Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz led a group of Republicans who stormed a closed-door meeting of the House Intelligence Committee where depositions were being taken in the impeachment inquiry. The group was protesting a process they believe is unfair to President Trump.


The job of a congressional representative is challenging, but fundamentally it’s to advocate public policies and laws that benefit their constituents. It isn’t to raise money and represent themselves, their party or the president. Lately, it is hard to tell if Matt is auditioning for a position in the Trump organization, or if he’s representing the people of Northwest Florida.


Rep. Gaetz ran, and was elected, as a constitutional conservative. You can’t call yourself a constitutional conservative if you don’t know what the constitution says, or if you only want to abide by the sections you like.


The constitution establishes three co-equal branches and says the House of Representative may bring forth Articles of Impeachment against the president. The House acts as prosecutor, investigating and potentially presenting a case to the Senate. The Impeachment inquiry is conducted in the House of Representatives, in accordance with the rules of the House.


Should the House of Representatives vote to impeach the president, the trial is held in the Senate, in accordance with the Senate’s rules. The Constitution grants the Senate sole authority to decide whether a president is removed from office; they are judge and jury. Nowhere does the Constitution talk about a Democrat-controlled House, a Republican-controlled Senate or the president’s party affiliation. It is disingenuous for a law school graduate and self-proclaimed constitutional conservative to pretend they don’t understand the difference.


Instead of storming closed committee meetings and arguing about process, Rep. Gaetz should focus on the president’s conduct and ask himself, is this conduct my constituents expect of their president? If it isn’t, it is time to stop acting like a puppet and go back to serving as our representative. Reality TV stunts complaining about processes do not excuse abuses of power.


Hu Ross, Independent, Niceville