The U.S. House of Representatives voted 223-207 on Wednesday to censure Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and remove him from committee assignments for posting to his social media an edited video which depicts cartoon violence, but which Gosar insists was not meant as any sort of threat.
The video includes a portion in which Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) face is superimposed over a cartoon figure that gets attacked by a character that has Gosar’s face superimposed on it.
It also includes a section in which a figure with Gosar’s face leaps to attack President Joe Biden, though the video pauses in midair and the attack is not shown.
During remarks on Wednesday, Gosar said that he rejected the notion “that the cartoon from my office is dangerous or threatening. It was not. And I reject the false narrative categorically. I do not espouse violence towards anyone. I never have,” he said.
“I voluntarily took the cartoon down, not because it was itself a threat, but because some thought it was,” Gosar said.
While Gosar deleted the video from his social media accounts, it is still viewable on his personal Twitter feed because he recently re-tweeted a post that includes the video. Gosar re-tweeted Blaze Media’s Elijah Schaffer, who had re-tweeted a post that included the video.
Content warning: The bare backside of the figure that gets attacked appears to be briefly visible:
Really well done. We love @DrPaulGosar, donu2019t we folks?https://twitter.com/nuancebro/status/1461092714154500105u00a0u2026
— ELIJAH (@ELIJAH)1637189169
Two Republican lawmakers — Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — voted with Democrats in favor of censuring Gosar and removing him from serving on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Another GOP lawmaker voted present.
Cheney and Kinzinger are the only GOP lawmakers serving on the House select committee tasked with probing the Jan. 6 episode at the U.S. Capitol.
The two GOP lawmakers were also among the ten House Republicans to vote in favor of impeaching then-President Donald Trump earlier this year in the wake of the Capitol breach. The Senate did not vote on the issue until Trump had already departed from office, and while multiple Republicans joined Democrats in voting to convict, the chamber failed to reach the threshold necessary to convict.