Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert uses his speaking time to hurl conspiracy theories and wax nostalgic about his marriage, then says it’s a ‘shame we don’t have a serious hearing’
When Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas was up for questioning, he used his time to go on a lengthy rant against the witnesses (particularly Ayer), hurl personal accusations at them, and wax nostalgic about his marriage.
Here’s a full rundown of Gohmert’s remarks:
Gohmert: “This is incredible. Mr. Ayer, you called Jeff Jensen, a 20-year career prosecutor, a political crony. By the way, you care to say into the microphone what you mouthed at me earlier when you’d gone over two minutes past your time?”
Ayer: “I didn’t mouth anything at you, congressman.”
Gohmert: “Well, you just showed your lack of credibility both with Thornburgh and people that have followed has real basis in fact. And in fact, rarely have we had anybody with the chip you have on your shoulder come before us. Thornburgh said he believed that you were really never around. He said that Bill Barr, and I’m quoting, ‘was the first deputy I had and that came when I was two years into the job.'”
The Texas congressman went on to imply that Ayer was “resentful” over his strife with former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh in the early 1990s, when Ayer served directly under him as deputy attorney general. Ayer abruptly resigned in May 1990 amid heightened tensions over Thornburgh’s leadership of the DOJ. Barr succeeded Ayer as deputy attorney general after Ayer left his position.
Gohmert then quoted Thornburgh’s book on the matter, which said, “Ayer’s resignation was announced on May 11, Bill Barr succeeded him and proved to be the deputy I had needed from the beginning.”
Gohmert said, “So I can understand why you’d be resentful 30 years later, but at some point, hopefully, Mr. Ayer will get over his chip.”
He added that he had planned to question Zelinsky and then went on a tangent about his marriage.
“I understand family matters, and by the way I’m grateful to my wife for sticking with me for 42 years today, and there are family matters, yes,” Gohmert said. “She’s a lot more fair than we’re getting around here. So 42 years. Thank you, Kathy.”
Later, Gohmert attacked the three witnesses called by Democratic lawmakers and said they did not express concerns when the Justice Department under Obama cracked down on local law enforcement after it determined that authorities had violated peoples’ civil rights.
“And AG Barr had that same concern, that peoples’ civil rights were being violated by governors or local authorities, and if he had no right to say anything, then the Justice Department under Obama had no right to pursue local law enforcement either,” Gohmert said. “But I guess it just, again, testifies to the credibility, or the lack thereof, of the people that have been brought before us.”
The Texas Republican then used some time to hurl conspiracy theories about the Russia probe, saying, inaccurately, that the Obama Justice Department, FBI, intelligence officials, and Pentagon masterminded an elaborate plot to “prevent a Republican from becoming president.”
“It’s a shame we don’t have a serious hearing,” Gohmert said after using nearly all of his speaking time to air his grievances instead of questioning witnesses. “It’s just a sideshow, and it ought to be called for what it is.”