US House passes resolution condemning far-right QAnon conspiracy theory

Measure against movement, which claims Trump is crusading against a government pedophile ring, notes it has many followers who ‘express anti-Semitic views’

A person carries a sign supporting QAnon at a protest rally in Olympia, Washington, May 14, 2020. (Ted S. Warren/AP)
A person carries a sign supporting QAnon at a protest rally in Olympia, Washington, May 14, 2020. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly condemned the QAnon conspiracy theory, citing among other reasons its anti-Semitism.

The non-binding resolution passed 371-18, with all but one of the no votes by Republicans. The other was Rep. Justin Amash, Illinois-Michigan, who routinely votes against declarative resolutions.

Reps. Tom Malinowski, Democrat-New Jersey, and Denver Riggleman, Richmond-Virginia, sponsored the measure, which “condemns QAnon and rejects the conspiracy theories it promotes.” Its preamble says that “many QAnon followers express anti-Semitic views, and the Anti-Defamation League has said that the movement’s central conspiracy theory includes anti-Semitic elements.”

Conspiracy theories “have been a central driver of anti-Semitism for centuries,” the preamble adds, “and QAnon conspiracy theories are fanning the flames as anti-Semitism is on the rise in the United States and around the world.”

QAnon advances a baseless theory that US President Donald Trump is seeking to take down a network of pedophiles deep inside the government. Trump has not denounced the theory. Following the announcement Friday of Trump’s diagnosis with COVID-19, thousands of QAnon followers reportedly shared on social media a claim that the president is going into quarantine while mass arrests of high-profile politicians like former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are carried out.

Supporters stand with construction executive Marjorie Taylor Greene, right, as she’s on the phone, in Rome, Georgia, August 11, 2020. (Mike Stewart/AP)

Malinowski has been targeted for death threats by QAnon followers based in part on a false claim that he once advocated for pedophiles. An ad by the National Republican Congressional Committee made the false claim.

Riggleman, a moderate Republican, was ousted this summer in a primary by a conservative challenger who made an issue of Riggleman’s support for gay rights. The passage of this resolution will be one of his final acts in his two years in Congress.

A number of Republican congressional nominees have been identified with the theory and one, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, is guaranteed election in her deeply conservative district.

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