Pelosi calls for ethics, criminal investigations into Gosar
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is calling for a series of investigations into Rep. Paul Gosar after the Arizona Republican took to Twitter this week to advertise violence against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and President Biden.
The Speaker is also urging House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to join Democrats in backing investigations into Gosar by both the House Ethics Committee and outside law enforcement agencies.
“Threats of violence against Members of Congress and the President of the United States must not be tolerated,” Pelosi tweeted Tuesday. “@GOPLeader should join in condemning this horrific video and call on the Ethics Committee and law enforcement to investigate.”
Threats of violence against Members of Congress and the President of the United States must not be tolerated. @GOPLeader should join in condemning this horrific video and call on the Ethics Committee and law enforcement to investigate. https://t.co/qX8kMbiZ8n
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) November 9, 2021
Gosar set off a firestorm of controversy on Monday when he tweeted an animated video depicting himself and other Republicans as heroic warriors fighting against Democrats, interspersed with footage of migrants arriving at the southern U.S. border.
The video features characters from a Japanese-style anime series, their faces replaced with pictures of Gosar and two other conservative firebrands — Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — who bound around with various weapons. In one scene, Gosar’s character executes another character, doctored to depict Ocasio-Cortez, by striking her in the back of the neck with a sword.
In another, Gosar confronts Biden head-on with two swords drawn.
In promoting the video to his Twitter followers, Gosar asked, “Any anime fans out there?”
The video has sparked yet another national debate over speech and civility in political discourse, as well as the role of the tech giants in policing the content that appears under their labels. Twitter, facing backlash, declined to remove Gosar’s video but has attached a warning label to it.
Gosar is already under fire for his role in promoting former President Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen, and he is among the Republicans expected to be called to testify in the bipartisan investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
That attack has led to rampant distrust between the parties on Capitol Hill, where the fear of more violence is palpable even 11 months later. And other Democratic leaders quickly joined Pelosi in urging McCarthy to take action against Gosar for tweeting out the anime violence.
“In any other job in America, if a coworker made a video killing another coworker, that person would be fired,” the four leaders of the Democrats’ policy and communications team, Reps. Matt Cartwright (Pa.), Debbie Dingell (Mich.), Ted Lieu (Calif.) and Joe Neguse (Colo.), said Tuesday in a statement. “Mr. McCarthy needs to decide whether he will finally stand with the American people on the side of law and order or he will continue to support violence and chaos.”
Neither Gosar’s office nor McCarthy’s responded Tuesday to requests for comment.
Ocasio-Cortez responded Monday night in a tweet of her own, saying “a creepy member I work with who fundraises for Neo-Nazi groups shared a fantasy video of him killing me.”
“And he’ll face no consequences,” she added, “bc @GOPLeader cheers him on with excuses.”
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) was much more terse.
“What a disgusting video from a pathetic man,” he said of Gosar.