Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., has been censured by his own party for an offensive video he produced about Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with fellow Republicans stripping his committee assignments.
In the video, a militant-like figure named “EJ” walks into the congresswoman’s office and utters the Nazi-like “Heil Ocasio-Cortez,” before pointing a gun at her office door and threatening “Silence yourself, you do not belong here.”
It has garnered more than 100,000 views since it was released on the congressman’s Instagram account Wednesday.
The House on Friday voted to censure Gosar for violating the chamber’s standards of conduct.
“Like many of his fellow Republicans, Paul Gosar’s first response to confronting this egregious violation of House Standards of Conduct was to offer his own spin on the matter, which has already been discredited by the public,” the reprimand released by the House said.
A number of House Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise, joined to strip Gosar of his seven committee assignments, suspending him for seven days without pay.
“Paul Gosar went out of his way to tarnish the reputation of the United States Capitol by participating in a despicable hate crime,” Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, a member of the House Judiciary Committee and chairman of the Coalition for Intersectional Leadership, said in a statement. “Paul Gosar used his position of public trust to bring shame to his colleagues and the Capitol. I remain a friend, but Mr. Gosar’s statements have no place in the halls of Congress. My constituents and those of the House deserve better.”
Gosar has long been a Trump supporter and is one of the 20 lawmakers who was placed on Trump’s short-list for the Federal Trade Commission. But in a statement Thursday, Gosar said his actions “don’t speak for me, my family, my friends, or myself, and I’ve apologized for my words.”
“I’m not the one with a question mark hanging over my head right now, but the fact is that I need to spend more time focusing on this country, the American people, and fixing the problems that exist in our country, specifically the lack of leadership in Washington,” he said.
While Ocasio-Cortez has come under fire for a wide range of actions over the course of her short political career, the Congressman’s video has ignited a firestorm. She is being repeatedly targeted by the right, as evidenced by the White House’s statement condemning the video.
The seven-time military veteran and former federal prosecutor has been an outspoken critic of the government’s immigration policies, including ending the Temporary Protected Status program, and has refused to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
And just this week, the congressman skipped the congressional response to the deadly Malaysia Airlines plane crash in the Ukraine and travel on his personal cellphone, blocking lawmakers from attending. He had faced backlash for the move from Speaker Paul Ryan and the leadership.