A House Oversight Committee hearing on white supremacy and domestic terrorism took a personal turn on Tuesday when freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan broke down in tears during her testimony while reading a death threat sent to her office. She was questioning Michael McGarrity, assistant director of the FBI's counterterrorism division, about the Justice Department's handling of domestic terrorism.
"I want to give you an example. So I've been in office for about six months. And when you get something like this, 'Attention, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and ragheads Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. I was totally excited and pleased when I heard about 49 Muslims were killed and many more were wounded in New Zealand. This is a great start. Let's hope and pray that it continues here in the good old USA. The only good Muslim is a dead one,'" Tlaib said, tearing up.
Tlaib said that specific threat was sent to her office and copied the Department of Justice, President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security, among others in the federal government.
"How is that not enough to fall under domestic terrorism if they're targeting solely based on my faith and others in saying that a good Muslim is a dead one?" Tlaib, one of the first Muslim members of Congress, asked.
McGarrity said federal law doesn't include a specific domestic terrorism charge.
Tlaib has been the target of threats and conspiracy theories since her election last November. In January, a city commissioner in Florida she wanted to "impeach that motherf*****," referring to the president.of being a "danger" who might "blow up" the Capitol. She also faced backlash in her first days in office after saying
Republican lawmakers were also critical of Tlaib forabout the Holocaust. In May, she said on a podcast that she gets "a calming feeling" when she thinks of "the tragedy of the Holocaust," the suffering of her Palestinian ancestors and the new state of Israel. Democrats came to her defense, saying Republicans mischaracterized her comments.