Nicole Malliotakis is Unfit to Serve

It’s been just over one week since Nicole Malliotakis took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States as a new member of Congress but it took her only three days to violate that oath with her actions on the floor of the House of Representatives on January 6th.  Her actions on that day and every day since have demonstrated her inability to effectively fulfill the position to which the people of NY-11 in Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn elected her. Her views are incompatible with democracy.  She must immediately resign.

Congresswoman Malliotakis was an NYS Assemblymember for many years, where her tenure was unremarkable.  Her attempt to become mayor of NYC was met with sound defeat but she remained popular in her home district, and across Staten Island.

The congresswoman had distanced herself from the president in the past when it was advantageous to her chances of becoming mayor. This past year when she ran for Congress she went all-in on Trump.  She sought his endorsement and sought out his base supporters knowing full well the scope of Trump’s racism, bigotry, and lawlessness.  

Perpetuating Conspiracies

Long before the events of this week, in pursuit of her election win, Congresswoman Malliotakis perpetuated election conspiracy theories and lies, spreading false news fertilizer to her rabid base.  Day in and day out, chum was cast into the water to attack Congressman Rose, BLM, Vice President Biden, and election integrity itself.

With her recent elevation to the national stage as a member of Congress, however, it has become apparent how woefully unprepared she was to understand the real consequences of decisions made in that role and how the weight of her words and actions in Congress would have lasting effects here in NY-11 and across the country.

January 6th

January 6th is the day determined in our Constitution where the Senate counts the electoral votes and certifies the winner of the presidential election. On that day, Republicans planned in both the Senate and the House to challenge the certification of electoral votes in numerous states.  They did this on the false premise that there were “voting irregularities.”    

The Republican arguments made on the floor were flagrant lies because dozens of courts in numerous states have previously heard challenges to the election and all have been summarily dismissed.  Courts asked for evidence of fraud and Trump’s attorneys had to admit – under threat of perjury – that there was none.  

States performed audits, hand recounts were done, all with no change in the determination.  Vice President Biden won the election.  The electoral college voted and the states then certified the results.  From there those votes were sent to the Capitol, where the votes were to be counted and certified.  Those votes are the voices of 81 million voters who made a choice for President-elect Biden.  Those boxes of votes contained the will of the electorate.  

At the exact moment Republicans were beginning to make their fraudulent arguments on the House and Senate Floor, domestic terrorists, under direct orders from President Trump, breached the Capitol and led a bloody insurrection that resulted in 5 deaths, including a Capitol Police officer.  

The point and purpose of Republican objection and the goals of the insurrectionists were exactly the same – to stop the certification count and subvert democracy.  They are all on the same side.

Congresswoman Malliotakis had an opportunity to change her vote.  During the violent attempted coup, as she huddled with dozens of lawmakers in fear for their lives, she could – and should- have realized that this vote was wrong.  

A Lapse in Character and Morals

The congresswoman should have realized that trying to overturn the will of millions of voters was wrong. She should have realized that turning America into the very dictatorship she claims her mother fled as a child, was wrong.  She should have known it was wrong to be on the same side of history as violent white supremacists, who were hunting for lawmakers in the Capitol with weapons and zip cuffs, and who set up gallows with a noose screaming that they wanted to hang Vice President Pence.  Nicole Malliotakis had time for clarity of thought but she decided, as she emerged from her hiding place, that she would continue to subvert democracy.  

This was not a lapse in judgment but a lapse in character and morals.  Her decision was a complete inability to understand the basic democratic principles that frame our government.

Serving as a representative requires exercising good judgment. Political parties should and do have valuable discussions about their differences in policy opinion but this vote was not a policy opinion.

Arguing over a tax rate is policy, not whether or not America remains a democracy.  We cannot have a functioning political party that does not believe in the premise of democracy.

When Congresswoman Malliotakis cast that vote, she once again, in a recorded vote, perpetuated lies that got people killed. There is absolutely nothing Nicole can say or do going forward that can remedy the seditious acts she has already committed. And it has become abundantly clear through her statements that she has no remorse and does not find fault in her decisions.   

For this reason, she is unfit to represent the people of the 11th Congressional District and should resign immediately.  Should she not resign, she should be expelled.  This country has no place for representatives who do not believe in democracy, and who do not uphold the oath they swear to our Constitution, our laws, and our people. 

Michael De Cillis

Michael De Cillis is an attorney, special education teacher, and former Democratic candidate for NY-11.

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