GOP Rep. Clay Higgins Manhandles Capitol Protester

The Huffington Post reports:

Republican Rep. Clay Higgins (La.) sparked criticism Wednesday after he aggressively removed a protester from a press conference in Washington D.C. Jake Burdett, 25, posted footage to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon confronting Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) at a media event in the Capitol.

In one clip, the activist yells questions toward Gosar before Higgins quickly walks up to him. Burdett again shouts questions at Boebert about her recent divorce filing before Higgins rushes up and manhandles him away. “Aren’t you a congressperson, touching me?” the protester says in the video. “Get off me! You’re hurting me!”

Burdett said he was merely asking “tough questions” to Gosar and Boebert. Higgins, however, told HuffPost that Burdett was “threatening,” appearing to reference a police code for a disturbance by a person with mental health issues.

The Daily Beast reports:

Burdett wasn’t injured in the incident, he told The Daily Beast. But he felt “scared, intimidated, powerless, defenseless.” He couldn’t exactly push back, he added later in an interview. “Like, who do I think the cops are going to crack down on: me, or the congressperson?”

Higgins didn’t let go until the U.S. Capitol Police stepped in, according to Burdett. Officers took him across the street and questioned him, and the 25-year-old spent what he estimated to be about half an hour unsure if he was being detained. Someone eventually confirmed he was free to leave.

Higgins has previously threatened violence against protesters, saying in 2020 that he would shoot Black Lives Matter protesters who open carry. As you can see below, Higgins literally picked up the protester and carried him away.