Rep. Hakeem Jeffries says he wouldn’t be surprised if McCarthy put Marjorie Taylor Greene on the committee to investigate the Capitol riot

Hakeem Jeffries
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

  • Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said he wouldn’t be surprised if House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appointed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, among others, to the Capitol riot committee.
  • “He’s got quite a collection of characters to choose from,” Jeffries said.
  • The committee will be formed to investigate the January 6 insurrection, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced earlier this week.
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Rep. Hakeem Jeffries on Friday said he wouldn’t be surprised if House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appointed Rep. Marjorie Taylor to the commission investigating the January 6 Capitol riot.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this week decided to form a congressional committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection. Senate Republicans initially blocked a bill that would have established an independent commission to look into the riot. Pelosi, in response, formalized plans to do so.

The commission is still in the process of being formed, and Pelosi and McCarthy are expected to appoint representatives to fill it.

“Speaker Pelosi is going to come up with an extraordinary group of members, who are highly talented, skilled,” Jeffries said on Friday in an MSNBC interview with host Chris Hayes. “It will be the best and the brightest for this task in terms of the House Democratic Caucus.”

When asked about Republicans who might potentially be on the committee, Jeffries rattled off a list of lawmakers he believed McCarthy might appoint.

“It wouldn’t shock me if he chose Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert,” he said. “He’s got quite a collection of characters to choose from. It’s not my expectation given Kevin McCarthy’s past practice that he will do anything other than bend the knee to Donald Trump.”

“We’ll see what horror show Kevin McCarthy gives us that we will have to deal with,” Jeffries added.

In the months that followed the Capitol riot, Republicans have continuously downplayed the insurrection.

In May, Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia likened the people who stormed the building to tourists and said referring to the riot as an insurrection is a “bald-faced lie.”

One of Greene’s close associates attended the Capitol riot, he told CNN. Greene has described him as “one of my closest friends.”

Greene was among the several Republicans who’ve made false allegations of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. She’s also peddled the fictitious narrative that President Joe Biden didn’t actually win the election.

“It was a #StolenElection. Trump won,” Greened tweeted on Christmas Day.

McCarthy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment asking whom he might appoint to the committee.

But during a press briefing on Friday, McCarthy was asked to commit to not including “conspiracy theorists” on the committee, a question he sidestepped.

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Rep. Hakeem Jeffries says that Republicans ‘want to make it harder to vote and easier to steal an election’

Hakeem Jeffries
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York.

  • Rep. Hakeem Jeffries slammed the proposed Texas voting bill as “shameful.”
  • After Trump’s 2020 loss, GOP lawmakers across the country have enacted new barriers to voting.
  • President Joe Biden on Saturday blasted the legislation in Texas, calling it “un-American.”
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Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York on Sunday blasted the restrictive Texas voting bill on the cusp of being signed into law, arguing that Republicans in the Lone Star State and across the country “want to make it harder to vote and easier to steal an election.”

During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Jeffries, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, slammed Republicans for pushing to enact a wave of new voting restrictions.

“The Texas law is shameful, and Republicans clearly in Texas and throughout the country want to make it harder to vote and easier to steal an election,” he said. “That’s the only way that I can interpret the voter suppression epidemic that we see working its way from one state, Georgia to Arizona to Texas, and all across the country, in so many different ways.”

He added: “Fundamental to our democracy is the right to vote, self-government, that the American people get to decide and work for a democracy that reflects the voices of all Americans, not just a certain segment, not just conservatives, not just Republicans, not just people in certain parts of the country, all Americans.”

The GOP-controlled Texas state Senate passed a massive elections bill in the early Sunday morning hours, according to The Texas Tribune, which would ban drive-thru voting voting and uninterrupted early voting, tighten ID requirements for mail-in ballots, and limit early voting hours, among other measures.

The GOP focus on early voting is significant because 24-hour voting was popular among many blue-collar and shift workers in the vote-rich, Democratic-dominated city of Houston, the county seat of Harris County.

Read more: A multitude of Trump-era mysteries are poised to come roaring back into the headlines. Everyone involved is bracing for what happens after that.

If the state Senate bill is approved by the state House, it will then head to GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, who strongly supports the legislation.

President Joe Biden on Saturday blasted the legislation, calling it “un-American.”

“Today, Texas legislators put forth a bill that joins Georgia and Florida in advancing a state law that attacks the sacred right to vote,” he said in a statement. “It’s part of an assault on democracy that we’ve seen far too often this year – and often disproportionately targeting Black and Brown Americans.”

He added: “It’s wrong and un-American. In the 21st century, we should be making it easier, not harder, for every eligible voter to vote.”

Biden then urged lawmakers to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which both face difficult roads in the Senate due to the threat of GOP filibusters.

For months, Democrats have delivered blistering criticism regarding similar legislation in Georgia and Florida, arguing that the restrictive voting bills are unnecessary and a result of former President Donald Trump’s election lies.

