U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz faced criticism after dragging up Hunter Biden’s past cocaine use in Thursday’s impeachment hearing, with a Democratic colleague saying that the Florida Republican perhaps shouldn’t throw the first stone on the sensitive issue.
Gaetz — a staunch Trump ally — was arrested in 2008 for driving under the influence. During the hearing he introduced an amendment to strike Joe Biden’s name from the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump and replace it with his son’s.
Gaetz said the investigations Trump asked Ukraine to launch weren’t supposed to target the elder Biden, as the articles state, but rather Hunter Biden and his onetime seat on the board of gas company Burisma.
Then, the Florida congressman questioned how Burisma could have had a legitimate reason for putting Hunter Biden on its board, considering “a crack pipe” and “a plastic bag containing white powdery substance” were found in a Hertz rental car he once drove.
“That is what we would call evidence!” Gaetz mused, homing in on the baseless claim that the Bidens were involved in corrupt activity in Ukraine.
Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., gave Gaetz some of his own medicine.
“The pot calling the kettle black is not something that we should do,” Johnson said, prompting laughter from the audience, as Gaetz looked on in silence. “I don’t know what members, if any, have had any problems with substance abuse, been busted in 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.”
Police pulled over Gaetz and arrested him while he was driving back from a Florida Panhandle night club called The Swamp in October 2008. An arresting officer said in a police report that Gaetz admitted to having consumed a few beers, had bloodshot eyes, swayed and smelled of alcohol.
The charges against Gaetz — whose father, Don Gaetz, was a member of the Florida Senate at the time of his son’s arrest — were eventually dropped.