Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has eviscerated Matt Gaetz for referring to the suicide of Jamie Raskin’s son in an attack on the 6 January committee member.
The Florida representative said Maryland lawmaker Mr Raskin was in a dark place and “unable” to do his job because of his son’s suicide.
Speaking on Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene’s podcast, Mr Gaetz said: “The country shouldn’t have to go through all that with him.”
He continued by saying the trauma of losing a child had clouded Mr Raskin’s judgement.
“What I worry about with Raskin, in all seriousness — when people encounter trauma, they often associate a lot of the other things around that trauma with it, even if they don’t naturally or even rationally associate,” Mr Gaetz said.
New York Rep Ocasio-Cortez sprung to the defence of the Maryland congressman on Twatter, posting: “Rep Raskin is a greater statesman, Congressman, human being than most of us. History will remember him.”
She added a tribute to Mr Raskin’s son, who died on New Year’s Eve 2020: “Tommy was a remarkable person and testament of his parents’ love.”
Turning her attention to Mr Gaetz, she tore into the Florida lawmaker: “Gaetz is a bad haircut in a cheap suit, a feat of mediocrity given that he’s here on papa’s money. Bye.”
In his fuller comments, Mr Gaetz said: “As a human being, our hearts go out to him. But I think that he takes that trauma and he associates it now with his work in the Congress to such an interwoven way that he’s unable to do the congressional experience outside of just the dungeon of that personal trauma.”
Both he and Ms Greene said they were in Congress to serve the people and for the love of country.
In a further jab at Mr Raskin, the Florida lawmaker said: “We’re not here out of a sense of grievance or hatred. We love America.”
He continued, referring to tonight’s public hearing of the Capitol riot committee on which Mr Raskin sits: “And I think it does cloud his judgment, and you could see that, that very darkness and that pain manifest on Thursday in a way that’s not particularly relevant to the challenges that we’ve talked about.”
Mr Gaetz concluded: “But it might be deeply relevant to what he’s going through. And the country shouldn’t have to go through all that with him.”