Panel Agrees to Strike Greene's Comments

Shot at colleague remains, but GOP chairman blocks calling Homeland Security head a liar
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2023 6:35 PM CDT
Panel Agrees to Strike Greene's Comments
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks Tuesday during a House select subcommittee hearing on the origins of COVID-19 on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Members of the two parties came together Tuesday during a House committee hearing, agreeing to stop the accusations coming from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Democrats objected more than once to things Greene said during a Homeland Security hearing but failed the first time to have her comments struck, the Hill reports. In following Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, Greene's first shot apparently was sparked by a suggestion he made that she and others want to defund the FBI. The Republican called Swalwell's reference rich coming "from someone that had a sexual relationship with a Chinese spy and everyone knows it."

The FBI once warned Swalwell that a woman helping raise money for his 2014 campaign was suspected of being a Chinese spy. He denied any improper relationship with her, and the FBI said there's no reason to think Swalwell shared classified information with her. The Republican chairman, Mark Green, rejected a Democratic move to strike her comments as a personal attack, and Greene refused to withdraw them. Next, she called Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who was appearing before the panel, a liar while hectoring him about the spread of fentanyl in the US, per USA Today. Again, Greene declined to take back her words, and Rep. Bennie Thompson tried to get the chairman to take the comments down.

This time, Green agreed. "It's pretty clear that the rules state you can't impugn someone's character," the GOP chairman said. "Identifying or calling someone a liar is unacceptable in this committee." The ruling blocked Greene from pursuing that line of questioning, which the chairman had seemed to be following himself earlier in the hearing, when he pushed Mayorkas on whether he lied to Congress about whether he has had operational control of the border. "Not only have you lied under oath, you just admitted your own incompetence," Green told the director at the time. Greene was kicked off all committees two years ago, then reinstated by the new speaker in January. (More Marjorie Taylor Greene stories.)

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