A fake Twitter account claiming to be New Jersey Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski is under investigation by Capitol Police. But the account, which was set up as recently as Wednesday, is featured on the freshman congressman’s official House website.
The @CongMalinowski account sparked confusion, because it popped up right when other newly sworn-in lawmakers were creating their official House accounts, which clearly identify their position in Congress and must adhere to official rules.
The fake account was still linked at the bottom of Malinowski’s House website Thursday morning.
“That’s the most disturbing thing I’ve heard today,” a Malinowski staffer told Roll Call when asked about the official website linking to the since-suspended account.
Before being suspended, the impersonator posted six times Thursday, mirroring posts on the congressman’s official House website. One retweet was a CNN clip of Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticizing President Donald Trump about the partial government shutdown.
Malinowski’s office confirmed that Capitol Police have been notified of the situation. Capitol Police spokesperson Eva Malecki said the department does not comment on ongoing investigations.
Law enforcement investigates most attempts to impersonate members of Congress, and individuals have been charged as recently as 2010. Cases of impersonation online are tougher to handle.
The official Twitter account for Malinowski is @RepMalinowski. As of Thursday morning, it had one post.
Tom Malinowski (@RepMalinowski) January 9, 2019
Paul V. Fontelo contributed to this report.