Missouri: GOP Leaders Condemn Sen. Josh Hawley After Pro-Trump Riot At U.S. Capitol | Elena Moore/NPR
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley continues to face intense criticism for his decision to challenge the presidential election results, the futile enterprise that helped fuel pro-Trump rioters. Hawley was the first U.S. senator to publicly vow to challenge the Electoral College tally, leading the effort with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Shortly before things escalated, a photo was taken outside the Capitol building of Hawley greeting the Trump loyalists with a happy fist-pump. Lawmakers were scheduled to officially recognize President-elect Biden’s win Wednesday but the proceedings were interrupted for hours when a pro-Trump mob breached the U.S. Capitol building. The event led to a woman being shot and killed by Capitol police, and a police officer dying of injuries sustained in the melee. As Congress reconvened Wednesday evening, shaken from the violence earlier that day, Hawley continued to challenge the election results in both Arizona and Pennsylvania with the backing of a smaller group of senators than originally planned. “I actually think it’s very vital what we do, the opportunity to be heard, to register objections is very vital. Because this is the place where those objections should be heard and dealt with, debated and finally resolved,” Hawley said in a speech late Wednesday evening. “In this lawful means, peacefully, without violence, without attacks, without bullets,” he added. The challenges were rejected by the majority of the Senate and House. Since Wednesday, Missouri leaders and constituents as well as members of the GOP establishment have condemned Hawley’s actions in the Senate and his rhetoric leading up to the riot.