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A freshman Democrat brought receipts to the GOP’s hearing on D.C. crime

Rep. Jasmine Crockett of Texas called out Republicans for fearmongering about crime in Washington, in light of recent developments with some of their own members.


The likelihood of Tuesday’s Republican-led House hearing on purported lawlessness in Washington, D.C., becoming a show was never in doubt.

In that sense, the hearing didn’t disappoint. Though, by the hearing’s end, Republicans found themselves upstaged by a superior performer with better material. 

Conservative lawmakers have been portraying the District of Columbia as a crime-riddled hellscape in need of federal intervention. That thinking was the impetus behind a Republican-backed bill that President Joe Biden signed in March that overturned revisions to the district’s criminal code. The move marked the first time in more than 30 years that federal lawmakers had overturned district legislation, and it reflected conservatives’ insatiable appetite for illiberal power grabs targeting nonwhite voters and officials.

Tuesday’s hearing came during yet another power grab. Last month, House Republicans passed legislation rescinding police reforms backed by the district’s largely Black city council in 2020, as protests erupted nationwide over police brutality. The Republicans in the Senate — with the help of some conservative-leaning independents and Democrats — passed the measure Tuesday, though Biden has said he will veto it.

House Republicans seemed dead set on using the hearing to launch rhetorical grenades. And Democrats at the hearing sent them back with the velocity of a tennis serve. 

A freshman Republican lawmaker, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, probably got the worst of it. In the clip below, watch how Luna alludes to the scariness of D.C. by claiming it has seen a spike in sexual assaults, but then doesn’t let the witness respond.

Another freshman, Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, used some of her time to offer a rebuttal, noting she was excited to hear Luna’s comments “considering that the [Republican] front-runner right now for, like, [the] presidency has kind of just been found liable of sexual abuse.” 

Crockett was clearly referring to last week’s finding by a civil jury in New York that former President Donald Trump was liable for sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll

I can’t imagine Luna knew, in delivering her remarks, that she was lobbing an alley-oop for Crockett to dunk on her head. But that’s precisely what happened.

And Crockett continued to run up the score. In another viral clip, she again highlighted Republicans’ hypocrisy on crime. 

“My Republican colleagues want to talk about keeping D.C. streets crime-free. They can’t even keep the halls of Congress crime-free,” Crockett said, adding that “my freshman colleague has just been indicted on 13 counts — 13 felony counts, right?” 

Here, Crockett was clearly talking about Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., who was arrested last week and charged with wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and making materially false statements to the House of Representatives. Santos denies all the allegations against him, but legislation has been proposed to expel him from Congress.

Crockett had a simple explainer for her rhetorical approach here. Sharing one of the above clips on Twitter, she added: “I just call them as I see them.” 

This should be required viewing for Democrats pondering ways to punch back at Republicans who use conspiratorial hearings to misinform and manipulate the public — especially when it comes to crime.