House votes to condemn baseless QAnon conspiracy theory
October 2, 2020
Seventeen Republicans and one independent opposed the resolution.
Adherents of QAnon believe President Trump is battling a cabal of “deep state” saboteurs who worship Satan and traffic children for sex. In August, Trump gave a major boost to the baseless theory, saying that he appreciated the support of its followers, calling them “people that love our country.”
Malinowski said he has faced attacks online from QAnon supporters and received threats after the National Republican Congressional Committee ran an ad that falsely said Malinowski tried to block a provision in a 2006 crime bill that would have expanded registration requirements for sex offenders.
Malinowski, a freshman who worked on national security issues in the Clinton and Obama administrations, was the director of Human Rights Watch from 2001-2013.
“If you’ve seen extra vitriol on my social media, here’s why: the “Q” persona dropped a statement targeting me, citing the discredited NRCC (GOP SuperPAC) attacks on me & my resolution condemning QAnon. My office has gotten 6 death threats since yesterday,” Malinowski tweeted earlier this week.
Speaking on the House floor Friday, Malinowski warned of the threat of QAnon.
“Conspiracy theories, just like this one, have fueled prejudice, terrorism, even genocide and today, social media is fanning the flames,” he said.
The resolution “condemns QAnon and rejects the conspiracy theories it promotes,” while encouraging the FBI and law enforcement to focus on preventing violence, threats and harassment by extremists motivated by fringe political conspiracy theories. The measure also outlines a vision unlikely to be fulfilled — urging Americans, regardless of their political leanings, to seek information from authoritative sources and debate from a “common factual foundation.”
In his remarks, Malinowski alluded to the political gains of QAnon adherents.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has endorsed the baseless theory and made several other racist remarks on video, won a GOP primary runoff in Georgia’s heavily Republican 14th Congressional District in August, and has a clear path to becoming QAnon’s first devotee in Congress. Last month, her Democratic rival in the GOP-leaning district dropped out of the race, citing personal reasons.
Malinowski condemned other conspiracy theories. He added: “Only one of these threats is considered a terrorist threat by the FBI. Only one is winning elections.”