Hawley condemns Capitol violence amid accusations of incitement
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said that “the violence must end” at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a statement that only briefly alluded to his own push to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“Thank you to the brave law enforcement officials who have put their lives on the line,” Hawley said in the statement. “The violence must end, those who attacked police and broke the law must be prosecuted, and Congress must get back to work and finish its job.”
The statement came after pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol and clashed with police, interrupting Congress’s certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Hawley was the first of at least 13 senators to announce he planned to object to the certification, a process which will not prevent Biden from taking office but which will trigger hours of debate and a formal vote.
Hawley was criticized as having played a role in inciting the mobs, particularly after a photo surfaced of him gesturing to a crowd of demonstrators in solidarity earlier in the day.
“The picture (among many) we will all remember from what we’ve witnessed today @HawleyMO— you are @realDonaldTrump’s symbol of this sedition,” former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
— Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) January 6, 2021
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), meanwhile, called for the resignation of both Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who also supported the objection.
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) January 6, 2021
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of several GOP senators who has said he will not back the objection, did not criticize Hawley directly, but said in a tweet that the violence at the Capitol was the logical outcome of “establishing a precedent that Congress can overturn elections.”
Boy, was I right.
Chaos. Anarchy. It’s wrong and un-American.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 6, 2021