Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) today lashed out at a Republican congressman from Arizona who wants the House to censure him for seeking to disbar former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and 22 other attorneys who have filed lawsuits seeking to change the results of the election, which Joe Biden won, in favor of President Donald Trump.
“Fascist wannabes won’t muzzle my free speech or stop me from defending our republic,” Pascrell said. “Those supporting this pathetic resolution are complicit in Trump’s attempt to become a dictator.”
The resolution, introduced on Friday by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Arizona), alleges that “Trump’s campaign has a legal right to sue to ensure that each legal vote is counted and to challenge any illegal votes.”
Biggs and four other GOP House members, want to censure Pascrell “for conduct that threatens the livelihoods of American citizens in a way that is not befitting an elected Member of the House of Representatives.”
“Each candidate running for public office in each state has the right to pursue every legal option to ensure ballot integrity and fair elections,” Biggs’ resolution reads.
Pascrell dismissed the actions by the Republicans.
“Donald Trump and his minions are trying to steal the election after getting blown out by President-elect Joe Biden,” the 12-term congressman said. “His lawyers filing frivolous lawsuits in taxpayer-funded courts are accomplices to Trump’s assault on American democracy and they must be held accountable. I have proudly called for them to lose their law licenses.”
The bid by Biggs is unlikely to prevail in a Democratic-controlled Congress, and would be an uphill battle anyway.
Just seven congressmen have been censured in the last 100 years, all for ethics issues.
The first censure in Conrgess came in 1832 when Rep. William Stanberry, a New Jersey native who grew up in Essex County, was disciplined for insulting the Speaker of the House.
A congressman from Ohio at the time, Stanberry got in hot water for saying that Speaker Andrew Stevenson his attention was “too frequently turned from the chair you occupy toward the White House.”
His censure was for the use of “unparliamentary language.”
That wasn’t Stanberry’s only problem during his six years in Congress.
He also scuffled with the legendary Sam Houston, then a former House member from Tennessee who would later serve as governor of Texas and president of the Republic of Texas.
Stanberry accused Houston of defrauding Native Americans. Houston called him a rascal and hit him with his cane. Stanberry pulled out his gun, but it misfired.
Stanberry lost his bid for re-election that year.
Co-sponsoring the resolution to censure Pascrell: Reps. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio); Andy Harris (R-Maryland); Debbie Lesko (R-Arizona); and Randy Weber (R-Texas).