Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) briefly clashed with Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) after being cut off at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday.
The Florida Republican questioned FBI director Christopher Wray over claims made by Chinese virologist Li Meng Yan, who has told Fox News she believes that COVID-19 was developed in a laboratory and intentionally released, and Gaetz asked him to confirm whether the bureau was investigating those allegations.
“I’m not sure there is much I can say about specific investigations,” Wray said. “I will say couple of things. One, I have been very vocal and continue to be vocal about the counterintelligence threat that takes forms,- a variety of forms, from the Chinese Communist Party. I think it is one of the most important threats.”
That wasn’t enough for Gaetz, who is under investigation himself by the FBI for alleged sex trafficking involving a underage girl, and he continued to press Wray for specifics.
“We are unable to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable if we throw our hands in the air and say, well, there are differences of opinion,” Gaetz said. “We need to determine whether those differences of opinion are based in facts. That is why I need the facts from you. Will you provide to this committee any analysis that the FBI has done regarding the doctor’s claims and messages she provided you, the origins of this virus, the military’s involvement, and even to try to present a fake genome sequence at the beginning of these developments?”
Wray agreed to follow up with the lawmaker’s staff with any information he could share, and Gaetz continued to speak after his time expired, and he complained when Nadler, the committee chairman, asked him to stop.
“You’re not treating everyone equally,” Gaetz complained. “You went over by 45 seconds.”
The two briefly argued until Gaetz explained that he wanted to ask for unanimous consent to enter a receipt for Dr. Yan’s phone records from the Department of Justice.
Nadler apologized and agreed. “Without objection,” he said, and moved on to the next lawmaker.
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