“Rep. Gosar must be censured, investigated, and expelled,” says Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.
Noting the “global phenomenon” of violence against women in politics and warning of the potentially deadly consequences of “vicious and vulgar messaging,” 60 U.S. House lawmakers on Friday introduced a resolution to censure Rep. Paul Gosar for posting an edited anime video depicting him killing Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden with swords.
“As the events of January 6 have shown, such vicious and vulgar messaging can and does foment actual violence.”
In a statement introducing the resolution—led by Democratic Women’s Caucus Co-Chair Jackie Speier (Calif.)—the lawmakers called the Arizona Republican’s actions “a clear-cut case for censure.”
“To post such a video on his official Instagram account and use his official congressional resources in the House of Representatives to further violence against elected officials goes beyond the pale,” the statement argued.
Gosar’s staff produced the clip—a manipulated version of the opening credits to the popular Japanese animated series “Attack on Titan”—which was posted Sunday. In addition to showing Gosar slashing Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) neck and preparing to slay Biden, the video superimposes bloodstains over images of immigrants, who are conflated with violent criminals.
The post was viewed millions of times before Gosar reportedly removed it. In a Tuesday statement, a Twitter spokesperson told The Hill that “the only enforcement action we took on the tweet was placing a public interest notice on it for violating our hateful conduct policy.”
Introduced a resolution w/ 60 Members to censure Rep Gosar. We cannot continue to normalize violence against POTUS and members of the House. We must defend the integrity of this institution. pic.twitter.com/Rvx536WrCQ
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) November 12, 2021
Gosar is known for his ties to far-right extremist groups and militias, including some whose members took part in the deadly January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
“As the events of January 6 have shown, such vicious and vulgar messaging can and does foment actual violence,” the lawmaker’s statement continued. “Violence against women in politics is a global phenomenon meant to silence women and discourage them from seeking positions of authority and participating in public life, with women of color disproportionately impacted.”
The statement added that House Minority Leader McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) silence on Gosar’s actions “is tacit approval and just as dangerous.”
While their names did not appear on a list of lawmakers supporting Speier’s resolution, at least two House Republicans—Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois—have said they support censuring Gosar.
There must be accountability for the heinous attacks on my sister @RepAOC
We must not normalize or tolerate threats of violence against women—especially by members of Congress
— Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) November 12, 2021
In addition to Friday’s resolution, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee have called on law enforcement and the chamber’s Ethics Committee to investigate Gosar over the video.
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