On June 21, Marjorie Taylor Greene took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to take a stand, loud if not clear, against one of the most heinous acts of political skulduggery in recent memory—at least in her recent memory.
“Madam speaker, I would like to address the House and talk about how I have been mistreated as a freshman member of Congress and how crimes have been committed against me,” declared the Republican congresswoman from Georgia. “They have been caught by the Capitol Police. They have been sent to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice is refusing to prosecute these crimes. This is another example of the two-tiered justice system that we are living under right now under the Biden Department of Justice and Democrat leadership.”
The “they” in “they’ve been caught” is Tim Hysom, chief of staff to Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Jake Auchincloss. Hysom is a longtime congressional aide who previously worked for Rep. Adam Schiff; he was captured on video putting stickers over a poster outside of Greene’s office.
An affidavit in support of an arrest warrant filed in March alleges that Hysom on seven occasions placed stickers with religious messages including “True Disciples of Christ don’t say the thing you say, act the way you act, and treat people the way you treat people” over Greene’s poster, which proclaimed, “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE. ‘Trust The Science!’”
Greene put up her poster in February 2021 after a Democratic lawmaker across the hall, Rep. Marie Newman of Illinois, hung a trans pride flag outside her own office.
Greene’s sworn testimony in the affidavit concluded with a request that a warrant be issued for Hysom’s arrest on a charge of defacing public or private property, a violation of local law in D.C. that can carry a penalty of up to a $5,000 fine and a year in prison. But the U.S. Attorney’s Office has thus far declined to prosecute.
“While Members of Congress have great latitude in what they do on the inside of their office, they do not own the exterior walls of their office,” Auchincloss spokesperson Matt Corridoni wrote in an email. Posters, he said, are not allowed in the hallways outside of members’ House offices, and that “What Tim did was to adhere a series of stickers to foul, mean spirited, bullying posters outside the Congresswoman’s office. These stickers were never threatening and always respectful.”
Corridoni said that “while the Capitol Police were obligated to pass along Rep. Greene’s accusation of ‘destruction of public property’ to the U.S. Attorney’s office, they have set aside the charges and have declined to prosecute.” He’s said elsewhere that “Adhering a sticker—to a poster that shouldn’t be there in the first place—is hardly a federal crime.”
Greene begs to differ.
“Imagine if MY STAFF attacked her trans flag! They’d be rotting in jail!” Greene tweeted on June 21. “But they never have nor ever would & it’s hanging across the hall untouched.”
In her remarks that day from the House floor, as recorded in the Congressional Record, Greene talked about what it was like to not know whether the person who was attacking her sign “was someone that I may be on an escalator with, passing in the hallway, passing on the stairwell.” She said, “I felt very unsafe. I felt my life was in danger, especially with the amount of death threats that I receive against myself and my family and the complete refusal from the Sergeant at Arms and leadership to provide me with any kind of security or protection.”
Greene, whose campaign spent $183,000 to provide her with security in the early months of 2022—“more than any other person running for office this year,” according to a May 26 article in The New York Times—described a pattern of abusive behavior that she has experienced.
There was also another incident on June 29 where one of my Democrat colleagues screamed at me in the Cannon tunnel, yelling and screaming at me for having a mask pulled down to my chin while I was talking on a Facebook live video. So all of it was caught on a video. That Member then went to the Speaker and claimed that I had attacked her and was able to get her office moved because, apparently, she claimed I was a threat to her—where I was not—and she was given a security detail for her protection. Then there were 73 Democrat colleagues who introduced a resolution to expel me from Congress.
In April, Greene claimed to have contacted Capitol Police to file a report against Jimmy Kimmel. During a live monologue, the late-night comedian had brought up a tweet by Greene that accused the three GOP senators who supported Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination of being “pro-pedophile,” then asked, “Where is Will Smith when you really need him, huh?” Tweeted Greene: “@ABC, this threat of violence against me by @jimmykimmel has been filed with the @CapitolPolice.” Replied Kimmel, “Officer? I would like to report a joke.”
In her “question of personal privilege” comments—a form of privileged business normally reserved for a House member to “respond to criticism of integrity specifically in relation to his or her representative capacity”—Greene also said:
They don’t care about crime here in this place in Congress, in the Capitol complex. They only care about the people that definitely came in and walked around on January 6. If you are one of those people, they are prosecuting you to the hilt. Some of them are rotting in the D.C. jail now. If you are a Republican Member of Congress and someone is stalking, harassing, attacking your gender, attacking your religion, they drop the charges. You see, that is a two-tiered justice system. I can’t imagine why we are allowing that to happen.
Greene’s comments to her colleagues were a bounty of grievance, a cacophony of victimhood.
So I have been kicked off committees. I have been routinely attacked. I have been lied about. My character has been completely destroyed, not only by people in here but the media definitely helps them. I have so many death threats that I have had to pay for my own personal security. Now the Department of Justice will not prosecute someone when they are caught committing a crime against me, against my gender, and my religion. They have been attacking me over and over and over again.
One might suppose that Greene—whose commitment to decorum includes heckling President Joe Biden during his March 2022 State of the Union speech and taunting the staff of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez through the mail slot of her office door—would have thicker skin. One would be wrong.
“This is a man that I don’t know; he doesn’t know me,” Greene told Congress about Hysom.
I didn’t know who he was until a few weeks ago. I had no idea. For a time, I have been in my office building many times late at night, but I don’t go there by myself anymore because of this man right here. I don’t know if he is one of the death threats that have called my office. I don’t know if he is one of the people that mail in disgusting, horrible things to me and my office. I don’t know what else he would do because he feels he is above the law and beyond reproach.
This is a guy who put stickers—mostly of Bible verses—on her poster.
Greene concluded her comments on the House floor on a somber note: “We are going to hit a point one day where the American people are so sick of us, are sick of Congress, and are sick of what happens here. We are going to hit a point one day where the American people will not only be sick of us, but they just won’t trust us anymore.
“And do you want to know something, Madam Speaker? Madam Speaker, I don’t blame them one single bit.”