House votes to condemn right-wing conspiracy group after death threats against N.J. congressman | #predators | #childpredators | #kids

The U.S. House voted overwhelmingly Friday to condemn QAnon, the conspiracy movement whose posts led to death threats against Rep. Tom Malinowski.

Malinowski, D-7th Dist., was the lead sponsor of the bipartisan resolution against QAnon, whose followers claim without any evidence that President Donald Trump is fighting a global child-sex trafficking ring led by prominent Democrats and Hollywood celebrities. An anonymous figure, Q, allegedly posts coded messages promoting the baseless theory.

In his floor speech, Malinowski likened the QAnon conspiracy to the centuries-old attacks on Jews.

“It’s one of oldest lies in the world, the blood libel, and it always goes something like this, that there is a powerful secret group of people who just happen, many of them to be Jewish, and they’re trying to control the world and, for good measure, kidnapping our children,” Malinowski said. “This is the central conspiracy theory that QAnon promotes today.”

The vote was 371-18, with 17 House Republicans and a Republican-turned-independent voting no.

A March 2019 FBI intelligence bulletin specifically mentions QAnon in warning that “anti-government, identity based and fringe political conspiracy theories very likely motivate some domestic extremists, wholly or in part, to commit criminal and sometimes violent activity.”

Malinowski said received death threats earlier this week after an internet site used by QAnon adherents posted a copy of his resolution along with claims by the National Republican Congressional Committee that the first-term lawmaker lobbied against legislation creating a national sex registry as the director of Human Rights Watch’s Washington office.

Human Rights Watch submitted a single registration form with the names of both of its lobbyists, Malinowski and Jennifer Daskal, and every bill the group was concerned about, including the legislation on sex offenders.

Malinowski lobbied on international issues and Daskal on domestic ones, and her name was on communications regarding the sex offender bill, which the group felt overly broad.

But the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has targeted Malinowski on behalf of its candidate, state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr., R-Union, has run an ad claiming that the incumbent Democrat lobbied to protect sexual predators. The Washington Post’s fact checkers gave the ad their highest rating for untruthfulness.

Several House Republican candidates have embraced the conspiracy group, including Billy Prempeh, running against Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. in North Jersey’s 9th District. The NRCC is helping to raise money for four others who have promoted the allegations.

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Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at jsalant@njadvancemedia.com.


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