ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Seven Democrats in the United States Senate Thursday asked for an investigation into Missouri Senator Josh Hawley and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, saying the pair’s objection to the January 6 Electoral College certification before and after rioters stormed the Capitol building that day, may have violated Senate rules.
The request, released by Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and signed by six other Democrats, said by failing to put “loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department,” and by potentially engaging in “improper conduct reflecting on the Senate,” Hawley and Cruz should be investigated and potentially punished with censure or expulsion.
In a statement late Thursday afternoon, Hawley said “Joe Biden and the Democrats talk about unity but are brazenly trying to silence dissent. 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. Missourians will not be cancelled by these partisan attacks.”
Hawley, in a series of statements since January 6, has defended the right to object to the Electoral College certification. Thursday’s request for an ethics investigation says Senators have the right to object, but suggests that doing so, along with President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud, fueled demonstrators before the day of the siege and “lent legitimacy to the mob’s cause” by continuing to do so when the Senate reconvened once the Capitol was resecured that night.
Missouri U.S. Rep Cori Bush has introduced legislation calling for lawmakers who incited violence at the Capitol to be expelled.