Dems call for censure of GOP congressman over violent video

Political
Paul Gosar

FILE – Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., waits for a news conference about the Delta variant of COVID-19 and the origin of the virus, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 22, 2021. Gosar is facing criticism after he tweeted a video that included altered animation showing him striking congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a sword. In a tweet Monday night, Ocasio-Cortez said Gosar “shared a fantasy video of him killing me.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ten House Democrats, led by the co-chairs of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, said Wednesday that they will introduce a House resolution to censure Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., for tweeting a video that included altered animation showing him striking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., with a sword.

In a statement, the 10 Democrats said Gosar’s posting “goes beyond the pale” and called it a “clear cut case for censure.”

“As the events of January 6th have shown, such vicious and vulgar messaging can and does foment actual violence,” the Democrats said. “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 Democrats, including DWC co-chairs Jackie Speier of California and Brenda Lawrence of Michigan, said they will introduce the censure resolution Friday.

Gosar, R-Ariz., posted the video Sunday afternoon with a note saying, “Any anime fans out there?” On Tuesday, he issued a statement saying the video wasn’t meant to depict harm or violence, calling it instead “a symbolic portrayal of a fight over immigration policy.”

The roughly 90-second video is an altered version of a Japanese anime clip, interspersed with shots of Border Patrol officers and migrants at the southern U.S. border. During one roughly 10-second section of the video, animated characters whose faces have been replaced with Gosar and fellow Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado are seen fighting other animated characters.

In one scene, Gosar’s character is seen striking the one made to look like Ocasio-Cortez in the neck with a sword.

In a tweet Monday night, Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., referred to Gosar as “a creepy member I work with” and said he “shared a fantasy video of him killing me.” She added that Gosar would face no consequences because Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “cheers him on with excuses.”

In their statement Wednesday, the House Democrats said that “McCarthy’s silence is tacit approval and just as dangerous.”

A censure resolution, if approved by a majority of the House, requires the censured lawmaker to stand in the well of the House as the resolution of censure is read aloud by the House speaker.

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