Trump Loyalist Paul Gosar Censured by House Over Video Targeting AOC

Anime Video Showed Gosar Killing AOC and Attacking Joe Biden

gosar censured

The House voted to censure Rep. Paul Gosar on Wednesday and stripped him from his committee assignments after his social media post which showed him appearing to kill Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex and attacking President Joe Biden.

The final vote was 223 to 207. Two Republicans- Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming voted with the House Democrats for the resolution. Rep. David Joyce of Ohio voted present, meaning he took no stance.

Gosar is one of the most far-right members of Congress, sitting in the chamber and observing the censure against him, which is considered the harshest form of punishment, just second to expulsion. Gosar removed the video after the harsh criticism, however, he didn’t apologize. The democratic leaders were quick to punish him, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying, “We can not have a member joking about murdering another.” She also said, “This is about workplace harassment and violence against women,”

This is the latest conflict between the two Houses, with House Democrats firm in their beliefs that Gosar should face serious consequences and House Republicans believing that this rebuke could be used against them in the future. 

Ocasio- Cortez said in a speech, “This is not about me. This is not about Representative Gosar. This is about what we are willing to accept.โ€

She also asked, “What is so hard about saying that this is wrong?”

This form of punishment in the House means a member is stripped of committee assignments, depriving them of their right to voice constituent priorities and even influencing legislation. House GOP leader, Kevin McCarthy, accused House Democrats of hypocrisy, arguing that they hadn’t reacted to their members the same way. 

He went ahead to say that the Republicans will use the same standard of rules to rebuke Democrats, in case the majority shifts. “Under the Pelosi precedent, all the members that I have mentioned earlier will need the approval of a majority to keep those positions in the future.” McCarthy didn’t condemn his behavior and had said Gosar had explained his reasoning during a closed-door conference meeting on Tuesday morning. McCarthy told the reporters, “He didn’t see it before it was posted. It was not his intent to show any harm,”. “What I said to the conference was (we) cannot accept any action or showing of a violence to another member”

Gosar stood defiant and in a statement said, “President Trump called me his ‘warrior’ for a reason,” he said. “I have been fighting for America First and against the Democrats’ efforts to destroy this country with open borders, drugs, illegal immigration, and human trafficking all condoned and initiated by the Biden administration”

Party relations have been tense from disputes ranging from mask mandates to Republicans trying to play down on the Jan 6 Capitol Attack. Some disputes have had dangerous consequences, whereas others were just to provoke a political base. Some hard-line Republicans were adamant in removing members of their committee for voting for the infrastructure package. Thirteen Republicans voted for the infrastructure package and since then have received death threats.

Censures are quite rare in the House with the last case occurring a decade ago. The last censure was used against Rep. Charlie Rangel, a Democrat of New York, for filing inaccurate financial disclosure, failing to pay taxes on rental property in the Dominican Republic, and misusing federal resources. Only 23 members so far have been censured in the House.  

The video, which Gosar called a “cartoon” depicts an Arizona congressman as an anime character slashing another character with the face of Ocasio-Cortez in the neck with a sword. The cartoon version of Gosar then points his swords at Biden.