Since November 3, 2020, a lot of people have profited, both politically and financially, from the Big Lie perpetrated against people vulnerable to manipulation, people with little ability to distinguish fact from fiction. Some of them pursued the benefits of spreading that lie until those they had been manipulating were convinced that Republicans and Democrats, election officials and vote tabulation machine companies, the media and governments of foreign countries all came together to steal an election and wrest control from Trump and his supporters. In response, they committed crimes against this country and deserve to be held accountable for those crimes, but those who preyed on their vulnerabilities must also be called out.
A letter signed by seven senators Thursday asks the Senate Ethics Committee to open an investigation in Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz for possible misconduct: https://t.co/eq2OdGGS4P
— 41 Action News (@41actionnews) January 21, 2021
Seven senators – Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tina Smith (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – called on the Senate Ethics Committee to open an investigation into Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) for their roles in inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol Building and killed a Capitol Police officer when they helped legitimize Trump’s lie in statements before the insurrection knowing that the temperature of the country was reaching dangerous levels.
In a letter to Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Sen. James Lankford (D-OK), chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, the seven signing senators wrote:
‘When Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley announced they would object to the counting of state- certified electors on January 6, 2021, they amplified claims of election fraud that had resulted in threats of violence against state and local officials around the country. While Congress was debating Senator Cruz’s objection, a violent mob stormed the Capitol. These insurrectionists ransacked the building, stole property, and openly threatened Members of Congress and the Vice President.1 Dozens of police officers were injured; five people died, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. By proceeding with their objections to the electors after the violent attack, Senators Cruz and Hawley lent legitimacy to the mob’s cause and made future violence more likely.’
Prior to Cruz and Hawley joining in on the conspiracy theory about a rigged election, kidnapping plots, death threats, and plans for an armed insurrection had already begun and were openly discussed on the internet and on the news. Even after election officials pleaded with lawmakers to tone down the rhetoric that was putting their lives, their families, and their staff’s lives at risk, Cruz spoke at the rally on Jan. 6 to encourage an angry mob to fight back against a stolen election and Hawley raised a fist in solidarity with people who, shortly afterward, illegally entered the Capitol Building, killed a police officer, stole sensitive materials, and sent elected officials into hiding for their lives.
‘At the time the senators announced their support for President Trump’s scheme, his rhetoric had already incited threats of violence. By early December, President Trump’s false fraud claims had provoked numerous threats against state and local election officials9 and employees of voting machine companies. On December 1, 2020, Gabriel Sterling, a Republican election official at the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, stated that the false claims of election fraud by President Trump were “inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.” He called on the President, as well as Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, to “step up” and “condemn” these threats. Instead, President Trump continued to repeat the baseless claims. He called on his supporters to “Come to D.C. January 6th to ‘StopTheSteal.’” On December 19, he tweeted: “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”’
The investigation requests calls for both Cruz and Hawley to be expelled or censured if it is determined through an investigation that they knowingly incited the attack on the Capitol Building. Citing the Senate Manual on Ethics, the senators ask that it be determined whether their colleagues “[p]ut loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department” or engaged in “improper conduct reflecting on the Senate,” and face consequences for their actions.
‘The extent, if any, of communication or coordination between Sens. Hawley and Cruz and the organizers of the rally remains to be investigated. Three members of the House of Representatives who coordinated with Senators Hawley and Cruz to object to the electors, Reps. Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, and Mo Brooks, have been identified as alleged co-architects of the rally. Further investigation is necessary to determine whether and to what extent Senators Cruz and Hawley were also aware of these groups’ activities or coordinated with their efforts.’
Sens. Whitehouse, Wyden, Smith, Blumenthal, Hirono, Kaine, and Brown have filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee against Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley over their role in the Capitol insurrection.
The senators want a "thorough and fair investigation."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 21, 2021