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Rep. Rashida Tlaib.
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib got emotional while recounting the death threats she's received since joining Congress during a House Floor speech on Thursday.
As the Senate prepares for its impeachment trial of ex-President Donald Trump, it's considering whether the rally Trump held on Jan. 6 incited the mob who attacked the Capitol, leading to a bloody clash that left at least five dead and lawmakers fearing for their lives.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez arranged a special session on Thursday for lawmakers to share their experiences. While Tlaib wasn't at the Capitol on Jan. 6 — she had said she was home sick that day after experiencing a bit of an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine — she asked to speak last to talk about her experiences as a Democratic lawmaker.
Tlaib said the death threats started on her first day in Congress in 2018, when the FBI pulled her aside during orientation and told her about threats that were so serious they decided to visit a man's home to investigate.
"I didn't even get sworn in yet, and someone wanted me dead for just existing," Tlaib said.
Tlaib said the threats only continued, becoming "uglier" and "more violent." One celebrated the New Zealand massacre, in which a man killed 51 worshippers at two mosques, while another mentioned her son by name.
"Each one paralyzed me each time," Tlaib said. "So what happened on January 6th, all I could do was thank Allah that I wasn't here." At this point, Ocasio-Cortez stood by her side, comforting her.
Tlaib said she documents the threats she receives and reports them to authorities. She even said her family members have asked her to carry a gun.
"Please, please take what happened on January 6 seriously. It will lead to more death, and we can do better," Tlaib said. "We must do better."
Ocasio-Cortez also said Republicans must not be allowed to forget what happened.
"Some are already demanding that we move on or, worse, attempting to minimize, discredit or belittle the accounts of survivors,” Ocasio-Cortez said. "In doing so, they not only further harm those who were there that day and provide cover for those responsible, but they also send a tremendously damaging message to survivors of trauma all across this country, that the way to deal with trauma, violence and targeting is to paper it over, minimize it and move on."
You can watch the speeches here
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