AOC: GOP lawmakers fearful of threats if they impeach Trump are privileged

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Wednesday that Republicans fearful of casting a vote to impeach President Donald Trump are privileged to not face more regular threats for their work on Capitol Hill.

House Democrats have signaled in recent days that their Republican colleagues are fearful that a vote to impeach the president might incur threats against themselves and their families. Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive and one of the most high-profile lawmakers on Capitol Hill, has said that death threats are “a normal part of [her] existence.”

“I get it, but some of us just spent the last 2 years taking stances that have led to repeated attempts on our lives – for demanding guaranteed healthcare, immigrant justice, etc,” Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wrote in a tweet Wednesday afternoon, reacting to reports of trepidation within the GOP caucus. “Sorry if this lacks empathy, but it’s a privilege if this is their first time. They can do one vote.”

“Many of them rode the wave of this violent rhetoric, or at the very least sat idly by it. Now is our chance to stop it,” Ocasio-Cortez continued in a second post. “This is what we are sent to Congress to do – the tough stuff. All the easy choices are taken. If any GOP need advice on how to deal with it, they can call me.”

The House is set to impeach President Donald Trump Wednesday afternoon for for “willful incitement of insurrection” after pro-Trump rioters violently stormed the Capitol last week. Trump had addressed many of the rioters earlier that day, imploring them to march to the Capitol and “show strength.”

Some Republicans in the House have voiced support for impeachment, including House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.). But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise are both against impeaching Trump. House Freedom Caucus Member Jim Jordan called for Cheney’s removal from leadership due to her impeachment stance.

Ocasio-Cortez was been joined by other Democrats in her sentiments Wednesday.

“Welcome to the club,” Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) said on MSNBC Wednesday morning, addressing fears he said he’d enountered among his GOP colleagues. “That’s leadership. Our country is in a challenging time. Many of us have felt that way for a long time because we’ve stood up for our democracy and we expect them to do the same.

Crow said that while he was not unsympathetic, he had many conversations with Republican lawmakers Tuesday night, including “a couple” with those who he said broke down in tears in fear of their lives if they voted to impeach Trump. He said a majority of GOP lawmakers are “paralyzed with fear.”

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a House impeachment manager, said on MSNBC Wednesday morning that he had also heard Republicans fearful for their safety, but said that the fear only “enables” Trump.

“It inspires his supporters to believe they can do this again,” Swalwell said. “You just have to stand up to the bully who incited this attack. I understand the fear, but I don’t think the fear should guide any decision-making.”