Hawley: It will 'further divide the country' to investigate my role in riot

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Hawley is hiding behind President Joe Biden's call for unity to avoid consequences for his actions.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is trying to avoid an ethics investigation into his role in inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by claiming that any probe into his conduct would be a violation of President Joe Biden's call for unity.

Hawley made the statement in response to a complaint seven Democratic senators filed with the Senate Ethics Committee, in which they demanded an investigation into the role Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) played in the terror attack at the Capitol, where a mob of Donald Trump supporters sought to block certification of Biden's victory at the behest of Trump himself.

Trump was impeached for a second time for inciting the mob, and Hawley and Cruz are both facing calls to resign, as they are also considered by some to be ring leaders of the effort.

But Hawley is hiding behind Biden's call in his inaugural address to bring the country together.

"Joe Biden and the Democrats talk about unity but are brazenly trying to silence dissent," Hawley said in a statement. "This latest effort is a flagrant abuse of the Senate ethics process and a flagrant attempt to exact partisan revenge. Democrats appear intent on weaponizing every tool at their disposal — including pushing an unconstitutional impeachment process — to further divide the country."

As for the ethics complaint, Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Tina Smith of Minnesota, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Sherrod Brown of Ohio wrote, "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."

"The question the Senate must answer is not whether Senators Hawley and Cruz had the right to the object to the electors, but whether the senators failed to '[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' in connection with the violence," the letter continued.

The complaint says that an investigation is needed to "fully understand" Hawley and Cruz's role in the attack, including whether Hawley and Cruz "were in contact or coordinated with the organizers of the rally," "were aware of other Members’ contacts with the organizers," and whether Hawley or Cruz "received funding from organizations or donors that also funded the rally," among other questions.

"The actions of which we know demand an investigation and a determination whether disciplinary action is warranted," the Democratic senators wrote. "Until then, a cloud of uncertainty will hang over them and over this body."

Hawley has faced a barrage of criticism for his decision to object to the Electoral College results, with Hawley's mentor, former Sen. John Danforth (R-MO) who told the New York Times two days before the Capitol insurrection even took place that Hawley "lending credence to Trump's false claim that the election was stolen is a highly destructive attack on our constitutional government."

Danforth's comment was prescient, as the lie about a stolen election led to an actual attack at the Capitol. Five people died in the insurrection, including one Capitol Police officer.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.