A conspiracy theory subreddit devoted to President Donald Trump is apparently writing our legislation now.
H.Res.477, which was proposed on Wednesday, calls for an investigation into the alleged misconduct of … you guessed it, Hillary Clinton and James Comey.
Sponsored by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, the amendment repurposed a resolution from Rep. Pramila Jayapa, a Democrat, that asked for information on the firing of former FBI Director Comey.
Gaetz and a few of his Republican colleagues turned Jayapal’s request for information into a conspiracy theory investigation of Comey and Clinton.
The new amendment asks for the appointment of special counsel to look into “the propriety and consequence of immunity deals given to possible Hillary Clinton co-conspirators” and “James B. Comey’s refusal to investigate then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding selling access to the U.S. State Department through Clinton Foundation donations.”
It turns out that a staffer in Gaetz’s office by the name of Devin Murphy, under the thinly veiled reddit pseudonym of Devinm666, reportedly took to r/The_Donald for help writing the legislation. Murphy was eventually outed by three Twitter users @regress_ceej, @TrashWeightlift, and @espressoself after they noted Devinm666’s frequent activity on the r/The_Donald subreddit and his insider knowledge of the legislative process.
Devinm666 began a now-deleted thread on r/The_Donald asking users to come up with “a list of Clinton/Obama/election scandals” in “the next few hours” for his unspecified boss, later proven to be Gaetz. The suggestions he received show up in the finished amendment. And r/The_Donald is positively giddy about it. Really the only good news we have is there’s no clear indication the resolution will ever be voted on, let alone pass.
When asked for comment by Wired, Rep. Gaetz responded via email: “It is the responsibility of our staff to gather as much information as possible when researching a subject and provide that information for consideration. We pride ourselves on seeking as much citizen input as possible.”
Perhaps, in the future, maybe it would be best to seek citizen input outside the bowels of the alt-right web.