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GOP-controlled Arizona House votes to expel Republican representative

Apr 12, 2023, 2:58 PM

Rep. Liz Harris attends a joint house and senate election committee hearing at the state Capitol on...

Rep. Liz Harris attends a joint house and senate election committee hearing at the state Capitol on February 23 in Phoenix. (Megan Mendoza/The Arizona Republic/USA Today Network)

(Megan Mendoza/The Arizona Republic/USA Today Network)

(CNN) — State Rep. Liz Harris was expelled Wednesday from the Arizona House of Representatives for ethics violations resulting from inviting a conspiracy theorist to publicly testify before lawmakers earlier this year.

The resolution to expel the first-term Republican, elected in November, stated that she had brought “disrepute and embarrassment to the House of Representatives,” resulting in “disorderly behavior.” Forty-six Arizona representatives in the GOP-controlled House voted to remove her from her elected position, meeting a two-thirds threshold to expel lawmakers. Thirteen members opposed her expulsion.

CNN reached out to Harris at her legislative office and personal number. She has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.

Arizona Rep. Lupe Diaz, a fellow Republican, voted to expel Harris, saying on the House floor, “We need to have integrity in the institution, and I do not take this vote lightly. I do vote yes.”

Rep. Alex Kolodin, also a Republican, defended Harris ahead of the vote. “They [the public] will perceive that they don’t have a true voice in this body because when they elect somebody to rock the boat, and she does it … admittedly in the wrong way … a way that should have been better considered, that that member will be expelled. So, in order to protect this body, to preserve public trust and confidence in us and more importantly in the legislature as a means for being the peoples voice, and bringing about real change, I do sadly but resolutely vote no.”

When the resolution was passed, a voice off camera could be heard yelling, “Shame on you. Shame, shame, shame!”

The Arizona Legislature live stream then cut off.

In February, Harris had invited Jacqueline Breger to present findings of what Breger and Harris claimed were an investigation. Breger spewed a number of lies and attacks against public officials, including Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs. One of those lies spread on social media and resulted in Hobbs responding with a joke before cameras saying, “No, I am not involved with the Sinaloa cartel. I’m not taking bribes from them and I’m not laundering their money.”

Harris is a well-known conspiracy theorist and election denier in Arizona. She was a constant figure during the GOP-led review of Maricopa County’s 2020 ballots. Election experts condemned the review calling it an attempt to overturn the state’s election results.

Arizona House Democrats issued a statement supporting the expulsion, saying that “misinformation, lies and conspiracies are not harmless, and it’s not just politics.” They noted that the lies presented in Breger’s televised testimony were picked up by partisan media and social media influencers.

“The integrity of our institution was damaged in that moment. That damage continues to accumulate, and for that there must be accountability,” House Democrats said in their statement.


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GOP-controlled Arizona House votes to expel Republican representative