A group congressional Democrats are calling for the censure of Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) for posting a bizarre animated video that depicted himself violently attacking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and President Biden.
“For a member of Congress to post a manipulated video on his social media accounts depicting himself killing Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden is a clear cut case for censure,” the members said in a statement announcing their intent to introduce a censure resolution. “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.”
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The Democratic members calling for censure include Reps. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), Sylva Garcia (D-Texas), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Nikema Williams (D-Ga), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).
Gosar posted the video to his social media accounts on Sunday. It portrayed himself and other extremist Republican politicians as anime heroes defending the country from immigrants. “Any anime fans out there?” Gosar said in the tweet. Twitter put a warning on the video, and the video no longer appears on the congressman’s social media channels.
Defending the video, a Gosar spokesperson said, “It is a symbolic cartoon. It is not real life. Congressman Gosar cannot fly. The hero of the cartoon goes after the monster, the policy monster of open borders. I will always fight to defend the rule of law, securing our borders, and the America First agenda.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called for investigations into Gosar’s actions by the House Ethics Committee and law enforcement. She additionally urged House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to condemn the video. Thus far, McCarthy has not spoken publicly about it.
“As the events of January 6th have shown, such vicious and vulgar messaging can and does foment actual violence,” the Democrats wrote. “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.”
In her response to the video, Ocasio-Cortez called Gosar “a collection of wet toothpicks” and a “creepy member” who “fundraises for Neo-Nazi groups.” She also called out the GOP for allowing its members to harass her without consequence. “Remember when Yoho accosted me on the the Capitol and called me a f—ing b—,” she wrote. “Remember when Greene ran after me a few months ago screaming and reaching. Remember when she stalked my office the 1st time w/ insurrectionists & ppl locked inside. All at my job & nothing ever happens.”
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