Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is continuing to face steep criticism over his role in inciting recent violent rioting at the U.S. Capitol building that is connected to several deaths. Prior to the violence, he helped spread the lie that the duly documented outcome of the 2020 presidential election was in some way dubious, and this idea is exactly what the rioters used as a rhetorical cover. They attempted to forcibly stop the Congressional certification of the electoral college outcome and Biden’s victory — and in the Senate, Hawley and other Republicans allied themselves with this cause via announcing plans to object to the certification of Biden electoral votes. The anti-Trump conservative group known as The Lincoln Project released a new video criticizing Hawley over his actions.
In the video, a narrator says, in part, as follows:
‘Josh Hawley — you had it all. You were on track for a bright career… You went to the right schools. You built your connections, won your seat. It had all come together, but then: you made a choice. A choice to stand against America. You stood with insurgency instead of democracy. You pledged your allegiance to Donald Trump and all that came with him… You made your choice. The wrong choice. You can’t distance yourself from it. You led it. This is your coup.’
You threw away your career, your reputation, and your duty to this nation. Was it worth it, Josh?
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) January 24, 2021
The effort from Hawley and other Senate Republicans to object to the certification of some of Biden’s electoral votes did not have the support of then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has publicly blamed Trump himself for helping incite the Capitol rioting. During a recent Senate proceeding, McConnell commented as follows, referring to Trump’s role in the violence:
‘The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.’
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 19, 2021
Hawley has faced calls for his resignation or removal from Congress. In response to a complaint that Senate Democrats filed against him with the Senate Ethics Committee, Hawley petulantly insisted that his opponents were trying to “silence dissent,” which grossly misrepresents the truth. Hawley’s claims about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election were not “dissent” — the claims were delusional propaganda that incited a violent riot at a seat of government.