Rep Luke Simons was ejected from the North Dakota House on Thursday on trumped-up harassment charges, after he was attacked by Democrats for not wearing a mask.
Simons had hit headlines within North Dakota, after he told two Democrat lawmakers to “f**k off” when they told him to wear a mask. “You’re not my f**king mother,” Simons was reported as saying. Conveniently after his outburst, a local opinion “journalist,” Rob Port, revealed a number of trumped-up allegations against the Representative, from fellow law-makers and staffers after filing an open-records request against him.
Republican Representatives Emily O’Brien and Brandy Pyle, along with unnamed staff members, had alleged with zero evidence that Simons had engaged in “sexual harassment,” including lewd comments and inappropriate touching, with charges dating back all the way to 2018. One allegation made by Rep Dick Anderson, that Simons had asked O’Brien “what color panties she had on everyday,” and if she was wearing “thong panties,” was completely false, with Anderson having to apologise to House members for “misspeaking” about the incident.
The North Dakota lawmaker argued that the harassment charges laid against him were completely trumped-up and only existed because political opponents were trying to frame him. In a statement, he apologized for his initial confrontation on the masks, and what was being alleged had been totally “miscontrued” and was “inaccurate”:
Athough I am known to be a friendly and outgoing person, I want my fellow legislators, my constituents, and the public to know that absolutely none of my comments or actions at the Legislative Council offices (and the one at a Legislative committee room) were made with any improper intent, and have been totally misconstrued and taken out of context.
To the more recent allegations that are coming out, I deny those allegations and will respond to those allegations soon. I want the truth to come out,
the entire truth, and not baseless allegations founded on the mischaracterization of my statements or the incorrect perception of those who are making these allegations.
In the session, Simons said that he is owed a public hearing so that he can tell the “full story,” and fight back against those who “twisted his words.” Allies in the conservative Bastiat Caucus, made similar arguments that he was not given due process by the chamber, who had hastily assembled the meeting. However, the North Dakota House, currently dominated by members of the GOP establishment, voted to kick him out from his seat by 69-25. This makes Simons the first legislator to be removed from the chambers since North Dakota became a state.
Port gloated at the removal of Simons in a further article, describing Pyle as a “hero” who stood up against Simons’s “reprehensible” behaviour. “This is what justice looks like,” he wrote. Port is no fan of Simons or conservatives, claiming the Bastiat Caucus is an “embarassment.”
A fundraiser set up to assist Simons with legal fees has raised over $4,275 from concerned North Dakotans at the time of writing. The fundraiser, set up by District 38 GOP Chairman Jared Hendrix was created to ensure that Simons can fight back against the “nasty political attacks,” and possibly now against the expulsion from the House itself. Simons is set to speak at a press conference on Friday at 3 p.m.