WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ ethics committee called for Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene to be expelled from office for supporting a conspiracy theory about the 2018 massacre of 17 people at a Florida high school.
Democratic Representative Ted Deutch on Twitter criticized Greene, a newly elected Georgia congresswoman, for supporting false online claims that the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was a “false flag” operation.
Right-wing conspiracy theorists have repeatedly and falsely claimed that mass shootings in America, which have killed hundreds of Americans over the past decade, were staged events aimed at restricting gun rights.
“Rep. Greene denied the school shooting in Parkland & insulted the memory of the 17 murdered. She attacked brave student leaders fighting for their lives. She shouldn’t have a public platform to further spread dangerous lies. Not on a House Committee. Not as a Member of Congress,” Deutch said on Twitter.
Deutch is co-sponsoring a resolution drafted by fellow Democratic Representative Jimmy Gomez to expel Greene from the House.
Expulsion is a rare step that requires a two-thirds majority vote. Democrats have a 10-seat majority in the House and would need the support of at least 67 Republicans to oust Greene.
CNN reported this week that Green in online posts before running for office has expressed support for executing Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
A spokesperson for House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said: “These comments are deeply disturbing and Leader McCarthy plans to have a conversation with the Congresswoman about them.”
Deutch criticized Greene over comments she has made online agreeing with people who said the 2018 shooting was a “false flag” operation, as well as her confrontation of a survivor in a video that surfaced this week. The school is in Deutch’s congressional district.
Greene, asked to comment on Deutch’s tweet, said Democrats and the media are targeting her because she is a conservative Republican.
“They are coming after me because like President Trump, I will always defend conservative values. They want to take me out because I represent the people. And they absolutely hate it,” she said in emailed comments.
Pelosi on Thursday sidestepped a question about whether Greene should be expelled. But she asked why Republicans assigned Greene to the education committee “when she has mocked the killing of little children… when she has mocked the killing of teenagers… What could they be thinking?”
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Scott Malone and Dan Grebler)