Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is adamantly rejecting the idea that he abused his authority or supported an insurrection by objecting to the certification of Electoral College votes last week.
“This time around, anyone who objected has been called an ‘insurrectionist,'” Hawley wrote in a Wednesday column for Southeast Missourian.
“Sadly, much of the media and many members of the Washington establishment want to deceive Americans into thinking those who raised concerns incited violence, simply by voicing the concern. That’s false. And the allegation itself is corrosive and dangerous.”
He added that “democratic debate is not mob violence. It is in fact how we avoid that violence.”
Both Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, caused a stir after they announced their intention to object the certification prior to last week’s events. And when Congress reconvened after the attacks, they both maintained their objections.
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“Some wondered why I stuck with my objection following the violence at the Capitol,” Hawley wrote. “The reason is simple: I will not bow to a lawless mob, or allow criminals to drown out the legitimate concerns of my constituents.”
Hawley noted that his constituents had contacted him about concerns over election integrity.
His comments came on the same day that House Democrats and 10 Republicans voted to impeach President Trump for purportedly inciting last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol. Prior to that vote, some on both the left and right targeted Hawley and his Texas colleague, argung they should be held accountable for objecting to the certification.
“Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said amid the chaos.
Some House Democrats also expressed support for a resolution urging Congress to hold lawmakers like Hawley accountable. But according to the Missouri senator, he and others were encountering a double standard.
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“Democrats objected after the elections of 2000, 2004, and 2016–in other words, every time a Republican has won the White House in the last thirty years,” Hawley wrote.
“And they were within their rights to do so. The Joint Session is the forum where concerns about an election can be raised, debated, and ultimately resolved with a vote.”
Hawley specifically objected to Pennsylvania’s certification over its decision to expand mail-in voting, something he said violated the state’s constitution.
A longtime critic of tech giants, Hawley also accused them of interfering with the country’s democratic process.
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“I also objected to point out the unprecedented interference of the Big Tech corporations in this election in favor of the Biden campaign, not just in Pennsylvania but everywhere,” he said.
“Their interference in our democratic process has only accelerated in recent days.”