Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is facing steep criticism over his role in inciting the violence at the U.S. Capitol this week, where a mob of Trump supporters rampaged, forcing lawmakers to flee for their safety. Before the violence, Hawley was caught on camera raising his fist to the demonstrators in solidarity with their cause, while more broadly, Hawley’s petulant refusal to accept the legitimacy of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college victory provided clear cover for the violent insurrectionists. In an op-ed, the Kansas City Star insisted that Hawley “has blood on his hands” over the Capitol siege, which is now connected to at least five deaths, including one police officer who died of his injuries.
‘No one other than President Donald Trump himself is more responsible for Wednesday’s coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol than one Joshua David Hawley, the 41-year-old junior senator from Missouri, who put out a fundraising appeal while the siege was underway. This, Sen. Hawley, is what law-breaking and destruction look like. This is not a protest, but a riot. One woman who was apparently part of the pro-Trump mob was fatally shot by Capitol Police as lawmakers took cover. Some of those whose actions Trump encouraged and later condoned brought along their Confederate flags… Hawley’s actions in the last week had such impact that he deserves an impressive share of the blame for the blood that’s been shed.’
As the paper notes, Hawley was the first Senator to say that he would oppose the certification of Biden’s electoral college victory. His stunt offered major support to the attack on democracy that Trump and his allies have waged, which culminated in the attack on the Capitol on Wednesday. In order to sustain a challenge to electoral votes during the Congressional proceedings to confirm the numbers, at least one member of both chambers of Congress must support the move, thereby moving the issue to debate, dragging out the process. After Hawley’s announcement, other Senators and Senators-elect, led by seditious Texas Republican Ted Cruz, joined in the effort.
The Star added as follows:
‘Hawley… and other Republicans who upheld Trump’s con about widespread fraud knew all along that his claims were bogus. Now that they’ve seen exactly where those lies have landed us, decency demanded that they try to prevent further violence by making clear that President-elect Joe Biden did not win by cheating.’
Yet, Hawley did not do so. After the rioters stormed the Capitol, putting the lives of legislators in danger, he still voted against confirming some of Biden’s electoral votes, no matter the glaring real-world example of the consequences of his refusal to accept democracy.