In The Know

Ocasio-Cortez says GOP colleagues who sought pardons ‘should be expelled’ from Congress

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) leaves the House Chamber following the last votes of the day on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.
Greg Nash
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) leaves the House Chamber following the last votes of the day on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says any of her Republican colleagues in Congress who sought pardons over Jan. 6 “should be expelled” from the House.

In seeking a pardon from former President Trump, the New York Democrat told Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” on Tuesday “you are admitting to committing a crime.”

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol disclosed last week that aides to Trump testified that at least a half-dozen GOP lawmakers asked for presidential pardons for their role in voting to overturn election results in certain states.

Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Scott Perry (Pa.) were named in the testimony as having sought pardons.

“I will say, bare minimum, those who specifically sought pardons for themselves should be expelled from the United States House of Representatives, beyond a shadow of a doubt,” Ocasio-Cortez said to applause.

“They were willing to commit crimes in order to illegally seize power,” Ocasio-Cortez continued, “and no person of any power, of any seat, of any party, should be willing to do that in order to undermine our democracy.”

“But that’s just the bare minimum,” Ocasio-Cortez told the CBS host.

“I do believe that many of these individuals need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in order to establish and to prove to ourselves and to the world that there is rule of law in the United States.”

Before the Jan. 6 committee testimony about pardons came to light, Ocasio-Cortez had previously called for any member of Congress “who helped plot a terrorist attack on our nation’s Capitol” to be expelled.

Ocasio-Cortez slammed some lawmakers who she accused of bringing in “insurrectionists to essentially case the joint before coming in” on Jan. 6.

“There was a feeling and a great sense that there were people on the inside,” she told Colbert.

“To work with people over the last year, to see them, to have to have sometimes them confront you, knowing that they did what they did, has been quite surreal — especially when they’re not very intelligent,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“That’s the saving grace of their malice is how incompetent they are,” Colbert replied.

Ocasio-Cortez, who will turn 35 just weeks before the next presidential election, also batted away talk of a 2024 White House bid. Asked if the job of president was “appealing” to her at all, Ocasio-Cortez said with a grin, “I think that we need to focus on keeping a democracy for anybody to be president in the next couple of years. So that’s my central focus, is helping the people of this country.”

“So it’s possible?” Colbert pressed his guest.

“I don’t know about all that,” Ocasio-Cortez exclaimed.

–Updated on June 30 at 5:56 a.m.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Andy Biggs Jan. 6 attack Louis Gohmert Matt Gaetz Matt Gaetz Mo Brooks Scott Perry Stephen Colbert Stephen Colbert Trump
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