Two Republican lawmakers, Sen. Mike Lee (Utah) and Rep. Chip Roy (Texas), sent letters to colleagues Thursday urging them to censure Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (New York) after she launched wild accusations against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), alleging he attempted to have her murdered.
What's the background?
The accusation in question occurred Thursday after Cruz responded to a tweet by Ocasio-Cortez calling for an investigation into stock-trading app Robinhood, saying he "fully" agreed with the prospect. Robinhood this week temporarily suspended the ability to purchase certain volatile stocks, including GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings, after online investors rallied to buy up shares in the companies in order to "squeeze" Wall Street hedge fund managers.
In response to Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez wrote: "I am happy to work with Republicans on this issue where there's common ground, but you almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago so you can sit this one out. Happy to work w/ almost any other GOP that aren't trying to get me killed. In the meantime if you want to help, you can resign."
What are the details?
In Lee's letter,
obtained by the Federalist, the Utah congressman writes: "It has come to my attention that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent out a tweet a few hours ago in which she accused one of our colleagues — twice — of attempted murder. I believe that, as a conference, we should immediately and publicly call on her to retract her statement and apologize. If she refuses to do so — and perhaps even if she doesn't — I think she should be admonished or censured by the House."
In a separate letter, Roy demanded that Ocasio-Cortez "immediately apologize and retract her comments."
"If Representative Ocasio-Cortez does not apologize immediately, we will be forced to find alternative means to condemn this regrettable statement," Roy added. "It is my sincere hope that we all stop this heightened rhetoric and move forward to actually do the work the American people sent us here to do."
In her tweet, Ocasio-Cortez was referring to Cruz's decision to object to the certification of President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory on Jan. 6, an action she considers to have directly incited a pro-Trump mob to storm the U.S. Capitol while Congress was present in the chambers.
Following the riot, the New York Democrat demanded that Cruz, along with several other Republican lawmakers, resign from Congress.
During a virtual town hall last week, she characterized the actions of election objectors as "a dereliction of duty and a betrayal of our country."
"And that is why I have demanded the resignations of Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, [and] Republican Minority Leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy, along with many others," she continued. "Because this is not just about political opinion or partisanship. This was about the abandonment of our sworn oath."