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A Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives was expelled by the GOP majority this week, according to a report.
Rep. Liz Harris, who was just a few months into her first term, was tossed out by a vote of 46-13 on Wednesday, KNXV-TV in Phoenix reported.
According to NBC News, the action was taken following the expulsion of two Tennessee Democrats from their state’s legislature, which drew significant sympathetic coverage from the national establishment media and calls for an investigation from Democrats in the U.S. Senate.
Per the resolution to oust Harris, who represented Legislative District 13, she “brought ‘disrepute and embarrassment to the House of Representatives’” and “also ‘allowed the impugning of other members’ in violation of House Rule 1.”
The resolution focused on Jacqueline Breger’s testimony at a hearing about Arizona’s elections on February 23, in which she was invited to speak by Harris.
Breger “purported to present ‘findings’ of an investigation that alleged the existence of numerous schemes within Arizona, including money laundering, drug trafficking and sales, public corruption, bribing of public officials and election fraud,” the resolution states.
The resolution said that the testimony cited the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” as well as “various private citizens, government employees, and appointed and elected officials, including current Arizona legislators.”
The resolution noted that the House hearing was an inappropriate venue to bring up such allegations.
“Representative Harris violated the inherent obligation to protect the integrity of the House of Representatives and used her elected position to provide Ms. Breger with a legislative platform as a substitute for a criminal court,” the resolution says, per the Western Journal.
According to The Arizona Republic, one of the “current Arizona legislators” mentioned by Breger during the Feb. 23 hearing on Arizona’s elections was Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton, a Democrat. Hamilton filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee, alleging that Harris had prior knowledge of Breger’s testimony, the report said.
Rep. Liz Harris has officially been expelled from the AZ House of Reps for violating ethics rules.
I spoke with her as she was walking out of the House 👇🏼 @azfamily https://t.co/skYrGLDjSF pic.twitter.com/Sh6ABzj4xD
— Sarah Robinson (@sarahrobinsontv) April 12, 2023
On her way out of the Capitol, Harris was defiant when she spoke with reporters. “I stand for honesty and integrity. The report is a lie,” she said.
“If you don’t toe the line, this is what happens,” she said as she was carrying boxes of her belongings to her vehicle.
State Rep. Alexander Kolodin took to Twitter to declare that the expulsion was in error.
“A sad day in the history of the Arizona House of Representatives. I fear we have set a dangerous precedent,” he wrote.
A sad day in the history of the Arizona House of Representatives. I fear we have set a dangerous precedent. pic.twitter.com/7CEPPR98jz
— Alexander Kolodin (@realAlexKolodin) April 13, 2023
A House Ethics Committee report claimed that Harris was aware of the testimony that Breger would bring to the hearing ahead of time.
“Representative Harris’s inconsistent testimony leads the Committee to believe that she had a more detailed understanding of Breger’s presentation than she led the Joint Elections Committee to believe, and that Representative Harris had hoped to avoid providing the presentation to House leadership before the hearing,” the report stated, according to the Arizona Mirror.
The report noted further that Harris denied knowing what Breger would say during her testimony.
Kari Lake, the 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee and perhaps the biggest GOP name in Arizona politics, took Harris’ side on the issue.
Lake, who is challenging the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election result in court, argued on Twitter that it is up to the voters who elected Harris to decide her fate, not her colleagues in the House. She referred to those who voted against Harris’ expulsion as the “good guys.”
The Arizona house of representatives just kicked out a duly elected member.
LD 13 voted for Ms. Harris to represent them in the legislature.
They should have the final say in her future.
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) April 12, 2023
The names in RED are the good guys.
The others… 🤔 https://t.co/VefFKXl200
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) April 13, 2023
House Democratic Leader Andrés Cano, who voted in favor of the expulsion, explained his action in a statement.
“This is a sad day for our institution. But it is a necessary day. There has been real damage done to the lives and reputations of people who did not deserve it. Most importantly, the integrity of this House has been jeopardized,” he said.
“Misinformation, lies, and conspiracies are not harmless, and it’s not just politics. The defamatory allegations that Representative Harris’ invited her guest speaker to make are patently absurd, but there are many people who believe them. They believe the lies, and they continue to threaten retribution because we dispute them. They believe those lies because a State Representative, Liz Harris, platformed and legitimized them in a televised legislative hearing – where they were immediately picked up by partisan media and social media influencers — and then she congratulated her guest speaker as ‘brave’ for her presentation,” he said.