The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday demanded that chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler convene a hearing on “left-wing violent extremism” to confirm that it’s not a “myth,” as the New York Democrat recently claimed.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) slammed Nadler for saying in July that Antifa, or “anti-fascist,” violence did not exist amid national unrest linked to the May killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police.
“We urge you not to waste any more time. The jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee provides you with a unique authority to condemn the violence and disorder in Democrat-run cities,” Jordan wrote in a letter to Nadler.
Nadler, the letter says, “minimized the violence in Democrat-run cities, calling the radical leftist group Antifa an ‘imaginary thing’ and Antifa violence a ‘myth that’s only being spread in Washington, D.C.’”
The letter, signed by Jordan and three Republican colleagues, cites examples of recent incidents perpetrated by left-wing activists, but also examples of violent crime, which dramatically increased in some major cities this year.
“In our nation’s capital, left-wing agitators staged a mock execution of the President and then harassed and threatened people leaving the White House,” the letter says, referring to protests against Trump’s Aug. 27 Republican National Convention speech.
“In New York City, a violent criminal brazenly tried to attack a woman on a Saturday morning in a busy Upper East Side subway station.”
Jordan’s letter says “Democrats only recently pivoted to take a tougher stance on the violence and looting, after polling showed — unsurprisingly — that the American people disapprove of violence in American cities.”
A spokesman for Nadler did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and it’s unlikely he will accept Jordan’s recommendation.
Republicans led by Trump have made “law and order” a central issue in the Nov. 3 election after months of unrest following Floyd’s death and other incidents involving African-Americans and police.
Last week, Trump ordered a review to pull federal funds from “lawless” cities that allow either violent protests or defund the police despite rising crime. He issued the directive after Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler agreed to move after activists smashed and set on fire his condo building, and as murders and shootings soar in New York, with the City Council recently approving a $1 billion cut to the NYPD budget.
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