The House Ethics Committee will not investigate or seek to punish the lawmakers arrested outside the Supreme Court last week during protests against the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The panel dismissed any further action on the matter of the 17 members of Congress being arrested on charges of crowding, obstructing, or incommoding during the protest, according to a report released Friday.
“The Committee voted against impaneling an investigative subcommittee in this matter,” the report says. “The Committee considered the scope and nature of the conduct described above and determined that review by an investigative subcommittee is not required in this matter. The Committee has determined to take no further action in this matter, and upon publication of this Report, considers the matter closed.”
The report also said the House members arrested had paid or would pay the $50 fine levied against them for blocking traffic outside the Supreme Court while protesting the Supreme Court overruling Roe v. Wade with the ruling in Dobbs last month.
The 17 lawmakers arrested last week during protests included: Reps. Alma Adams (D-NC), Cori Bush (D-MO), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Madeline Dean (D-PA), Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Andy Levin (D-MI), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ).
The U.S. Capitol Police said officers had made 35 arrests in total during the protest, all having to do with violating laws against crowding, obstructing, or incommoding.
Ocasio-Cortez made headlines when she crossed her arms behind her back as she was escorted away in a moment caught on video, prompting critics to accuse her of faking that she had been placed in handcuffs for a photo op.
The congresswoman insisted she wasn’t pretending to be in handcuffs during her arrest.
“No faking here,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet. “Putting your hands behind your back is a best practice while detained, handcuffed or not, to avoid escalating charges like resisting arrest. But given how you lied about a fellow rape survivor for ‘points,’ as you put it to me, I don’t expect much else from you.”