WASHINGTON- A majority in the House of Representatives voted Wednesday to censure Republican Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona for posting an animated video on Twitter showing him striking New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a sword.
Calling the video a clear threat to the life of a legislator, Democrats argued that Gosar’s conduct would not be tolerated in any other workplace and should not be tolerated in Congress.
Except for expulsion, censorship is considered the most severe punishment against a member of the Lower House.
The resolution also removes Gosar from the two House committees he works on, Supervision and Reforms and Natural Resources.
The vote to censor Gosar, and also strip him of his committee assignments, passed by a 223-207 vote, almost entirely along party lines.
What did the controversial video show?
Gosar posted the video over a week ago with a note that read, “Any anime fans?” The roughly 90-second video was an altered version of a Japanese anime clip, interspersed with footage of Border Patrol officers and migrants at the southern border of the United States.
During a section of about 10 seconds, animated characters whose faces had been replaced by Gosar. Greene from Georgia and Lauren Boebert from Colorado were shown fighting other animated characters. In one scene, Gosar’s character is seen striking the one made to look like Ocasio-Cortez on the neck with a sword. The video also shows him attacking President Joe Biden.
Last week, Gosar issued a statement saying the video was not intended to depict harm or violence, but called it “a symbolic depiction of a fight over immigration policy.”