Removal Of Gaetz, Gosar, & Cawthorn From Congress Proposed By Congresswoman

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Predictably, a selection of far-right members of the U.S. House reacted repulsively to the “not guilty” verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case. Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), and Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) have all, at this point, made a public show of offering an internship to Rittenhouse, who had been on trial over homicide charges connected to his killing of two people amid protests last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse claimed self-defense, but neither of the people who he killed even had a gun — and he was the one wandering through crowds while holding an AR-15.

Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) has now called for the expulsion from Congress of Gaetz, Gosar, and Cawthorn over their offerings of internships to Rittenhouse. As Bush put it:

‘Just being real: every day it feels more and more dangerous coming to work. Not only do these members fuel violence. Now they’re actively recruiting someone whose sole qualification is killing people standing up for Black lives and getting away with it. They must be expelled.’

Unfortunately, expelling members from the House, no matter the horrendous nature of their rhetoric and actions, requires the agreement of two-thirds of the chamber. With the current party breakdown in place, expulsion would therefore require the support of far more Republicans than could be expected to come to their senses on issues of integrity — and safety — such as these. It’s not the first recent occasion, though, when one of the Congressmen singled out by Bush has faced calls for their expulsion. After Gosar posted an edited, partly animated video depicting him murdering Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), individuals including Rep. James Clyburn (R-S.C.), Ocasio-Cortez herself, and even the Congressman’s brother, Tim, raised the possibility of expulsion. What the House settled on was censuring Gosar and removing him from his committee assignments in the chamber.

The embrace of violence extends to the highest levels of the GOP, of course. Repeatedly, Trump has excused the actions of those who participated in the storming of the Capitol in January, even though that incident included elements like mass physical assaults on police officers, some of whom were left with serious injuries.