Far-right Arizona lawmaker under investigation after controversial remarks on Buffalo shooting

Far-right Arizona lawmaker under investigation after controversial remarks on Buffalo shooting
Arizona State Sen. Wendy Rogers speaking at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections," hosted by Turning Point Action at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix on July 24, 2021, Gage Skidmore

On Monday, the Phoenix New Times reported that the Arizona State Senate has opened an investigation into extremist Rep. Wendy Rogers after a comment she posted on social media appearing to claim that the racial massacre in Buffalo was a false flag staged by the FBI.

"Just hours after a shooter killed 10 people Saturday in a racist attack at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers took to social media to write: 'Fed boy summer has started in Buffalo,' implying the attack was a false-flag operation," reported Katya Schwenk. "She posted the remark Saturday on Gab and Telegram, two social media sites popular on the political right. The posts gained hundreds of likes from Rogers' supporters."

"On Monday afternoon, the Arizona Senate voted to open an ethics investigation into her comment. The motion passed in the GOP-controlled chamber. Other than Rogers herself, only two senators cast dissenting votes: East Valley Republicans Warren Petersen, of Gilbert, and Kelly Townsend, of Mesa. Twenty-four senators voted in favor of opening an investigation," said the report. "Rogers did not speak during the vote. And so far, she has not taken down the posts, nor apologized."

One senator in support of the investigation, Democrat Victoria Steele of Tuscon, said, "This Senator was up before the ethics committee a year ago. In March, our state senate voted to censure her because of hateful, anti-Semitic comments. Spewing hate and furthering racist comments is not what we should be here for."

Rogers, who herself has ties to white nationalists, is also a close ally of former President Donald Trump who has repeatedly spread false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, and has traveled around the country demanding that state results be "decertified," which is not a real legal process.

She has even faced calls by members of her own party, including gubernatorial candidate Matt Salmon, to resign.

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