Goldman Files Censure Against Stefanik for Calling Jan. 6 Defendants ‘Hostages’


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Representative Dan Goldman, Democrat of New York, on Wednesday announced he would file a formal censure of Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, accusing her of peddling voter fraud conspiracy theories that fueled the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol and supporting rioters who violently threatened members of Congress, referring to them as “hostages.”

Mr. Goldman’s resolution marked the latest instance of a lawmaker moving to use what was once a rare form of congressional punishment — a public reprimand just short of expulsion that historically has been used against members only after a criminal conviction or finding of wrongdoing — to condemn the speech of a colleague.

But he said he did not plan to force quick action on the measure, as House rules allow any lawmaker to do.

“Our preference would be for Republicans to recognize that kind of rhetoric has to stop and find a spine and stand up to Donald Trump,” Mr. Goldman said in an interview. He said he would consider seeking to force a vote in the future, if G.O.P. leaders fail to take up the matter themselves, something that appears exceedingly unlikely.

Appearing on “Meet The Press” this month to mark the third anniversary of the Capitol assault, Ms. Stefanik said she harbored “concerns about the treatment of the Jan. 6 hostages,” echoing former President Donald J. Trump’s use of the term to describe his supporters who have been imprisoned for trespassing and assaulting police officers that day.

Ms. Stefanik, who previously called on the Justice Department to prosecute those responsible, also said during the interview that “we’re seeing the weaponization of the federal government against not just President Trump, but we’re seeing it against conservatives.”

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Goldman Files Censure Against Stefanik for Calling Jan. 6 Defendants ‘Hostages’

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