Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee, led by ranking member Jim Jordan (Ohio), are going after the committee's Democratic chairman for downplaying Antifa violence and are demanding that he call for hearings into the radical group's actions in cities across the U.S.
What's going on?
Far-left House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler has earned himself a reputation for minimizing the violent riots and chaos instigated by Antifa.
In June committee hearing, the New York Democrat declared Antifa to be "imaginary" as he accused Republican lawmakers of ignoring racial injustices and police reform and instead prioritizing "arrant nonsense."
"They couldn't utter the phrase 'black lives matter' and could barely [broach] the subject of police reform," Nadler said. "Instead, their amendments, I've given you about half of them, just listed here, were arrant nonsense, off-topic, dealing with imaginary things like Antifa and completely negating the entire purpose of the bill."
In June, Rep. Jordan went after Nadler on the House floor for his "ridiculous" comments and demonstrated the multiple errors in Nadler's declaration.
And in July, Nadler famously called the Antifa violence in Portland, Oregon, a "myth" — which led to an avalanche of mockery and derision directed toward the chairman.
The Judiciary Committee's GOP minority has had their fill of Nadler and his fellow Democratic leaders choosing to "look the other way" when it comes to Antifa's blatant disregard for the law and ongoing riots and violence.
In a letter to the chairman Tuesday, Jordan and fellow leading Judiciary Republican Reps. Ken Buck (Colo.), Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.), and Mike Johnson (La.), demanded that Nadler and the Democratic majority stop downplaying Antifa's violence and to start holding hearings on the group's actions.
They also ripped the Democratic Party for tacitly encouraging violence in American cities — cities run and dominated by Democrats.
"Violent left-wing extremists are destroying Democrat-run American cities. As parts of these cities literally burn, prominent Democrat leaders look the other way on lawlessness and disorder," the letter began. "Even you, the chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee with a unique platform to denounce left-wing violence, have trivialized it as 'imaginary' and a 'myth.'
"The Democrats' acceptance and tacit encouragement of violence has real consequences," Jordan et al continued. "It is beyond time that you forcefully denounce left-wing violent extremism and convene a Committee hearing to examine the civic unrest plaguing Democrat-run cities."
The letter went on to list examples of riots and chaos in Portland, Oregon; Seattle; Minneapolis; Kenosha, Wisconsin; and New York City. They also cited left-wingers in Washington, D.C., staging a mock execution of President Donald Trump and harassing people leaving the White House following the president's Aug. 27 Republican National Convention speech.
Then the Judiciary Republicans noted how Democrats' failures and calls for defunding the police have exacerbated the violence and riots:
Democrats have failed to stop the violence and destruction in these cities. Consistent with the Democrats' "defund the police" initiative, some Democrat-run major cities have reduced police budgets and local prosecutors have declined to enforce certain laws. Other prominent Democrats, like Senator Kamala Harris, have helped to raise bail money for criminals arrested in riots — money that was reportedly used to release an accused murderer, a convicted sex offender, and someone who shot at a police officer. When Attorney General William Barr urged the Committee to condemn mob violence and destruction of federal property at a recent hearing, not a single Democrat spoke up. Instead, you have minimized the violence in Democrat-run cities, calling the radical leftist group Antifa an "imaginary thing" and Antifa violence a "myth that's only being spread in Washington, D.C."
Jordan's letter concluded by noting that Nadler's 20 months as chairman have been "wasted" because of his apparent "obsession" with "partisan investigations" of President Trump. The lawmakers urged Nadler to instead focus on two actions to "restore law and order to Democrat-run American cities:
1. Publicly and forcefully denounce left-wing violent extremism and acknowledge that left-wing violence is neither "imaginary" nor a "myth."
2. Immediately convene a hearing of the Judiciary Committee to examine the civil unrest caused by left-wing violent extremists in Democrat-run cities. This is an issue of life and death that the Committee must not ignore.
So far, there has been no response from Nadler's office.