Georgia Republican votes against House resolution condemning QAnon

WASHINGTON — A resolution condemning the false QAnon conspiracy theories that have spread on social media and seeped into mainstream Republican politics was passed overwhelmingly by the U.S. House today.

Two Georgia representatives were among the 17 Republicans and an independent who opposed the measure, although one of them — U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter — later told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he voted “no” by accident.

The other, U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-West Point, stood by his decision to vote against H. Res. 1154. It passed 371-18 with one additional member voting “present" on Friday.

QAnon is a right-wing movement organized around the false narrative that a cabal of politicians, business leaders and entertainers are conspiring to undermine President Donald Trump’s administration. After news broke Friday morning that Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, some QAnon followers said it was a welcome part of the bigger plan.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican who is currently unopposed in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District race, is expected to become the first QAnon supporter to be elected to Congress. She has repeated its baseless theories in videos posted to social media and speeches, although she recently has attempted to distance herself from the movement.

Ferguson’s spokesman said his vote against the bill should not be interpreted as a show of support for the outlandish conspiracy theories spouted by QAnon followers that have sometimes included threats of violence, anti-Semitism and racism.

“He in no way intended to lend credibility to conspiracy theorists or their outlandish ideas," Brian Piper said in a statement. "He does, however, support the First Amendment and its protection of free speech.”

Carter, who in August attended a human trafficking rally in Savannah while unaware of its QAnon ties, said that he voted “no” unintentionally and later submitted paperwork to fix the mistake. Carter’s office said he was distracted because he was simultaneously participating in discussions about another round of coronavirus relief.

“I have made my position on QAnon very clear,” he said.

The nonbinding resolution encourages the FBI and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies to root out potential criminal activity motivated by conspiracy theories and it encourages Americans to avoid engaging in misinformation.

The measure was introduced by U.S. Reps. Tom Malinowski, a New Jersey Democrat, and Denver Riggleman, a Republican from Virginia. Malinowski reported that he received death threats after challenging the QAnon network.

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