The Arizona state Senate on Monday launched an ethics investigation into Wendy Rogers after the racist, far-right state lawmaker falsely suggested the mass shooting in Buffalo last Saturday was carried out by a government agent.
“Fed boy summer has started in Buffalo,” Rogers wrote on Telegram after a white supremacist killed 10 people and wounded three at a supermarket in a Black neighborhood.
The Arizona Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, voted 24 to 3 to launch an investigation into the comment. Rogers herself and two of her GOP colleagues, Warren Petersen and Kelly Townsend, were the only three to vote against the probe. A vote to expel Rogers from the body failed, 11 to 15.
“Spewing hate and furthering racist comments is not what we should be here for,” Democratic state Sen. Victoria Steele said on Monday, according to the Phoenix New Times.
Rogers’ trafficking of white nationalist talking points isn’t new. “We are being replaced and invaded,” she wrote on Twitter last summer while linking to a Breitbart story on migrant apprehensions. The Buffalo shooter was motivated to act in part by the “great replacement theory,” which holds that white people are being systematically replaced by immigrants, and which has been promoted not just on far-right forums but by prominent Republicans in Washington, D.C., and by Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
This isn’t the first time the Arizona state Senate has taken action against Rogers, either. She was censured last March after threatening her colleagues who criticized her for delivering a video address at America First PAC, a white nationalist conference. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin did the same, while Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke at the event in person.
In a statement, Rogers claimed her Telegram post about the Buffalo shooting “was taken completely out of context and became a false narrative that’s now the focal point of a firestorm created by certain race-obsessed members of the media.” She also blamed her Democratic colleagues for “turning this issue into a political tool.”
Rogers neglected to explain what she meant by the post.