The Daily Beast reports:
When members of the House Judiciary Committee convened for their first meeting of the year last week, the new Republican majority instituted a change in procedure: Before every hearing, everyone in the room would recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The honor of leading the first pledge was given to Corey Beekman, a U.S. Army National Guard combat veteran who traveled to Capitol Hill at the invitation of his congressman, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
There was just one thing that Gaetz didn’t mention in his glowing introduction: Beekman is an accused murderer yet to face his day in court. In 2019, Beekman allegedly shot and killed 33-year old Billy Buchanan inside a home in rural Mason County, Michigan, and was arrested by police after a lengthy standoff. He was later charged with murder, but his case still has not yet gone to trial, and he moved to Florida.
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Gaetz has sent the victim’s family a letter of apology and a flag that flew over the US Capitol. He has also deleted a tweet and video in which he hailed the alleged killer as a “hero.”
In a separate apology made in his podcast, Gaetz called his staff “dedicated professionals who don’t assume the worst” about those they select for Gaetz to honor.
Critics have noted that a cursory Google search of Beekman’s name would have yielded many news items about the murder case.
A quick Google search would have informed Rep. Matt Gaetz who his honored guest really was, but the victim’s family says he’s trying to make it right. https://t.co/mu4XVp0VpW
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 11, 2023