Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley continues to face strong criticism for his decision to challenge the results of the presidential election, a pointless endeavor that helped incite pro-Trump rebels.
Hawley was the first U.S. senator to publicly vow to challenge the election college, leading efforts with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Shortly before things escalated, a photo was taken in front of the Hawley Capitol building, greeting Trump loyalists with a happy fist pump.
Lawmakers were due to formally acknowledge President Biden’s victory Wednesday, but proceedings were suspended for hours when a pro-Trump mob disrupted the US Capitol building. The incident resulted in the shooting and killing of a woman by Capitol police, and a police officer died from injuries sustained in the melee.
As Congress convened Wednesday night, rocked by violence earlier in the day, Hawley continued to challenge election results in both Arizona and Pennsylvania with the support of a smaller group of senators than originally planned.
“In fact, I think it’s very important what we do, the opportunity to be heard, to register objections is very vital. Because this is where those objections need to be heard and considered, discussed and finally resolved,” Hawley said in a speech. late Wednesday night.
“In this legal way, peacefully, without violence, without attacks, without bullets,” he added.
The challenges were rejected by a majority in the Senate and House.
As of Wednesday, Missouri leaders and voters, as well as GOP members, condemned Hawley’s actions in the Senate and his rhetoric leading to the uprising.
In an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition Friday, Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse called Hawley’s challenge to vote at Election College “really dumb.”
Asked if Hawley deserved to be reprimanded by the Senate, Sasse did not respond directly, adding that “Missouri are the most important people in this conversation.”
And many Missourians, including Hawley’s former allies, are alive.
Missouri businessman and former Hawley supporter David Humphries called for a reprimand in an interview with the Missouri Independent on Thursday. Humphries had previously contributed to Holly’s candidacy for the Senate in 2018.
The Editorial Board of The star of Kansas City also issued a statement Thursday calling for the immediate resignation or removal of Holly from the Senate. Just hours after the rebels stormed the Capitol, the editorial board wrote that Hawley had “blood on his hands.”
“Hawley’s actions over the past week have had such an impact that he deserves an impressive share of the blame for the bloodshed,” the editorial added.
Even Hawley’s mentor, former GOP senator John Danforth, refused.
“Supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the Senate was the worst mistake I’ve ever made in my life,” Danforth said in an interview Thursday. Post-shipment to St. Louis.
Hawley also made a statement Thursday, according to KMBC in Kansas City.
“I will never apologize for giving my voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who are concerned about the integrity of our election. This is my job and I will continue to do so,” the statement said.
Hawley received further criticism outside of politics, including from Simon and Schuster, who declined to publish his upcoming book.
Hawley called the decision “a direct attack on the First Amendment” and threatened to take legal action.
Hawley is in his first term in the Senate and will face re-election only in 2024. Before Wednesday, there was speculation about the possibility of running for president in the same year.
“This is a man whose ambition has overcome the heart of a servant,” former Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri told St. Louis Public Radio on Thursday.
McCaskill was defeated by Hawley in 2018.
“He is much more interested in how he can get an elected president than in serving the people he is elected to serve,” she added.