The Republican-controlled Senate of Arizona will investigate GOP state Senator Wendy Rogers over a social media post that apparently suggested the shooter in Saturday’s deadly shooting in Buffalo, New York, was a federal agent.
The state Senate on Monday voted 24 to 3 for an investigation by its ethics committee to consider the extremist lawmaker’s comments “as inappropriate by an elected member of this body,” AZ Central reported.
On Saturday, hours after a white gunman opened fire on a supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood, killing 10 people and injuring 13 in what authorities said was a racially motivated attack, Rogers posted on Telegram that “the Fed boys’ summer has begun in Buffalo”. apparently referring to the conspiracy theory in some far-right circles that the mass shootings are “false flag” operations carried out by government agents in an effort to justify the removal of gun duties.
The Donald Trump-approved lawmaker established a profile among the country’s far-right during her first term with her embrace of inflammatory rhetoric, conspiracy theories and white nationalism. She drew censure and condemnation from the Arizona Senate in March after she suggested hanging political enemies in a speech at a conference hosted by a prominent white nationalist and Holocaust denier.
Republican state senator Rick Gray offered to investigate Rogers’ remark. He was supported by 11 Republicans and 12 Democrats. Three Republicans, including Rogers, voted against the inquiry.
A Democratic-led effort to oust him from the state Senate failed in an 11-15 vote.
“A motion to evict would be arbitrary and violate due process,” Gray said, according to AZ Central. “We can investigate – we can assess it.”
Rogers issued a statement accusing Democrats of turning his post into a “political tool” and sending a “wrong message” to foment division within his party.
“Unfortunately, my comment was completely taken out of context and became a false narrative that is now the focal point of a firestorm created by some race-obsessed members of the media,” she wrote.
She did not explain what context she was referring to or how the message was wrong.
“Let me be very clear: I do not condone violent crime or racism,” the statement continued. “My heart breaks for those who lost their lives and their families in this weekend’s shooting in Buffalo.”
“The person responsible for this heinous crime must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
She said she believed she would be vindicated once the facts were analyzed.
Online postings purportedly written by Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old accused of being the Buffalo shooter, heavily referenced white supremacist ideologies that see white people being “replaced” by immigrants and people of color. Rogers herself has embraced this belief.
The Huffington Gt