Washington, DC

Pelosi Calls for Ethics Investigation into Greene’s Assault of Ocasio-Cortez Which Shows She Hasn’t Learned Her Lesson

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion that the House Ethics Committee investigate Marjorie Taylor Greene for verbally abusing Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proves Greene’s controversial views have not been reigned in by past consequences.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the case of the "verbal assault and real abuse" of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., expressing the opinion that it should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee.

The ultra right wing conservative legislator from Georgia verbally attacked Ocasio-Cortez, falsely accusing her of “supporting terrorists" as the New York congresswoman was exiting the House Chamber on Wednesday. After leaving a congressional hearing Ocasio-Cortez was confronted by Greene, who repeatedly shouted, "Hey Alexandria" to get Ocasio-Cortez's attention as she followed the Democrat down the hallway.

"You don't care about the American people," Greene yelled at Ocasio-Cortez. "Why do you support terrorists and antifa?" This occured in front of reporters including ones from the Washington Post who published the story based on what they’d observed and been told directly.

When Ocasio-Cortez attempted to evade Greene, in order to avoid a public argument, the Republican from Georgia yelled that Ocasio-Cortez was failing to defend what Greene called her "radical socialist" views by not entering into the confrontation. The New York Democrat turned around at one point, throwing her hands in frustration as Greene continued to publicly goad her.

At her regular weekly news conference Pelosi said that the freshman Replican representative’s decision to follow Ocasio-Cortez while screaming at her in public hallways within earshot of members of the press is absolutely unacceptable and should be dealt with accordingly.

“It's so beyond the pale of anything that is in keeping with bringing honor to the House, or not bringing dishonor to the House. It's so beyond the pale that you wonder ... it probably is a matter for the Ethics Committee,” Pelosi said

The speaker added, “This is beneath the dignity of a person serving in the Congress of the United States and is a cause for trauma and fear among members, especially on the heels of an insurrection, on which the minority in the committee yesterday denied ever happened.”

In regards to the incident, Ocasio-Cortez’s stated that the discussion shouldn't be about her but about standing up against attempted bullying.

"I used to work as a bartender,” the Democratic congresswoman said. “These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time. This isn't even about how I feel. It's that I refuse to allow young women, people of color, people who are standing up for what they believe, to see this kind of intimidation attempt by a person who supports white supremacists in our nation’s capital.”

Greene, who has had prior incidents of accosting and chasing people in public she disagrees with, yelled that the New York Democrat backs groups like Black Lives Matter, calling them “terrorists,” according to the account in The Washington Post, which was witnessed by two reporters.

A spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez, Lauren Hitt, told The Post that Greene tried to bait the Democrat into an argument and she “began screaming and called Rep. Ocasio-Cortez a terrorist sympathizer” when she tried to walk away. Hitt also told the reporter that she hopes House leadership and the House sergeant at arms take steps “to make Congress a safe, civil place for all members and staff.”

When Ocasio-Cortez refused to engage in shouting match with Greene, the Republican turned to reporters and said, “She’s a chicken, she doesn’t want to debate the Green New Deal. These members are cowards. They need to defend their legislation to the people. That’s pathetic.”

This is not the first time that the actions of Georgia’s newly elected representative caused controversy or concern. In January, less than a day after President Biden took office, Greene filed articles of impeachment against him claiming he had abused his power as Barack Obama’s vice president by permitting his son to sit on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

"President Joe Biden is unfit to hold the office of the presidency. His pattern of abuse of power as President Obama's Vice President is lengthy and disturbing. President Biden has demonstrated that he will do whatever it takes to bail out his son, Hunter, and line his family's pockets with cash from corrupt foreign energy companies," Greene said in a statement.

This appeared to be an act of retribution as Greene announced her intention only hours after the House voted to impeach Trump for inciting a violent mob to riot and break into the Capitol in an effort to stop Congress from ratifying Biden’s win.

In a 2018 video, Greene falsely indicated that 9/11 was a practical joke and that President Barack Obama was a Muslim. She went on to accuse the Clintons of murdering John Kennedy, Jr. who died in a plane crash, in order to prevent him from running against Hilary Clinton for the New York Senate seat. A large amount of other problematic social media posts and videos came to light from before Greene was elected in which she presented an endless range of hate speech and conspiracy theories rooted in anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia and a belief that government officials were secretly responsible for an array of violence in the country.

Also in 2018, in a Facebook post, Greene suggested that a terrible wildfire that devastated California was started by “a laser” beamed from space which was controlled by a prominent Jewish banking family with connections to powerful Democrats. She repeatedly supported executing Democratic lawmakers, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi on social media and when asked by a follower if they could hang President Barack Obama that the “stage is being set.”

Greene has continuously claimed that several mass shootings such as the one at at a Las Vegas music festival that killed 58 people and school shootings including the one at Sandy Hook which resulted in 28 people killed and the one in Parkland Florida which killed 17 people were killed were organized by democratic representatives and carried out by gun control activists to drum up support for gun regulations. She followed a student around while aggressively questioning him about his advocacy for gun laws just weeks after he survived the deadly shooting at his school, calling him on social media, #littleHitler and a “bought and paid little pawn”.

Greene served as a regular writer for a conspiracy blog called “American Truth Seekers,” (now defunct) writing posts with headlines including “MUST READ — Democratic Party Involved With Child Sex, Satanism, and The Occult.” She claimed that the 2018 midterm elections, in which the first two Muslim women were elected to the House, were part of “an Islamic invasion of our government.”

Within a month of taking office, in an unprecedented move, the House exiled Greene from congressional committees, and blacklisted her for supporting the executions of Democrats and spreading dangerous and bigoted misinformation, Within three months of Greene taking office, the GOP were facing calls from Democrats and a prominent group of Jewish Republicans to expel her from Congress.

Pelosi called Greene's behavior "egregious" and "not in keeping with the behavior of a member of Congress." She said that the House Republican Conference needed to establish some kind of “respectable behavior standard for them. But it could be that this would rise to the level of an ethics complaint,” Pelosi then said.

Greene built her political brand largely by perpetrating high-profile verbal attacks on people.

The Ethics Committee is a House panel charged with overseeing the proper behavior of representatives and investigating unethical or improper conduct of House members, including ethics violations.

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