Former McCaskill aides launch PAC seeking to thwart Hawley

Former McCaskill aides launch PAC seeking to thwart Hawley
© Greg Nash

Staffers who worked for former Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillGiuliani to stump for Greitens in Missouri McCaskill shares new July 4 family tradition: Watching Capitol riot video Joe Manchin's secret MORE (D-Mo.) launched a political action committee this week aimed at thwarting any future political ambitions for Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyUp next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Mo.).

The group — called the JOSH PAC, an acronym for "Just Oust Seditious Hacks" — launched roughly a week after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol as Congress met to certify the election results.

Former McCaskill aides Travis Mockler, Thomas Hatfield and Zoe Gallagher are working with the group, according to Politico.

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Hawley hit back at the new PAC in a statement to The Hill on Friday. 

“We expect Claire McCaskill and her team will be as effective with this campaign as they were with the last," Hawley said. "They wasted more than $60 million in 2018 — and lost — after Missourians rejected Claire McCaskill’s failed liberal policies."

The group formally registered with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday. Additionally, the PAC has a website and a Twitter account. The account's profile picture features a Hawley looking at a crowd of protesters with his fist in the air while walking into the Capitol building to challenge the election results last week. 

Hawley has faced backlash for his role in challenging the Electoral College vote during the certification process in Congress on the same day of the Capitol riot. 

The first-term senator defended his position to object to the election results of Arizona and Pennsylvania while also condemning the violence at the Capitol in an op-ed earlier this week.

“Let me say again, as I have said before: the lawless violence at the Capitol last week was criminal. There can be no quibbling about that. Those who engaged in it should be prosecuted and punished," Hawley wrote in the Southeast Missourian. "Lawless violence undermines the democratic process by which we settle our disputes and threatens our democratic life. That applies to mobs of any and all political persuasions. Mob violence is always wrong."

—Updated at 5:06 p.m.