‘It’s a criminal violation’: Democrats weigh Gosar punishment over violent video

House Democrats say they are discussing plans to punish Rep. Paul Gosar after the Arizona Republican tweeted an animated video depicting the murder of Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters on Tuesday that lawmakers are discussing how to mete out punishment against Gosar, adding, “I think significant action ought to be taken.”

The Maryland Democrat went further, declaring Gosar’s video was an “obscene … incitement to violence” and likely a criminal act.

“I think it’s a criminal violation to make a threat against a public official, a federal public official,” Hoyer said. “So this may be a criminal act as well as an act which certainly brings dishonor on the House of Representatives.”

Democrats, who are in the majority, could vote to strip Gosar of committee assignments. They could also vote to censure Gosar over the video.

For now, Hoyer and other top Democrats are calling on House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to punish the Arizona Republican.

McCarthy, of California, told reporters he phoned Gosar after the tweet, and Gosar took down the video.

On Tuesday, Gosar met privately with fellow House Republicans at their weekly conference meeting to discuss the matter.

Ten House Democrats have introduced a resolution calling for the censure of Gosar over the video, but lawmakers could go much further.

House Democrats in February stripped freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her two committee posts following the revelation that violent rhetoric against Democratic lawmakers, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, had appeared on her Facebook page before she was elected to Congress.

Gosar sits on the House Natural Resources Committee as well as the House Oversight and Reform panel.

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