WATCH: Klavan Asks Florida Congressman If Obama Ordered Trump Campaign Investigation

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., is interviewed in his Cannon Building office on October 26, 2017.
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) joined "The Andrew Klavan Show" on Thursday to discuss the Russia investigation, and shared with Andrew that he suspects the U.S. government was paying people to collect intel on the Trump campaign before the stated start date.

"The Department of Justice has maintained to Congressional oversight members that this investigation began on the 31st of July, but when I asked Rosenstein before our committee what investigative activity took place before that time, he said he would not answer the question," Gaetz said. "Well, if there was no investigative activity, it would just be easy to say 'there wasn't anything that occurred before the 31st of July,' and so their inconsistencies in the responses we're getting from DOJ and, particularly, in those areas where they've said things that cannot be both accurate, the president needs to give us access to those foundational documents to understand those questions."

Gaetz said he believed the U.S. government had paid people to investigate the Trump campaign prior to the stated date of when the investigation began. When Klavan asked Gaetz if he believed former President Barack Obama was involved in ordering the investigation, Gaetz demurred.

"I think that would be a very serious charge, but we'll only know the answer if we get the document," Gaetz said. "So I don't want to say that I'm certain of that, I don't know if it was a lower level decision, but until we're able to really understand that decision tree it really undermines the integrity and the independence of the Department of Justice and the FBI because we're left wondering whether or not they were used to obtain a political outcome rather than an investigative outcome."

Video and transcript below:

Rep. Matt Gaetz: The Department of Justice has maintained to Congressional oversight members that this investigation began on the 31st of July, but when I asked Rosenstein before our committee what investigative activity took place before that time, he said he would not answer the question. Well, if there was no investigative activity, it would just be easy to say "there wasn't anything that occurred before the 31st of July", and so their inconsistencies in the responses we're getting from DOJ and, particularly, in those areas where they've said things that cannot be both accurate, the President needs to give us access to those foundational documents to understand those questions. What I think happened is that there were people that were paid to go and collect intelligence on the Trump campaign before the Papadopoulos discussion in London, and if we got those documents we would be able to prove whether that was the case or not.
Klavan: Paid by whom?
Gaetz: By the United States government. I believe that we're going to see six-figure payments to people who were then asked to go and run and collect intelligence on the Trump campaign.
Klavan: You believe that the United States government was paying people to collect counter intelligence on the Trump campaign before there was any information from Papadopoulos, or the Australians or anything?
Gaetz: Yeah, and my basis for that belief is that when we ask questions about it they won't answer. If the answer was no it'd be very clear, it'd be very easy to just say "no", right? Now I don't want to ,you know, I don't want to say that I'm certain of that - it's my suspicion, right, and that's how you develop facts throughout a case. So if the President would declassify that information we would see whether or not those payments were in fact made, and I think they were, but I'm happy to be proven wrong if we get access to the documents or even if we just got straight answers. I'd be willing to say that that was an unfounded suspicion, but as long as they're stonewalling, it really raises the question.
Klavan: Can you think of any reason why President Trump would not declassify these documents?
Gaetz: I think the President really wants to have a hands-off approach to this. I think he does understand that his excessive entanglement with the process functions would be a downward pull on his presidency, and so I think he's trying not to do that. It's a very awkward dynamic, right, where he is the subject of the investigation, but at the same time he is the elective, he's the only elected person in the executive branch.
Klavan: I have to ask if you think that the government was paying people to investigate what was essentially the opposing party at that point, do you think that this goes up to the White House? Do you think Obama was involved in those decisions?
Gaetz: Well, we asked a lot of questions about what it meant when Strzok and Page were texting back and forth about the White House wanting to be up-to-date on information and wanting to be involved. Again, I think that would be a very serious charge, but we'll only know the answer if we get the document. So I don't want to say that I'm certain of that, I don't know if it was a lower level decision, but until we're able to really understand that decision tree it really undermines the integrity and the independence of the Department of Justice and the FBI because we're left wondering whether or not they were used to obtain a political outcome rather than an investigative outcome.
Klavan: Wow, that's really something. I have to ask you just one political question. All this just seems like it will go away if you lose the House, if the Republicans lose the House in the midterms. How are you feeling about that right now?
Gaetz: Well my concern is that there are people at the Department of Justice who know that, and so time is their friend. You know the longer we say "okay well here's a deadline. Well now instead of meeting that deadline we're going to have a meeting, and then we're gonna have an extension, and then we're gonna have redacted documents, and then we're gonna fight over those redactions, and then we're gonna set a new meeting and then a new deadline and have more meetings." That seems to be the Groundhog Day cycle that we're in currently, and if the Democrats take over, my suspicion is that Mueller will very soon thereafter issue a report to Congress that the Democrats will use as a basis for impeachment. That's why the midterms are so important. I do believe that if the Democrats take over, Adam Schiff will be elected their Speaker, and that the most fundamental question they'll have to manage is the impeachment question, and it will be bad for the country.

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