At a hearing of the House Oversight Committee on Friday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) temporarily disrupted things by asking to be sworn in for her testimony, contrary to the practice for members of Congress.
After committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) acknowledged Ocasio-Cortez for her testimony, the congresswoman asked to be sworn in.
“We usually don’t require a swearing in, but you want to be sworn in?” Cummings asked.
Ocasio-Cortez responded “Yes.”
At the hearing, the New York freshman along with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayana Pressley (N.Y.) gave testimony regarding their recent trip to the border.
Members of Congress are not typically sworn in to give testimony to committees and lying to Congress is illegal under Title 18 of federal law regardless of whether or not an oath has been administered by a committee chair.
Ocasio-Cortez later explained that the unconventional swearing-in was meant to show that she’s not lying about the situation at the border.
“GOP has been stating that I am lying about the translated accounts of migrants at the border, particularly about the fact that women were drinking out of a toilet bowl,” the Democratic freshman said in a tweet. “Committee staff conferred with me ahead of time about requesting to be sworn in.”
Critics, however, said that the move was clearly done for appearances.
“Time and time again, she chooses photo-ops over actually legislating,” a congressional source told the Washington Examiner about the display. “She just needed something to tweet. It just shows that Democrats are obsessed with political theater and attacking the president, rather than solving real problems facing the American people.”
Trump 2020 Deputy Director of Communications Matt Wolking criticized the swearing in as “contrived theater by AOC and Elijah Cummings,” adding that “She knows damn well she can lie as much as she wants ‘under oath’ and the committee will do nothing about it.”