Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson accused Republicans on Thursday of ignoring so-called "right-wing extremists" spurred by rhetoric from the former president, warning they could attempt violence against future election workers.

"I find it ironic that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle want to concentrate on the southern border while completely mischaracterizing and ignoring what’s happening in the interior of our country by right-wing extremists propelled by the false rhetoric of the ex-President Donald Trump," the Georgia Democrat said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing over President Joe Biden's plan to repeal the migration health policy known as Title 42.


Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was testifying on the Biden administration's behalf.

Johnson said there has been an "onslaught" of threats against election workers in the country "to this day," according to a 2021 Brennan Center for Justice report.

"Is it fair to say that believers of such disinformation could become lone wolves and take it upon themselves to act on these calls for violence against election workers?" Johnson asked Mayorkas.

Mayorkas told Johnson "that is a potential" the administration is guarding against materializing, saying there are several different efforts underway to equip local communities to identity "very well could be descending into violence by reason of ideologies of hate, false narratives, or other disinformation and misinformation."

During the Thursday hearing, Republican members of the House grilled the looming DHS plan to end Title 42, which GOP lawmakers and a handful of Senate Democrats have opposed over concerns of increasing the likelihood of a border crisis.

Title 42, a Trump-era measure that went into effect in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is one of the few ways border agencies can turn away illegal immigrants. Without it, the number of encounters with migrants is expected to reach 18,000 per day after the measure is revoked.


The Biden administration announced in early April that it planned to repeal the policy by May 23. A federal judge Monday barred the Biden administration from ending it, but the administration has appealed.