Bipartisan lawmakers introduce resolution condemning QAnon conspiracy theory

Reps. Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanCheney calls out Fox over new Tucker Carlson promo House Democrats select Riggleman as Jan. 6 committee adviser Virginia Democrats seek to tie Youngkin to Trump's election claims MORE (R-Va.) and Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiDemocrats to target Section 230 in Haugen hearing CNN airs live footage of its reporting on tennis star being censored in China Lawmakers increasingly anxious about US efforts against Russian hackers MORE (D-N.J.) introduced a bipartisan resolution Tuesday condemning QAnon.

The sprawling conspiracy theory centers around the baseless belief that President TrumpDonald TrumpMedia giants side with Bannon on request to release Jan. 6 documents Cheney warns of consequences for Trump in dealings with Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official MORE and his allies are working with the military to expose a shadowy cabal of elites who control U.S. politics and run child trafficking rings.

But it also casts a wide net, bringing in people who believe, for example, that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBudowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE engages in Satanic sacrifices or that John F. Kennedy Jr. is alive and in hiding. 

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Malinowski warned that letting the theory fester without condemnation could prove dangerous.

“Conspiracy theories that falsely blame secret cabals and marginalized groups for the problems of society have long fueled prejudice, violence and terrorism,” he said in a statement. “It’s time for us to come together across party lines to say that QAnon has no place in our nation’s political discourse.”

Riggleman — who lost a primary for his seat earlier this year and is one of the most vocal opponents of the theory within the GOP — called QAnon “a danger and a threat that has no place in our country's politics.”

"I think we've got to look at stopping sort of the fringes of the parties controlling any type of narrative when it comes to these types of theories,” he told The Hill in an interview. 

The resolution outlines several examples of criminal activity and violence tied to the supporters of the conspiracy theory, which has been labeled by the FBI a potential domestic terrorism threat.

It also highlights the theory’s anti-Semitic undercurrents, a common thread between many of the conspiracies under QAnon’s tent.

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Beyond condemning QAnon, the resolution calls for the FBI and federal law enforcement to dedicate more resources to countering conspiracy-driven extremism. 

Top Republicans including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyPelosi: Democrats can't allow 'indecent' Boebert comments to stand McCarthy pleads with Republicans to stop infighting: 'Congress is not junior high' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump's pre-debate COVID-19 test sparks criticism MORE (R-Calif.) House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseGOP beginning to jockey for post-election leadership slots The Memo: Omicron poses huge threat to Biden presidency The GOP's post-1/6 playbook is clear — and it's dangerous MORE (R-La.) and House Republican Conference Chair Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyCheney warns of consequences for Trump in dealings with Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official McCarthy pleads with Republicans to stop infighting: 'Congress is not junior high' MORE (R-Wyo.) have come out against QAnon. 

The community following along with Q — the anonymous figure that posts the cryptic messages that serve as the foundation of the theory on image boards — has ballooned recently, especially with the coronavirus pandemic keeping people home and providing fodder for conspiracies. 

The movement has begun to seep into mainstream political discourse as well, with multiple congressional candidates who have expressed support for the theory winning their Republican primaries.

At least one — Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia — is heavily favored to win her general election in the fall. Although she has attempted to distance herself from the theory, that is unlikely to matter for its supporters, who can chalk that shift up to wanting to ensure victory.

Many in the Republican party have seemed reluctant to speak publicly about the conspiracy theory, but President Trump called Greene a “future Republican Star.” 

Trump last week also said that the theory’s adherents "love our country." He added that “I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate.”

While it was not the full-throated endorsement of the theory subscribers were hoping for — many believed that once Trump was asked about QAnon he would announce a series of arrests of political opponents — the moment was celebrated in the community. 

That complicates the ability of Republicans to cleanly distance themselves from QAnon, a move they may have been questioning anyway given that estimates of the community are in the hundreds of thousands. 

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Michael McAdams quickly deflected when Malinowski first tweeted about the resolution. 

“But you won’t demand raging anti-Semite and current House Democrat @IlhanMN be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee???” McAdams tweeted. 

One of two Muslim women in Congress, Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMace says she won't tolerate members who 'promote bigotry' Pelosi: Democrats can't allow 'indecent' Boebert comments to stand McCarthy pleads with Republicans to stop infighting: 'Congress is not junior high' MORE (D-Minn.) has been a frequent target of accusations of anti-Semitism from the right. 

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Riggleman told The Hill that the two issues don’t correlate and the resolution should garner broad bipartisan support.  

“This should be a no-brainer. This is, this is easy, low hanging fruit to stop this type of ridiculous discourse,” the Virginia Republican said.  

“Everybody thought that [Omar's comments] was awful on the Republican side. We've already said that. That's just unrelated to somebody who believes in a secret cabal of sex traffickers trying to stop the president in the Democratic Party,” he added.