In the wake of the deadly Capitol insurrection earlier this month, a Democratic congresswoman plans to introduce a bill that would bar believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory and other conspiracy theories from obtaining security clearances.
The Daily Beast reported last week:
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) was already struck at how the Capitol attack demonstrated the growing influence of conspiracy theories like QAnon—a wide-ranging set of unfounded beliefs encompassing election lies and fantasies of depravity by those in power—which drove adherents to a violent plot to keep Donald Trump in power by any means necessary.
Then came the report that at least 22 current or former members of the U.S. military or law enforcement were found to have been at or near the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, according to a Jan. 15 review by the Associated Press, with more reportedly under investigation by federal officials.
A former Pentagon official, Murphy quickly drew up a bill designed to block QAnon believers, and other conspiracy followers, from obtaining the security clearances required to access classified federal government information.
Murphy told The Daily Beast: “What we discovered was that there was a shocking number of people involved in that insurrection who seemingly live normal lives, working in government and law enforcement and the military.”
She continued: “It’s really dangerous for individuals who hold these types of views to receive a security clearance and access to classified information… if any Americans participated in the Capitol attack, or if they subscribe to these dangerous anti-government views of QAnon, then they have no business being entrusted with our nation’s secrets.”
The legislation, titled the Security Clearance Improvement Act of 2021, requires applicants looking to obtain or renew their federal security clearances to disclose if they participated in the Jan. 6 rally in Washington—or another “Stop the Steal” event—or if they “knowingly engaged in activities conducted by an organization or movement that spreads conspiracy theories and false information about the U.S. government.”