Republican Representative Matt Gaetz was called out for his DUI and substance abuse problems earlier in his life on the House floor yesterday by Democratic Representative Hank Johnson, after Gaetz tried to paint Hunter Biden as a drug-addicted loser. Johnson pointed out that the pot shouldn’t be calling the kettle black, due to Gaetz’s own history and the fact that he never had to face any consequences. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
Yesterday during the impeachment hearing, Republican Congressman Matt Gates attempted to add Hunter Biden into the story, even though he’s technically really not related whatsoever to any of the charges the president could be facing, but Matt Gates being a loyal stooge to Donald Trump wanted to misdirect the public and he brought up uh Hunter Biden’s alleged past uh drug abuse and well that didn’t go just the way Matt Gates thought it would after Representative Hank Johnson called Gates out for his own history of substance abuse. Here’s the clip. [Here’s, here’s what it says. Hunter said that at that point he had not slept for several days driving East on interstate 10 just beyond Palm Springs. He lost control of his car, which jumped the median and skidded to a stop on the shoulder of the westbound side. He called Hertz, which came to collect the damage car and gave him a second rental. The Hertz rental officer told me he found a crack pipe in the car and on one of the consoles, a line of white powder residue plastic bag containing white powdery substance, a secret service business card, credit cards and a Hunter Biden’s driver’s license. That is what we would call evidence. I would say that, uh, the pot calling the kettle black is not something that we should do. I don’t know. I don’t know what members, if any, have had any problems with substance abuse been busted in, uh, DUI. Uh, I don’t know, but if I did I wouldn’t raise it, uh, against, uh, anyone on this committee. I don’t think it’s proper.] you know, I’m really glad that representative Johnson decided to bring that up because Matt Gates DUI arrest is something that a lot of people, anytime Gates, tweets something bring up, you know, it’s something we need a little bit more information about because after all, even we’ve discussed it here briefly, that Matt Gates is daddy’s powerful connections. He was the president of the Senate here in the state of Florida when his son got popped for a DUI. But we haven’t really gone into it, right. And as much as I love the fact that Johnson did call Gates out, I think it is important to tell the whole story of how Matt Gates got away with his DUI. So here it is. This is from the Tampa Bay times back in 2016 now, at the time, Matt Gates had admitted that he made some mistakes when he was younger. It was 2008, uh, when he got arrested for DUI. And you know, he said it’s just part of who I am now and I have to live with that. So I guess he kind of owned up to it, except he didn’t talk about the fact of how he got off. So here’s this story of Matt Gates getting pulled over. He was doing 48 in a 35 mile an hour zone, gets pulled over by an officer by the name of, uh, Chris Angland. So mr Angland goes up to the car, asked for license and registration, and Matt Gates fumbles around like he can’t quite get his hands to work properly. The officer said he looked in his eyes, they were glassy, they were bloodshot, he could smell alcohol on Matt Gates. He did a finger test, not a field sobriety test, but he did a finger test twice to see if his eyes could follow it or eye test, excuse me. Um, and Gates failed both of those. Gates then refused a field sobriety test. He refused a breathalyzer. And in the state of Florida, if you refuse a breathalyzer, hands down, no question about it. The law says you lose your driver’s license for a full year, one full year, 12 months from the date of refusal. That’s the law here in the state of Florida. Second officer shows up on the scene. They search Matt Gates car. They couldn’t find any alcohol, but they did find two bottles of mouthwash, one that was completely empty and one in the glove box that still had about a quarter left in it. Now I’ve known alcoholics. Every alcoholic I’ve known drives around with a bottle of mouthwash in their car. Now, maybe that’s just coincidence, but that’s something that they do because they’re prone to getting pulled over and they think that mouthwash masks the smell of alcohol, not realizing that when you’ve had a lot to drink, it actually starts coming out of your pores as your body metabolizes it. So nonetheless, they find the mouthwash Gates gets erected, arrested, they book him. Then about a week and a half later, that same uh officer, uh, Angland goes out, arrests somebody else for DUI. But then the other officers on the scene claim that, Oh yeah, Angland grabbed this guy by the throat and not Gates, the new DUI person. He was really unreasonable with his force here, which obviously police officers, that’s not uncommon. We see it all the time. And then Angland was forced to resign from the force. And then a couple days later after that, after these unsubstantiated claims against Angland, the new prosecutor in Gates’s case decided we’re just going to drop all the charges. We’re going to reinstate your driver’s license and you’re free to go. Mr. Gates. Say, hi to your dad for me, and that’s the story in a nutshell of how Matt Gates got away with his DUI. Certainly nothing that would be able to happen to any of the rest of us. I mean, he broke the law whether or not he had had any alcohol that night, which he claimed he didn’t. But then he said maybe you had two beers. That, and that’s also the standard line. That’s what cops tell you. They say they typically hear people say, I had two beers. That is the number that cops tell you. People say when they’ve actually been out drinking all night and that Gates is textbook folks. But nonetheless, he got away with it, didn’t have his license suspended for a year even though he refused the breathalyzer because that’s the thing. Even if you’re sober in the state of Florida, if a cop comes up, says, I want to give you a breathalyzer. If you say no, even if you have never had a drink of alcohol in your life, you lose your license for a year. That’s the law. Didn’t happen to Gates. So no matter which way you slice it, Gates at least broke one law and got away with it because of who his father is. And now he has the audacity to turn around on the floor of Congress and try to make light of other people substance abuse problems, any rightfully and finally got called out on it.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced