WATCH: Congressman Forcibly Removes 'Threatening' Protester, and Libs Freak Out

Emma Campbell | May 19, 2023
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Louisiana Rep. Clay Higgins (R) is facing backlash after removing an aggressive and “threatening” protester from a press conference Wednesday.

The activist, Jake Burdett, was on Capitol Hill with the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition to attend a Medicare for All event featuring Sen. Bernie Sander (I-Vt.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.). According to Kristy Fogle, founder of the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition, Burdett saw the GOP lawmakers after the event ended and wanted to go ask them some “tough questions.”

In videos posted online, Higgins is seen talking to Burdett, asking him to quiet down and act “peacefully,” while Burdett repeatedly shouted questions at Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who was speaking at the podium. He assured Burdett that he would get his questions answered if he would just wait patiently.

“All I’m asking you to do is just peacefully stand by with your camera, and I promise you—look at me—I’ll come talk to you straight-up and answer all your questions,” Higgins said in the video.

When Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) took the podium and Burdett tried to get closer while still shouting questions, Higgins stepped in to move Burdett away from the press conference, telling Burdett, “You’re out.” Once Higgins had moved Burdett several yards away from the press conference, he stopped and handed Burdett over to U.S. Capitol Police after they arrived.

Related: Riley Gaines Confronts Senator Who Accused Her For Wanting 'Clicks and Likes'

This isn't the first time Burdett's activism has gotten him in legal trouble. He was charged with illegal wiretapping in Maryland after illegally recording a meeting with a congressional staffer and live-streaming it on Facebook back in 2019. He accepted a plea deal which lessened his sentence to probation and community service.

Burdett took to Twitter after the incident Wednesday, alleging that Higgins’ actions amounted to “assault” and claiming he was detained by police for “asking tough questions.”

However, Burdett was apparently not detained, according to reporting by Louisiana’s The Daily Advertiser.

Higgins said in a tweet that he “de-escalated the situation” and prevented a “disruptive and threatening” offender from causing further distress. He also noted that the U.S. Capitol Police were not present at the press conference, for unknown reasons, and that he handed Burdett over to them as soon as they became available. The tweet also stated that Higgins has a “current law enforcement commission” and is “Louisiana P.O.S.T certified.”

The U.S. Capitol Police, in a statement to the Hill, said they are “aware of the situation, interviewing the people who were involved, and reviewing the available video.”

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