TYLER — U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, is being criticized by some and praised by others for slipping the name of the alleged President Donald Trump-Ukraine scandal whistleblower into Trump impeachment hearings Wednesday.
It was the first time the name was publicly mentioned during a live hearing. However, Gohmert during a speech Wednesday did not say the person was the whistleblower and only mentioned his name.
Gohmert said he has watched accusations against then-President George W. Bush, then-President Barack Obama and now Trump, and he has had enough. He said only the accusations against Trump reached this level. Trump retweeted a Gohmert tweet around 10 a.m. Thursday.
Hank Gilbert, a Tyler resident who is seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Gohmert in the November 2020 general election, had strong words for the speech.
“It is absolutely unconscionable that Louie Gohmert would name the alleged whistleblower during a televised hearing,” Gilbert said in written statement. “This conduct is sadly typical of what we’ve seen from him over the last 14 years. However, this time his headline-grabbing antics are putting real people at risk.
“Louie Gohmert is doing this for attention, to deflect from the strong charges against President Trump. He is breaking the law — because revealing the whistleblower’s identity is breaking the law — because defending a corrupt president who has no defense is more important to him than common sense and decency. No matter where you stand on President Trump, you cannot support revealing damaging information that damages national security and puts lives in danger.”
An email to Gohmert’s press office was not returned, and repeated phone calls were not answered. The voicemail recording said the mailbox was full and could not accept messages.
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee continued toward an impeachment vote against Trump, approving several articles. Trump is being accused of abusing presidential power by asking Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a Democrat running for president in 2020.
Gohmert, in his 14th year in Congress, said, “A vague abuse of power, obstruction of Congress, the very things the majority has done in preventing us from having the witnesses that could shed light on this, not opinion, but fact witnesses. We needed to hear from those witnesses.”
Gohmert then listed several people he wanted to hear from, including the alleged whistleblower. He did not call him a whistleblower, but rather just said his name.
“They don’t want fact witnesses,” Gohmert said. “Let’s hear from professors who hate Donald Trump, who are willing to sell their education just to make a point against somebody they don’t like. This is a dangerous, dangerous time in America.”
The nation has faced four presidential impeachment proceedings, but Trump is the first to have a hearing while running for reelection. That was not lost on Gohmert.
“This is unchartered territory. Never in the history of this country have we had an impeachment proceeding begun by lies that got a warrant from a secret court that turned out and were documented to be lies, and continued to get warrants, three after lies, and not one person on the other side of the aisle is embarrassed,” he said.
“They talk about abuse of power? There’s no probable cause. There are no crimes against these people. Some of us stand up and call it like it is, no matter what administration is in office,” he said.
The video of Gohmert naming the alleged whistleblower is on his official YouTube channel and on his Twitter page.