Meadows says Matt Gaetz should be part of Trump's impeachment defense team

Meadows says Matt Gaetz should be part of Trump's impeachment defense team
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsMeadows says Trump's blood oxygen level was dangerously low when he had COVID-19 Trump came in contact with 500 people between first positive test and hospitalization: report Kevin McCarthy is hostage to the GOP's 'exotic wing' MORE (R-N.C.) said Thursday that he believes Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzMcCarthy faces headaches from far-right House GOP McCarthy pleads with Republicans to stop infighting: 'Congress is not junior high' GOP infighting just gets uglier MORE (R-Fla.) should be among the GOP lawmakers given a role on President TrumpDonald TrumpMan sentenced to nearly four years for running scam Trump, Biden PACs Meadows says Trump's blood oxygen level was dangerously low when he had COVID-19 Trump endorses David Perdue in Georgia's governor race MORE's impeachment defense team.

Meadows, appearing on "War Room: Impeachment," told former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon that it was "imperative" the president's defense team include individuals with an intimate knowledge of the witness testimony and other evidence from the House impeachment process.

"If I had to pick a team, I would say you get in Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanWith extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one Jim Jordan reveals he had COVID-19 this summer The Memo: Gosar censured, but toxic culture grows MORE [R-Ohio]. You get in a Matt Gaetz. You put your 'A Team' — a John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeThis Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead DOJ charges two Iranians with interference in 2020 election In dramatic shift, national intelligence director does not rule out 'extraterrestrial' origins for UFOs MORE [R-Texas]," Meadows said.

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Meadows, who is not seeking reelection, also did not rule out the possibility of playing some role himself in Trump's defense strategy. But he was particularly supportive of Gaetz, a firebrand Republican and Trump defender who produced a number of viral moments in the impeachment proceedings.

"He had one of the greatest performances in the Judiciary, and I say performances because he brought the truth," Meadows said.

"Listen, everybody wants to have their day in the sunshine," Meadows continued. "This is not a time to play politics, this is a time to put your best team on there and I think Matt Gaetz would be one of them."

The House voted last month to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. No Republicans voted for either article.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDole in final column: 'Too many of us have sacrificed too much' Dole to lie in state in Capitol Rotunda House to vote on Uyghur bill amid diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics MORE (D-Calif.) has yet to send the articles over to the Senate amid negotiations over the terms of a Senate trial. Democrats have said they'd like Trump administration officials to testify, but Republicans have indicated they prefer a shorter trial that ends in Trump's acquittal.

The White House has not made any formal announcements about its legal team for the trial, though White House counsel Pat Cipollone is expected to play a leading role. Trump met last month with Ratcliffe, Jordan and other firebrand lawmakers believed to be under consideration for a part on his defense team.

Gaetz, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, caused a ruckus in October when he led other Republicans into a closed-door deposition in a secure room at the Capitol to protest a perceived lack of transparency in the impeachment process.

The Florida congressman also received attention for his intense questioning of a Democratic witness on a panel of law professors weighing in on impeachable conduct. He brought up Hunter Biden's substance abuse issues in a later hearing.