Republican lawmakers who helped incite the Capitol insurrection and absolved Donald Trump of responsibility for the attack are now looking to punish a Democratic lawmaker.
Several Republican lawmakers are calling for Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) to either be removed from her committees or expelled from Congress altogether after she traveled to a protest in Minnesota and encouraged demonstrators to "stay on the street" and "get more active" if former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin is not convicted of murdering George Floyd.
Many of the Republicans calling for Waters to be punished for her comments are the same ones who themselves either voted against impeaching Donald Trump for inciting the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 or helped rile up the insurrectionists themselves with lies of voter fraud and encouragement to "stop the steal."
And every single one of the Republicans calling for Waters to be punished voted against removing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from her committees, after news surfaced that Greene had "liked" calls on social media for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be executed.
Greene herself is one of the ringleaders of the effort, saying she plans to introduce a bill to expel Waters from Congress altogether.
Greene tweeted late Sunday night, "@RepMaxineWaters you don't live in Minnesota. You crossed state lines and incited riots, violence against police, shootings at the MN NG, and threatened a jury as a sitting US Congresswoman. @SpeakerPelosi surely you will expel this criminal from Congress and uphold the law!"
Yet Greene herself helped instigate the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, encouraging Trump supporters to travel to Washington, D.C., on the day Congress was set to certify Biden's victory. Many of her tweets are laid out in a report from the House Administration Committee on GOP lawmakers' social media posts ahead of the insurrection.
On Nov. 7, 2020, as media outlets were on the precipice of calling the election for Biden, Greene tweeted: "Every single Republican in Congress better toughen up and get in this fight FOR @realDonaldTrump ! If you don’t, these gains in the House will mean nothing in 2022. If you don’t fight for Trump, The People will remember, and they are with Trump. As am I. Don’t repeat 2018."
Meanwhile, Greene did not vote to impeach Trump and defended her own behavior when House Democrats waged their successful effort to strip Greene of her committee assignments over Greene's support for violence against Pelosi.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he was considering his own effort to try to punish Waters for her comments, tweeting, "Maxine Waters is inciting violence in Minneapolis — just as she has incited it in the past. If Speaker Pelosi doesn’t act against this dangerous rhetoric, I will bring action this week."
McCarthy, however, does not control Congress and cannot unilaterally "bring action" against Waters. McCarthy also refused to punish Trump for inciting violence in the insurrection and is one of the 199 Republicans who refused to punish Greene for her support of violence. And he even pushed the lie that the election was stolen and called for action.
"President Trump won this election so everyone who's listening, do not be quiet," McCarthy said in a Fox News appearance on Nov. 5. "Do not be silent about this. We cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes. We need to unite together. You don't need to be a Republican. If you believe in every legal vote needs to count, you believe in the American process, join together and let's stop this."
Other Republicans who both declined to impeach Trump for inciting violence and refused to punish Greene for her rhetoric include:
- Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who tweeted, "Due to the continued dangerous and toxic incitement to violence by Maxine Waters, she should be immediately removed from Congress. Her rhetoric is poisonous."
- Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), who tweeted, "Under @SpeakerPelosi's standard, @RepMaxineWaters
should be stripped of her committee assignments. That won't happen though, because Pelosi constantly abuses her power and authority. Pelosi is a disgrace to the Speakership."
- Rep. Nancy Mace, who tweeted a video of Waters' comments and said, "A member of Congress inciting actual violence... It's abhorrent to incite violence and propagate a race war. We need to come together, not allow people like Rep. Maxine Waters to promote violence and tear us apart further. #MaxineMustGo"
- Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), who tweeted, "@RepMaxineWaters traveled to the center of rioting in Minnesota to tell protestors to "get more confrontational." Two National Guardsmen were shot hours later. There's a difference between fiery rhetoric and inciting violence. Waters crossed the line! Hold her accountable!"
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.