January 17th, 2024
By Josh Christenson
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) faced a censure motion from Manhattan and Brooklyn Democratic Rep. Dan Goldman on Wednesday over her support for “insurrectionists” who breached the US Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, and briefly halted the electoral count.
“January 6th was the gravest attack on American democracy since the Civil War and Congresswoman Stefanik’s persistent and continued support for the perpetrators of an insurrection is contemptuous,” Goldman said in a statement.
“In putting her personal ambitions over her integrity, Congresswoman Stefanik has been Donald Trump’s biggest congressional cheerleader, even though our mutual home state of New York overwhelmingly opposes him.”
He went on to denounce Stefanik’s recent use of the term “hostages” to describe rioters who have been federally prosecuted for their attempts to stop the certification of the 2020 election — saying it “demeans the actual hostages” from Israel and the US kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7.
The House GOP conference chairwoman said during a Jan. 7 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” said she still “had concerns about the treatment of Jan. 6 hostages” and “election integrity” but “condemned the violence” from rioters.
More than 330 defendants have received federal prison sentences in connection with the riot, the Justice Department announced last July.
Goldman also said the congresswoman’s rhetoric covered up the tragedies of Jan. 6, saying the mob of Trump supporters “caused” the death of one Capitol police officer and the later suicides of four others, as well as hundreds of injuries to other law enforcement officers.
“Her rhetoric betrays her oath of office and the House of Representatives and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” he said.
Stefanik has also submitted an ethics complaint against DC US District Judge Beryl Howell, Goldman noted, accusing the jurist of having a “cozy” relationship with President Biden’s deputy attorney general while presiding over the federal prosecution of the 45th president for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.
Goldman called that complaint “bogus” and said Stefanik “falsely” characterized special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment as “attempts to criminalize the First Amendment” — an argument that Trump’s defense lawyers have made.
Stefanik’s office released a blistering statement in response that referred to Goldman’s resolution as a “desperate” attempt by “Failed Far Left House Democrats” to undermine her for being “one of the most effective Members of Congress going on offense every single day exposing Democrats and Joe Biden’s corruption and lies.”
“Elise has never been more supported in her district, by her Republican colleagues, and across Upstate NY and America because she stands up for the American people especially on election integrity and the rule of law to save the Republic,” Stefanik’s executive director Alex DeGrasse said.
“Dan Goldman is a corrupt radical New York Democrat who unethically traded tens of millions of dollars in stocks while failing to pay rent, took money from a Jeff Epstein associate, funds terrorist groups like Hamas through his family foundation, launders millions through his family foundation to attack Republican Members of Congress, and supports radicals like [New York Attorney General] Tish James who are engaging in witchhunts [sic] against President Trump while releasing violent criminals on our streets,” he added, linking to reports detailing the accusations.
“Dan Goldman called for President Trump to be ‘eliminated’ and was widely condemned for his dangerous and violent threat. Dan Goldman and Democrats are desperate because they know Joe Biden is going to lose this November.”
In a subsequent press release, Stefanik’s office also pointed out Goldman’s past social media posts that have alleged Georgia Republicans “stole the governorship” in 2018 and committed “voter fraud” by purging voters from rolls who had been inactive for more than seven years.
Goldman’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the posts.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) told Punchbowl News that Goldman’s resolution, which almost certainly will not pass the Republican-controlled lower chamber, was “patently absurd.”
“She’s one of the best leaders and best communicators in Congress,” he said of Stefanik. “She is doing an exceptional job and the idea that he would use censure to attack a political opponent is just ridiculous.”
Censuring a member was a rare disciplinary action in the House for most of its history, but three Democratic representatives have received the official rebuke so far in the current Congress.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was censured for making false claims of collusion between the Russian government and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, while Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) received the disciplinary measure for antisemitic remarks made amid Israel’s war with Hamas terrorists.
Goldman voted in favor of Tlaib’s censure, but not for censure of Schiff or Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), who was scolded for falsely pulling a fire alarm in a House office building while Democrats were scrambling to delay a vote on a government funding bill on Sept. 30.