House Democrats introduced a resolution Friday to censure Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar for posting a photoshopped anime video to his Twitter and Instagram accounts showing him appearing to kill Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden.
The House Democrats said Wednesday that “violence against women in politics is a global phenomenon meant to silence women and discourage them from seeking positions of authority and participating in public life, with women of color disproportionately impacted.” They also said that “vicious and vulgar messaging can and does foment actual violence,” pointing to the attack on the Capitol on January 6 as an example.
It is unclear if or when the House will vote on the resolution condemning Gosar’s actions. The House is in recess this week in observance of Veterans Day and is scheduled to return next week.
Democratic Reps. Jackie Speier and Eric Swalwell of California, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Brenda Lawrence and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar of Texas, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, Nikema Williams of Georgia, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and dozens of other Democrats brought forward the resolution.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, also urged the House Ethics Committee and law enforcement to investigate Gosar’s actions, and for House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy of California to condemn them.
“The resolution was introduced because it crosses the line,” Speier told CNN. “Congressman Gosar is inciting violence against a colleague – Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez.”
Gosar has since removed the video from his Twitter account. In it, Gosar was portrayed as a cartoon hero who attacks a giant with Ocasio-Cortez’s face with a sword. The giant can then be seen crumbling to the ground. Another scene shows Gosar flying through the air, swinging two swords at a character with Biden’s face.
Gosar said in a statement that he doesn’t “espouse violence or harm towards any member of Congress or Mr. Biden,” and that the video “symbolizes the battle for the soul of America when Congress takes up” the President’s economic package, which includes immigration provisions he opposes.
“This video is truly a symbolic portrayal of a fight over immigration policy,” Gosar said.
Gosar’s siblings have long been critical of their brother; six of them endorsed his Democratic opponent in a television advertisement in 2018.
His sister Jennifer Gosar said on CNN Tuesday that the congressman’s behavior “definitely is getting worse, because no one – no one – holds him accountable.”
This story and headline have been updated Friday with additional developments.
CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan contributed to this report.