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‘Clean up your mess, Kevin’: Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries responds to Maxine Waters censure effort by telling GOP leader Kevin McCarthy to ‘sit this one out’

hakeem jeffries
House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., speaks during a press conference on Feb. 3, 2021.

  • Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries admonished Republican efforts to censure Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters.
  • Jeffries argued that GOP leaders are hypocrites for condemning Waters’ comments urging protesters to “get more confrontational.”
  • “Clean up your mess, Kevin. Sit this one out,” Jeffries said, referring to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
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Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the 4th-highest ranking House Democrat, admonished Republican efforts to censure Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters and argued the GOP should deal with their own “mess” before attacking Democrats.

“Kevin McCarthy should focus on his own conference, because the Republicans in the House are a mess right now,” Jeffries told reporters. “Perhaps he should sit this one out.”

Jeffries named specific Republican lawmakers who’ve been mired in controversy in recent months.

“Lauren Boebert is a mess. Matt Gaetz is a mess. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a mess,” he said. “Clean up your mess, Kevin. Sit this one out.”

Waters is facing criticism for telling a group of supporters to “get more confrontational” if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murdering George Floyd, is acquitted. She made her comments during a visit to Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, where Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by a police officer last week.

“We’ve got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational,” she said. “We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

The judge overseeing Chauvin’s trial called Waters’ remarks “abhorrent” and said they could warrant an appeal once the case is decided. The jury’s verdict is expected to be made public on Tuesday afternoon.

Republicans are planning to hold a vote to censure Waters on Tuesday afternoon. The party has refused to censure their own members who’ve been accused of making comments that incited violence, including before and during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended Waters, saying the congresswoman’s remarks were “absolutely not” meant to incite violence.

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Rep. Jeffries slams newly elected Rep. Owens for voting to overturn the 2020 election results

Hakeem Jeffries
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York questions US Attorney General William Barr during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on July 28, 2020.

  • Rep. Hakeem Jeffries slammed newly elected Rep. Burgess Owens for urging Democrats to practice patriotism.
  • Owens urged Democrats on Friday to recite the pledge to begin the House Judiciary Committee session. 
  • Jeffries said Owens couldn’t lecture about patriotism because he had voted to overturn the 2020 election results.
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Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York rebuked newly elected Rep. Burgess Owens on Friday for “lecturing” Democrats on patriotism, even as Owens voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Former Vice President Joe Biden won the election in November. But in the weeks that followed the election, numerous Republican lawmakers tried to persuade Americans without evidence that the results were not valid.

Owens, a freshman representative who only recently began his first House term, was one of those lawmakers. He’s a pro-Trump lawmaker from Utah who’s falsely said there’s “no question” Trump was re-elected to a second term.

During an organizing meeting with the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, Owens made an argument in favor of a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Owens and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz have previously urged Democrats to recite the pledge before the start of every House Judiciary Committee meeting. Rep. Jerry Nadler, who chairs the committee, denied the request because the House already begins each day in session with the pledge.

“It’s not about words. It’s about actions,” Owens said on Friday during his argument in favor of a second recitation.

Jeffries rebuked Owens in his response, suggesting he had little standing to preach to Democrats about being patriotic because Owens voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election when there was no legitimate reason to do so.

“I was hoping to engage with the new distinguished gentleman from Utah, as he sat here lecturing us about patriotism,” Jeffries said. “And I was just going to ask him how he voted after a violent mob attacked the Capitol to hunt down members of Congress, to hang [former Vice President] Mike Pence, to assassinate [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, to stop us from undertaking our constitutional responsibilities as part of the peaceful transfer of power.”

Owens was one of the lawmakers who voted to challenge the election results in Pennsylvania, where Biden secured 20 electoral votes after defeating Trump and turning the state blue.

“More than 100 officers seriously injured, brain injuries, head trauma,” Jeffries said. “One officer lost three fingers. Another officer, because of an assault on him, is likely to be blind. Officer [Brian] Sicknick died. Blood was spilled. Two other officers are no longer with us.” 

“And you want to sit here and lecture us about patriotism?” Jeffries asked. “When you voted to object to an election that you know Joe Biden won, and perpetrated the big lie?”

“But the notion of you coming here lecturing us on your first day before this committee, it’s not about words it’s about actions?” Jeffries said. “You know what? Explain your actions on January 7th. When you supported an insurrection.”

The January 6 riot left at least five people, including one police officer, dead. Members of the Proud Boys, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, were reportedly present.

Organizers were emboldened by President Donald Trump’s urges to protest the results of the 2020 election with him, despite Biden’s election victory. While members of Congress were meeting inside the Capitol building day to certify the results, supporters organized an attempted coup and stormed the Capitol building.

Upon news that the riot breached the Capitol building, lawmakers began to shelter in place and many evacuated.

One quick-thinking Senate aide secured the boxes containing the electoral votes, rescuing them from possible damage. The vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden went on as planned hours after the riot began.

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