not treason.
Rancher and small businessman Hank Gilbert is mounting a Democratic challenge against Gohmert in 2020.
“Louie Gohmert has been an embarrassment to our district for years,” Gilbert said in a statement regarding Gohmert’s behavior in the impeachment hearing. “Today, he just widened his reach by embarrassing us in front of the more than 10 million people watching the hearings.”
Monday’s flash of anger by the Texas congressman is the latest in a string of erratic incidents throughout the impeachment process. After last week’s Judiciary hearing, where constitutional law experts from Harvard and Stanford testified that Trump’s actions were impeachable, Gohmert said, “Don’t let your babies grow up to go to Harvard or Stanford law school.”
Last month, Gohmert invoked the threat of civil war after the House voted to authorize the impeachment inquiry.