On Wednesday, the House of Representatives heard arguments prior to voting to censure Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ). Gosar posted a controversial animated video that depicted violence against Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (NY).
The video in question appeared to show Rep. Gosar assaulting Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, and the video stayed online for a few days before Gosar took the video down. Gosar did so at the behest of fellow GOP representatives, including Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
House Democrats began calling for a vote to censure Gosar shortly after. On Wednesday, the vote to censure Gosar passed by a margin of 223 – 207. Gosar is to be stripped of all committee assignments as a result.
Prior to the vote, both Democrats and Republicans were allowed to speak on the possible censure.
Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy brought up multiple times when House Democrats “tabled” censure votes regarding controversial behavior among their Democratic colleagues. McCarthy repeated the phrase, “Rules for thee, but not for me.”
He was later followed by Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) who would detail the inappropriate behaviors McCarthy alluded to in his speech. Perhaps the most egregious behavior pointed out by Boebert is the confirmed relationship between California Representative and former Presidential candidate, Eric Swalwell.
During her speech on Wednesday, Boebert reminded fellow House colleagues about Swalwell’s past relationship with an alleged Chinese spy, Christine Fang. Fang is suspected of carrying out espionage for the Chinese government, and her nickname in these circles is “Fang Fang.”
Boebert stated, “My colleague and three-month presidential candidate from Californi, who is on the Intelligence Committee, slept with Fang Fang, a Chinese spy. Let me say that again. A member of Congress who receives classified briefings was sleeping with the enemy.” As her time expired, Boebert yelled, “This is unacceptable!”
Last December, Axios reported Swalwell’s ties to the purported Chinese spy. House Republicans drafted a resolution to remove Swalwell from the House Permanent Select Committee as well as the House Intelligence Committee. However, the measure was tabled by House Democrats. (Minority Speaker McCarthy mentioned this in his speech as well.)
Axios covered a story on Fang Fang, whom the organization states tends to target up-and-coming politicians. The story intimated this was the reason Christine Fang set her sights on Swalwell. Fang was on American intelligence agencies’ radar, and, when investigators alerted Swalwell to Fang’s alleged activities, he cut all ties with the suspected spy.
Swalwell maintains that he did nothing wrong, and the House Democrats have taken no action to remove Swalwell from his committee assignments.
Swalwell took to Twitter to respond to Boebert’s comments, saying, “Weird. If I had done anything wrong, then the FBI would have raided my house. They didn’t (and went as far as to say I did nothing wrong). BUT yesterday they did raid the home of (Boebert’s) campaign manager. They’re always projecting.”
As a part of an investigation into allegations that Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters was involved in voting machine security breaches, the home of Sherronna Bishop, former campaign manager of Boebert as well as two other individuals, was raided by the FBI.
Boebert also pointed out during her speech that Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) had given her brother over $1 million in campaign funds. She also pointed out remarks by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) regarding harassment of Trump supporters.
However, Boebert’s comments regarding Swalwell was a “cherry on top” of what Boebert pointed as inappropriate behavior just as glaring wrong as that of Rep. Gosar.
Gosar commented that, if he was going to join the club that included Alexander Hamilton – the first to be censured by the House – then “so be it.”