House Democrats introduce legislation to censure Rep. Paul Gosar

Nearly 30 Democratic U.S. House members plan to introduce a resolution censuring their Arizona Republican colleague Rep. Paul Gosar for social media posts that depicted him killing New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

On Sunday, Gosar tweeted from both his official and personal accounts and posted on Instagram a video showing an anime sequence with the faces of Gosar, Ocasio-Cortez and President Joe Biden superimposed over original characters. The character with Gosar’s face swings swords at Ocasio-Cortez and Biden.

Gosar released a statement following the post and called the negative response a “gross mischaracterization” of the post. “I do not espouse violence or harm towards any member of Congress or Mr. Biden,” Gosar wrote.

On Thursday, House Democrats condemned the video, saying that posting the manipulated video “depicting himself killing Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden is a clear-cut case for censure.”

“For that Member 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, ” they said in a statement.

“As the events of January 6th have shown, such vicious and vulgar messaging can and does foment actual violence,” the members of Congress 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. Minority Leader McCarthy’s silence is tacit approval and just as dangerous.”

The resolution is co-sponsored by Reps. Jackie Speier, Jim Cooper, Brenda Lawrence, Sylvia Garcia, Veronica Escobar, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rashida Tlaib, Eric Swalwell, Nikema Williams, and Ayanna Pressley, according to the statement.

The announcement comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy to condemn the video and asked the “Ethics Committee and law enforcement to investigate.” She tweeted: “Threats of violence against Members of Congress and the President of the United States must not be tolerated.”

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