Hawley Calls for Ethics Probe of 7 Democratic Senators

U.S. Senators Josh Hawley (R-Texas) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have been hit with ethics complaints by seven Democrats for opposing the results of Electoral College votes in some states on Jan. 6. Hawley fired back in two letters sent Jan. 25 and called for an ethics investigation of those Democrats.

In one of the letters, Hawley urged the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate the seven Democratic senators who filed complaints against him and Cruz, accusing the Democrats of filing “an unprecedentedly stupid and frivolous and inappropriate ethics complaint. “. Hawley also said they did not cite any relevant evidence and did not provide any good faith arguments.

Hawley joined a House member in a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 to vote against the Pennsylvania Electoral College vote, sparking a two-hour debate in both chambers over whether to reject the state’s results. Cruz, for his part, opposed Arizona’s Electoral College vote results.

Hawley had said before the joint session that the voices of millions of voters concerned about the integrity of the election needed to be heeded.

In a letter sent to the Senate Ethics Committee on Jan. 25, Hawley wrote: “The charges against me do not suggest that my opposition to Pennsylvania’s electoral vote is legally improper in any way. No Senator can seriously make such an interpretation. Federal law clearly grants senators the right to object to the results of any state’s electoral college vote that is not generated by compliance.”

“Democrats have also invoked this provision on numerous occasions. In fact, in every presidential election since 2000 in which Republicans have won, Democrats have attempted to object to electoral vote results on this basis, regardless of whether there is any good faith basis for such an objection.”

In his letter, Hawley further defended his decision to oppose the results of the Pennsylvania Electoral College vote. He said he had a “strong legal basis” for that decision.

Seven Democratic senators file ethics complaints against Hawley and Cruz

The Democratic senators who filed ethics complaints against Cruz and Hawley are Ron Wyden, Sheldon Whitehouse, Tina Smith, Richard Blumenthal, Maize Hirono, Tim Kaine and Sherrod Brown.

On Jan. 6, a large number of Trump supporters gathered in Washington, D.C., for a protest. During a joint session of both houses of Congress to certify the results of the states’ Electoral College votes, rioters broke into the Capitol and all lawmakers were forced to evacuate.

Hawley, Cruz and then-President Trump all condemned the violence. But the Democratic Party launched a second impeachment against Trump. Meanwhile, an ethics complaint against Hawley and Cruz claimed that Cruz and Hawley supported the riot.

“While senators have the right to oppose the electors (voting results), Senators Cruz and Hawley went beyond that. Both senators announced their intention to oppose the electors (voting results) after making baseless allegations of election fraud …… This led to threats of violence.” In their letter of complaint, the Democrats said, “Their actions provided support for the actions of the rioters and set the stage for future violence. Both senators used their opposition for political fundraising.”

The Democrats’ complaint also questions whether there was communication or coordination between Hawley, Cruz and the rally organizers.

Hawley calls for ethics investigation of 7 Democrats

Hawley is considered one of the potential candidates in the 2024 U.S. presidential race. He lashed out at the seven Democratic senators for their allegations. He said their complaints are “clearly partisan” and urged the Senate Ethics Committee to conduct an ethics investigation of the Democrats.

“What is most surprising is that the Democrats who filed the complaint against me are suggesting, without any evidence, that I or my staff may have conspired with the criminals who stormed the Capitol.” Hawley said, “In most jurisdictions, such statements constitute defamation in and of themselves, and if raised during debate, they would be a clear violation of Senate Rule XIX.2.”

Hawley specifically asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate whether the seven Democrats coordinated their actions with a handful of outside groups, the Democratic leadership, including the Biden administration, and whether they made contact with lobbyists and businesses that claimed they would no longer donate to Hawley or Cruz.

Fox said that while several of these allegations that Hawley has asked to be investigated have not yet been supported by evidence, some outside groups did, however, respond very quickly and publicly after these Democrats released their complaints against Hawley and Cruz.

Hawley also sent a letter directly to the Democratic lawmakers who complained about him, accusing them of having a mindset of silencing anyone who sees things differently than they do. He told the Democrats that the allegations against him and Cruz for working with rioters were “shamefully false, and you know it.

“In light of your shameful and deliberate abuse of the ethics process, I have considered whether you should be urged to resign or be expelled from the Senate.” Hawley said, “But I still believe in the First Amendment, and the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasized that even ‘offensive’ and malicious speech such as yours is protected.”

“I will not be intimidated by your attempts to silence me, nor will the people of the state I represent be intimidated by you, and you should be ashamed of yourselves for abusing your office and the Senate so badly.”