Thursday during an appearance on Birmingham radio Talk 99.5’s “Matt & Aunie” show, Alabama Republican Party Chairwoman Terry Lathan defended her party’s passage of a resolution calling on Alabama’s congressional delegation to proceed with seeking the expulsion of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the U.S. House of Representatives.
Lathan explained that the resolution, which was introduced by State Rep. Tommy Hanes (R-Bryant), laid out the reasoning for the call for expulsion. Included were Omar’s accusation that U.S. armed forces committed war crimes in Somalia, her characterization of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack on World Trade Center, calls for leniency for ISIS fighters and alleged anti-Semitic activities.
According to Lathan, state boundaries were not viewed as a limitation for the Alabama Republican Party, given Omar’s oath was to the U.S. Constitution.
“Every member of Congress takes an oath of office,” Lathan said. “And the oath of office has the words ‘Constitution of the United States of America.’ It does not say the ‘constitution of Minnesota.’ It does not say the ‘constitution of Alabama.’ It does not say the ‘constitution of Idaho.’ I could keep going. It says ‘of America.’ And so when United States representatives like Rep. Omar has a pattern, consistent pattern, where she has had to apologize, pull tweets back, had condemnation of her own party on top of her – it was just enough for this individual – enough to say no one is doing anything, no one has said anything.”
“In other words, if you look at this with the oath of office, which is where he was coming from in the discussion because the representative is from another state does not mean the people in Alabama just be quiet – because they pledge an allegiance to the constitution of our nation,” she continued.
Lathan also noted that if the reasoning that people in Alabama should not criticize a duly elected congresswoman from Minnesota applied, then the same would apply as it pertains to those who criticize Alabama from beyond its borders.
“If that’s the case, are we going to say everyone in America – everybody stand down, no one say anything about Alabama?” Lathan added. “About what we do, what we say? There’s a process, obviously, where she is elected in Minnesota. You got to have boundaries, and that’s the way we’re carved out.”
“Her people make that decision, but that’s not the same thing as saying if you have a member who has taken an oath to our nation to just sit back and say, ‘You can say all these things. You can ask for leniency on ISIS.’ Top Democrats have written letters demanding she apologize for her remarks. She sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee. The chairman has denounced her multiple times she has said these things. The vice president of our country has said she at least needs to be removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee because what she is saying and what she is doing is not the same thing as the oath – this is the thinking in this resolution – it doesn’t match.”
The ALGOP chair called Omar’s reference to former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, the party’s 2017 U.S. Senate nominee, a distraction given Omar did not address the grievances in the resolution.
“What she didn’t say was, ‘I did not say those things, I did not do those things,’” Lathan said. “She played squirrel. She said, ‘Ah yeah, but look over there.’ She can’t stand on the things – the one, two, three, four things I just pointed out because she is guilty of every one of them.”