House Stenographer: 'Holy Spirit' Behind Rant

Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 08:10 PM

 

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The stenographer who was removed from the House floor Wednesday night after an outburst during the debt-ceiling vote will not face arrest or charges, U.S. Capitol Police said on Thursday.

“You cannot serve two masters," the woman, identified by The Hill as Dianne Reidy, said after mounting the speaker's chair and shouting about God and the U.S. Constitution. "You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise forever.”

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Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who was overseeing the House vote, told Fox News on Wednesday that Reidy, a court reporter, was normally "a gentle soul."

Capitol Police told The Hill that authorities interviewed the woman after she was forcibly removed from the House. Reidy also was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

It was not clear whether any disciplinary action might be forthcoming, as the Office of the House Clerk told the Hill that it did not comment on personnel issues.

On audio recordings, Reidy could be heard shouting about Jesus, Freemasons and the Founding Fathers.

"The greatest deception here is, this is not one nation under God. It never was," she said. "Had it been, it would not have been. No. It would not have been.

"The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons. They go against God."

The stenographer told authorities later her rant was the will of the "Holy Spirit."

Of the 39 men who signed the US Constitution, 13 are believed to have been Freemasons, members of a fraternal organization that dates back to medieval times.

The woman is believed to have gone to a hospital for observation.

Fox News congressional producer Chad Pergram tweeted Thursday that Reidy said the "Holy Spirit has been waking me up in the middle of the night to deliver a message in the House Chamber."

Reidy also told Pergram, a veteran Capitol Hill reporter who said he knows her, that she felt compelled to speak out on the House floor despite her "reluctance and doubt" about the action.

The microphones were off during the late-night vote, and floor commotion made it difficult to hear her on C-Span, which records and archives activities in Congress.

A woman can clearly be seen leaving her stenographer position and calmly walking to the rostrum, near where the president gives his annual State of the Union speech, to launch her bizarre rant before stunned lawmakers, staffers and reporters.

The presiding officer, congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, banged her gavel in a vain call for order.

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Congressman Gerry Connolly said he recognized the stenographer as a liked and well-known figure in the House.

"There's a lot of sympathy, because something clearly happened there," Connolly told the Washington Post.

Information from AFP was used in this report.

© AFP 2014

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