The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution Friday condemning the far-right conspiracy movement QAnon, yet 17 white Republican men and one independent voted no on the measure, demonstrating the sway of the movement — which the FBI considers a potential domestic terrorism threat — over a significant portion of the GOP.
The resolution, which passed by a vote of 371-18, was introduced in August by Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) and Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) in response to an alarming rise in QAnon’s popularity.
It “condemns QAnon and rejects the conspiracy theories it promotes,” encourages federal law enforcement agencies to focus on the movement and calls on intelligence agencies to investigate “any foreign support, assistance or online amplification QAnon receives.”
The text of the resolution amounts to a withering takedown of the QAnon phenomenon, which is an ever-evolving collection of pro-Donald Trump conspiracy theories based on cryptic clues posted to message boards by an anonymous poster known as “Q” who claims to be a senior government official with inside knowledge of a globalist cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles waging war against the president.
The resolution lists some of the crimes committed by QAnon believers:
(1) a man arrested in 2018 for plotting to plant a bomb in the Illinois Capitol rotunda to make Americans aware of the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory;
(2) a man arrested in 2018 for using an armored car to block traffic on the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge;
(3) a man in Arizona arrested in 2019 for vandalizing a Catholic church;
(4) a woman in Colorado arrested in 2019 for plotting an armed raid to kidnap her child, who had been taken from her custody;
(5) a man charged with the murder of an organized crime boss in New York in 2019; and
(6) a woman arrested in New York with a car full of knives after posting a video accusing Joe Biden of participating in child sex trafficking and threatening to kill him.
According to BuzzFeed, Malinowski himself received death threats this week after “Q” named him in a post Tuesday. The post from Q mentioned the resolution and parroted a false accusation made by the National Republican Campaign Committee that Malinowski has “lobbied to protect sexual predators.”
Despite the obvious danger the QAnon movement poses, 17 Republicans still decided to vote no on the resolution, which simply asserts the opinion of the House and does not have the effect of law. Here are their names:
Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas)
Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas)
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah)
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas)
Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.)
Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio)
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.)
Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.)
Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas)
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.)
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.)
Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.)
Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.)
Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.)
Rep. Justin Amash, a Michigan independent who left the Republican Party in July 2019, also voted against the resolution. He defended his vote in a tweet, stating that the “resolution threatens protected speech (absurd as that speech may be).”
QAnon is a deeply anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, and Jewish groups on Friday expressed anger over the Republican congressmen’s no votes.
Emily Mayer, political director of IfNotNow, a progressive Jewish American activist group, told HuffPost in a statement that the congressmen had taken “another step in mainstreaming QAnon,” which she called “the same set of age-old, anti-Semitic tropes that have been used against Jews for hundreds of years, just repackaged for the 21st Century.”
“The conspiracy theory is, at its core, a modern-day blood libel,” Mayer said.
Many QAnon followers believe, absurdly, that prominent Democrats and other elites are harvesting abducted children’s blood in order to conduct Satanic rituals, mirroring “blood libel” conspiracies that have historically targeted Jews.
Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, told HuffPost in a statement that it was “astounding that 17 House Republicans voted against condemning a fundamentally anti-Semitic conspiracy theory just days after President Trump refused to condemn a white supremacist group on the national debate stage.”
Cotler noted that QAnon believers often promote conspiracy theories about “shadowy global puppet masters” that “have been used to stir up fear and violence against Jewish people for centuries ― including the Tree of Life massacre in 2018.”
The congressmen’s actions, Cotler added, “will only make Jewish Americans and other communities targeted by white nationalism less safe.”
Many in the GOP have often condoned those who follow QAnon or are believers themselves.
In August, a QAnon believer named Marjorie Taylor Greene won a Republican congressional primary, earning praise from Trump, who called her a “future Republican Star.” (Greene is expected to win in the general election next month.)
Alex Kaplan, a senior researcher at the liberal watchdog group Media Matters, has counted 81 current or former for congressional candidates who say they are QAnon believers, along with 23 for current or former state legislative candidates.
Gosar, one of the GOP congressmen who voted no on the resolution Friday, has promoted QAnon-related conspiracies in the past.
Yet as widespread as the conspiracy theory is among the Republican Party, those who study the QAnon phenomenon were still relieved Friday to see that the resolution had at least passed.
“It’s absurd that QAnon has grown to the point that such a resolution is even necessary,” said Travis View, who researches conspiracy theories and hosts the “QAnon Anonymous” podcast.
“But the resolution does articulate the very real damage and dangers of the conspiracy theory-driven movement, so it’s good to see it has bipartisan, if not unanimous, support.”