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FACT SHEET: Republicans On The Judiciary Committee Are Engaging In A Partisan Political Stunt On The Border

Feb 23, 2023

This week, MAGA Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are taking the latest step in their partisan stunts: an “investigation” of the southern border. The representatives participating in the Yuma hearing are some of the most extreme members of the MAGA Judiciary Committee, including many who have amplified and spread white nationalist “invasion” and “replacement” conspiracy theories. There can be no doubt that these MAGA extremists care more about scoring points with their far-right base than actually solving immigration or fixing the border. This hearing will be straight out of the Trump playbook with far-right witnesses and blatant lies, and further prove that Republicans and Jim Jordan cannot be trusted to conduct fair and legitimate investigations.

Members Of The Judiciary Committee Have Spread The Racist “Great Replacement Theory” And Other Anti-Immigrant Lies 

Chairman Jim Jordan is the far-right chairman of the MAGA Judiciary Committee. Jordan has been laying the groundwork for months to launch impeachment proceedings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and frequently uses language that echoes extremist claims about an “invasion” at the southern border. Jordan was also a key figure in the criminal conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 election and worked closely with the Trump administration to shield them from accountability while violating the law and House ethics rules by refusing a subpoena from the January 6 committee.

Rep. Tom McClintock, Chair Of The Immigration And Citizenship Subcommittee is a Trump loyalist who calls immigration an “invasion” and claims that migrants represent deliberate policy by the Biden admin to fundamentally change the culture, electorate, and founding principles of our country.” In his position as chairman of the Immigration and Citizenship subcommittee McClintock is all-but-certain to pursue further politically motivated action against Secretary Mayorkas.

Rep. Andy Biggs, Chair Of The Subcommittee On Crime And Federal Government Surveillance is one of the most extreme Republicans in the House. He schemed with Mark Meadows to overturn the 2020 election and helped far-right activists plan the Ellipse rally on Jan. 6. He has referred to immigrants as an “alien invasion” dozens of times and is one of the loudest Republican voices calling for Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to be impeached based on policy differences, including a menacing tweet claiming that Mayorkas’ “time is over.”

Rep. Ben Cline is another far-right MAGA Republican who has expressed interest in impeaching Secretary Mayorkas over policy differences with the Biden administration. A conspiracy theorist who voted against certification of the Electoral College, claiming that the 2020 election was supposedly “riddled with an unprecedented number of allegations of irregularities and improprieties,” Cline has been pushing for partisan investigations based on outlandish conspiracy theories for years. 

Rep. Matt Gaetz, recently off the hook for a federal sex trafficking investigation himself, has called for the impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas and tweeted that the racist “replacement” was “CORRECT.” Gaetz remains among the most scandal-laden, controversial members of Congress and is yet another Trump loyalist who helped lead the effort to undermine and overturn the 2020 election and even sought a pardon from Trump for his role in attempting to overturn the election.

Rep. Tom Tiffany is a conspiracy theorist who has tweeted dozens of times about a border “invasion” and accused the Biden administration of playing a “deliberate role in erasing American sovereignty while enriching drug cartels.” Tiffany co-sponsored Andy Biggs’ attempt to impeach Secretary Mayorkas over policy differences and he has spent months baselessly attacking the FBI, Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security as part of a politically motivated effort to investigate the Biden Administration.

Rep. Dan Bishop is a MAGA extremist who has spent his time on the Judiciary Committee working tirelessly to pursue frivolous investigations. After the 2020 election, Bishop spread misinformation about so-called voter fraud, filing dubious legal reports, encouraging voters to “Fight!” and voting against certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral Collect victory. Yet, when the time came to investigate the violent attack on the Capitol, he opposed a bipartisan commission and downplayed the insurrection while continuing to push for partisan investigations into President Biden and his family. 

Rep. Victoria Spartz is an enabler of Republican conspiracy theories on the border and elsewhere. She spread conspiracies after DirecTV dropped Newsmax that America is “resembling a totalitarian country.”

Rep. Jeff Van Drew once supported “comprehensive reform” of our nation’s immigration laws, but since changing parties to express his “undying support” for  Donald Trump in 2019 he has taken a hard right swerve into extremism, calling for the impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas and deploying US Air Marshals to the border.  Along with other far-right members like Lauren Boebert and Byron Donalds, Van Drew proposed inhumane legislation seeking to bar FEMA from disbursing emergency aid for undocumented immigrants. 

Rep. Barry Moore led a nativist ‘America First’ caucus promoting white supremacy and has sparked controversy for posting a meme which was widely criticized as racist, and later posting a hateful tweet calling for a ban on newly-arrived voters.

Rep. Troy Nehls has publicly embraced Great Replacement theory by spreading conspiracies on right-wing media networks like Fox News.

Rep. Russell Fry toes the MAGA line on immigration and the border recklessly blaming the Biden administration for tragic fentanyl deaths and claiming that cruel and ineffective Trump border policies “work” and “unite the American people.” Fry is also a conspiracy theorist who claims that “Joe Biden is not my president,” and who campaigned with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell while alleging that the 2020 election was “rigged” against Donald Trump. 

Rep. Harriet Hageman holds close ties with the MAGA chair of the Wyoming GOP, who is affiliated with the white supremacist Oath Keepers militia.

Rep. Kevin Kiley is associated with white supremacist rioters and rallied with an extremist hate group while serving in the California Legislature.

Rep. Nathaniel Moran is another co-sponsor of politically motivated articles of impeachment against DHS Secretary Mayorkas. Moran is a far right freshman whose top priorities include liquidating the Department of Education, sunsetting the social safety net, and attacking the Biden administration over the Southern Border. He has defended a near-total abortion ban in Texas and has pushed conspiracy theories about so-called voter fraud in the 2020 election

The Witnesses In The Border Hearing Are Partisan Republicans With Extreme Far-Right Views

Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot

Arizona Sheriff Leon Wilmot is part of Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), a prominent right-wing extremist group built around a radical ideology that the sheriff’s power within his or her county is superseded by no state or federal government entity. Wilmot was praised in 2022 by CSPOA for his investigations into election fraud. He was listed on its website as a “Sheriff Committed to Investigating Election Fraud.” Before the midterm elections, CSPOA officers threatened to disrupt Arizona’s electoral process by launching an effort to monitor elections, claiming they had legal power to personally investigate outlandish conspiracy theories. Other extremist groups organized “tailgates” at ballot drop-box locations, bolstered by the MAGA sheriff presence. Wilmot has also refused to enforce state and federal laws restricting firearms.

Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines

Arizona County Supervisor Jonathan Lines is a hardline MAGA alarmist who declared that his city was allegedly “on the brink of collapse” due to immigration and accused a migrant surge of “contaminating crops.” As Arizona GOP Chair, Lines courted MAGA extremist Senator Martha McSally and eventually lost re-nomination to his post to fake elector Kelli Ward after prominent Arizona Republicans criticized his leadership as inadequate.