Sen. Josh Hawley Blasts Double-Standard For 2020 Election Objections Compared To 2000, 2004, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 14: U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) questions Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett as she testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on October 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed away in September. (Photo by Caroline Brehman-Pool/Getty Images)
Caroline Brehman-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) called for a group of Democrats to be disciplined Monday after they filed an ethics complaint against him and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for objecting to certifying the 2020 election.

Hawley wrote a letter to Sens. James Lankford (R-OK) and Chris Coons (D-DE), the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics respectively, accusing Democrats of hypocrisy and demanding an investigation into a group of lawmakers pursuing an ethics complaint against him and Cruz.

“On January 21, seven Democrat Members of the Senate filed an unprecedently frivolous and improper ethics complaint against me and Senator Cruz. Without citing any relevant evidence or offering any good-faith argument, they attempted to link my objection lodged under 3 U.S.C. § 15 to the criminal riot at the Capitol that occurred on January 6,” Hawley wrote. “They submitted their meritless complaint in potential coordination with a campaign by partisan and dark-money groups that have peddled falsehoods about me and my objection.”

“By knowingly submitting a frivolous complaint to accomplish impermissible partisan purposes, these Senators have engaged in improper conduct that may reflect upon the Senate,” he continued. “The Committee should discipline these Members to ensure that the Senate’s ethics process is not weaponized for rank partisan purposes.”

Hawley accused the Democrats of hypocrisy for coming after him and Cruz after Democrats had not taken similar steps against lawmakers from their own party who objected to certifying the elections of 2000, 2004, and 2016.

“It is clear that my objection rested on far more solid ground than the electoral college objections submitted by Democrat Members of Congress after the 2000, 2004, and 2016 elections. Yet Democrats did not hasten to censure or expel their objecting colleagues; instead, they offered paeans to them,” Hawley wrote. “The only difference is that I am a Republican. This manifestly partisan exercise demeans this Committee and the critical purposes that it serves.”

Hawley ended his letter calling for investigations into Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Tina Smith of Minnesota, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, and Ron Wyden of Oregon for filing an ethics complaint against him and Cruz.

“This complaint is none other than a transparent attempt by seven Senators to punish a political opponent for the entirely lawful representation of their constituents. The Senate cannot function if its neutral administrative processes are hijacked for bad-faith ends, but that is precisely what is occurring here,” Hawley wrote. “For the foregoing reasons, I respectfully request that the Committee investigate the conduct of Senators Whitehouse, Wyden, Smith, Blumenthal, Hirono, Kaine, and Brown in preparing and filing this baseless and destructive complaint.”

Hawley has faced blowback over his decision to object to certifying the 2020 election on Jan. 6. Loews Hotels canceled a fundraising event for the Missouri senator scheduled to be held in one of the hotel company’s properties in Orlando, Florida. The publishing house Simon & Schuster exited an agreement to publish the senator’s book, connecting Hawley’s objection to a group of rioters that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

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