Matt Gaetz says he’s open to hiring Kyle Rittenhouse as an intern

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, said he believes Kyle Rittenhouse is innocent and he would consider hiring him as a congressional intern.  

“You know what, Kyle Rittenhouse would probably make a good congressional intern. We may reach out to him and see if he’d be interested in helping the country in additional ways,” Gaetz said Wednesday during an appearance on Newsmax. 

Rittenhouse's high-profile trial is underway, with the jury entering another day of deliberations Thursday. 

The 18-year-old is accused of killing two people and injuring a third as demonstrators protested the police shooting of Jacob Blake last summer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. During the trial, Rittenhouse claimed his actions were in self-defense. 

“He is not guilty. He deserves a not guilty verdict and I sure hope he gets it,” Gaetz said. 

He also decried the sentencing of Jan. 6 rioter Jacob Chansley, 34, who stormed the Capitol wearing a furry headdress with horns. He was handed down a sentence of 41 months in prison on Wednesday for his role in the riot. 

"This QAnon Shaman is a relatively harmless, nonviolent vegan and the notion that he has to be in prison for three and a half years to settle some sort of political score defies justice," he said. 

"The American people deserve a Department of Justice that is the least political agency in Washington, and instead what we’ve got is a Department of Justice that is the most political agency in Washington," he added. 

Gaetz himself is the subject of a Department of Justice investigation into his travel to the Bahamas with women, and whether those women were paid to travel for sex, which could violate federal law, NBC News has previously reported. 

Goetz has denied any wrongdoing in that probe. 

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