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Swalwell draws a ‘straight line’ from Pelosi’s attack to GOP leader McCarthy

Rep. Eric Swalwell faulted House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy for failing to rein in the violent rhetoric of his caucus members, saying it created the environment that led to an attack on the president’s husband. Nancy Pelosi.

The California Democrat made the remarks during a Friday night appearance on MSNBC The ReidOut following the news that Paul Pelosi, the speaker’s husband, was attacked with a hammer. Members of Congress have said they face more threats since Donald Trump was elected president. Swalwell said McCarthy, who could become Speaker of the House after the election, shares the blame.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott told a press conference on Friday that they had arrested David Depape, 42, on charges related to the alleged assault on Pelosi, who is recovering from his wounds. While police are still investigating the motive for the attack, The Associated Press (AP) reported that Depape was shouting, “Where’s Nancy, where’s Nancy?”

Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell of California is seen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol April 6, 2022, in Washington, DC Swalwell said on Friday that House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy had not done enough to curb the statements from GOP officials that he said glorify violence.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Swalwell told host Joy Reid the attack was “inevitable” but “remains something we can never come to terms with”. He also said it was time to draw a “straight line” between the attack and MAGA Republicans, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, “who glorify violence,” as well as McCarthy. Swalwell said the GOP leader “isn’t saying anything about it and doing nothing to stop it.”

“If that’s the environment he’s going to create, that’s a green light for all attackers to use violence rather than vote to achieve your political will,” he said.

Newsweek contacted McCarthy and Boebert for a response. A spokesperson for McCarthy told The Hill on Friday that the House Minority Leader had contacted Nancy Pelosi to check on her husband’s health. The spokesperson added that McCarthy was “praying for a full recovery and grateful to have caught the abuser.”

Capitol Police data shows the agency tasked with protecting members of Congress saw cases “involving statements and threats” rise from 3,939 in 2017 to 9,625 in 2021, according to Reuters.

Greene’s spokesman Nick Dyer said Newsweek in an email that the GOP representative was threatened with violence, including death threats. He said Democratic activists “rammed into” Greene’s home six times, referring to stalkers calling 911 to report prank calls to their victim’s home.

Additionally, Dyer addressed how a man allegedly killed an 18-year-old North Dakotan because of his conservative political beliefs following a September speech by President Joe Biden where he said Trump and his allies were a danger to democracy.

Dyer also referred to Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters’ 2018 call to harass Trump officials, and a confrontation in 2021 between Swalwell and Greene staff.

Republican Representative Steve Scalise was shot in the hip during a baseball game in 2017 by a supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucus with Democrats. Scalise, who has recovered, said Sanders contacted him immediately after the shooting.

Boebert and Greene have drawn controversy for peddling conspiracy theories and making inflammatory remarks since being elected in 2020. Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens earlier this year raised concerns about Greene’s “mental health” at the Capitol police after the Georgia Republican suggested using “Second Amendment Rights” against Democrats.

Boebert in 2021 was charged with inciting violence during a floor speech against Democratic members of Congress.


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