House members should “reprimand” or “consider expelling” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) for “inciting mob violence” against members of President Donald Trump’s administration, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Thursday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
“The number-one House ethics rule is that you’ve got to act in a way that reflects creditably on the House at all times,” Fitton said. “And when you’re out there … inciting mob violence against sitting Trump Cabinet members, that doesn’t obviously reflect credibly on the House.”
Waters faced a bipartisan backlash after she called upon her supporters in late June to harass and publicly confront Trump administration members.
“If you see anybody from that [Trump] Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she said.
The congresswoman doubled down on her calls for confrontation during an MSNBC interview, saying that “these members of his Cabinet who remain and try to defend [Trump], they won’t be able to go to a restaurant, they won’t be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store.”
Waters added that “the people are going to turn on them. They’re going to protest. They’re absolutely going to harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the president, ‘No, I can’t hang with you.'”
Fitton wrote a letter to the House’s Office of Congressional Ethics June 25 calling for a “preliminary investigation” into whether Waters’ calls for “crowds” to create “pushback” on Trump officials “violated House rules in encouraging attacks on Cabinet officials.”
In particular, Fitton sought an investigation into whether Waters violated House Rule 23, clause 1, which states: “A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall conduct himself at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”
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“And the House has to decide whether they’re going to allow its members to use the House as a platform and its power and position to attack and incite violence against Trump Cabinet members,” Fitton warned.
But the House will do nothing unless voters call their representatives, Fitton said. He urged voters to “call the House and ask what they’re going to do in terms of standing up against Maxine Waters’ calling on violence targeting Trump Cabinet officials.”
“I can’t imagine [that] a public official should be able to do that and get away with it,” Fitton said. “Maxine Waters needs to be disavowed by the House. Their options range from reprimand to expulsion, and they should consider expelling her for this type of activity.”
“You can bet there’s an increased security cost for all Cabinet officials as a result of her rhetoric and comments.”
“The House has an opportunity here, and if they’re not pressed by voters, they’ll do nothing,” he added.
Waters’ comments about creating “crowds” to “push back” on Trump officials in public fit “the very definition of mob violence,” and “we see evidence of the impact already,” Fitton noted.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders received Secret Service protection following Waters’ calls, which came after Sanders revealed that the owner of The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, asked her and her family to leave because she works for Trump.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and White House adviser Stephen Miller also were denied service or asked to leave restaurants after facing protesters and heckling.
Protesters also gathered outside Miller’s apartment complex and handed out “wanted” posters with his picture and targeted Nielsen’s home.
Protesters focused on Trump officials amid weeks of ongoing backlash over the controversy surrounding the Trump administration’s since-scrapped zero-tolerance immigration enforcement policy, which separated illegal immigrant parents from their children at the border.
“Frankly, that video you showed earlier today is infuriating, and it’s exactly the sort of increased activity and violent activity we can expect to see as a result of the violent rhetoric of people like Maxine Waters,” Fitton said, pointing to the clip of Waters’ initial speech.
Waters revealed last week she canceled two events after fielding an increased number of threats following the firestorm over her comments.
“No one should threaten violence. Maxine Waters shouldn’t be subjected to threats of violence, nor any other politicians,” Fitton insisted. “But she shouldn’t be advocating for groups of people to mob Cabinet officials as they’re trying to get gas in their cars.”
“It is a dangerous situation this woman is setting us up for, and I fear something terrible is going to happen,” Fitton added. “You can bet there’s an increased security cost for all Cabinet officials as a result of her rhetoric and comments.”