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Hawley calls death of Capitol police officer 'a heartbreaking tragedy'

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyBiden to send Congress immigration reform bill after being sworn in Biden to nix border wall, 'Muslim ban' on first day in office Biden DHS, Intel picks stress need to prioritize cybersecurity after SolarWinds hack MORE (R-Mo.) on Friday said the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick this week following injuries sustained while responding to rioting inside the Capitol is a “heartbreaking tragedy.”

Hawley also praised “the brave men and women of the Capitol Police” who “put their lives on the line to defend our nation’s Capitol against lawless violence.”

The GOP senator's comments were part of a statement that forcefully condemned “acts of violence” committed on Wednesday when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol while the House and Senate were debating an objection to the Electoral College vote.

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Hawley was one of six Republican senators who ultimately voted Wednesday to sustain the objection against Arizona’s electoral slate. Hawley also voted with six other GOP senators to uphold an objection to Pennsylvania's electoral slate. 

“These acts of violence were criminal. They must be condemned. And they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Hawley said in a short statement referencing the rioters. "We are forever indebted to the service of Officer Sicknick and his colleagues."

Hawley has come under mounting criticism this week for his role in objecting to the results of the Nov. 3 election.

His publisher Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that it would cancel plans to publish his book, “The Tyranny of Big Tech.”

Hawley criticized that decision as “Orwellian” and an attempt to censor him.

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“Simon & Schuster is canceling my contract because I was representing my constituents, leading a debate on the Senate floor on voter integrity, which they have now decided to redefine as sedition,” he said in a statement Thursday.

He also took fire on Thursday from Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonBiden pick for Pentagon cruises through confirmation hearing GOP senator questions constitutionality of an impeachment trial after Trump leaves office GOP senators wrestle with purging Trump from party MORE (R-Ark.), a potential rival for the Republican nomination in 2024, who sent a tweet that appeared directed at Hawley.

“Some senators, for political gain, misled supporters about their ability to challenge the election results — some even sent out fundraising emails while insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. That stops now — Republicans ought to focus on countering the Democrats’ radical agenda,” Cotton tweeted on Thursday morning.

Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayHawley pens op-ed to defend decision to object to electoral votes amid pushback Demolition at the Labor Department, too Hawley, Cruz face rising anger, possible censure MORE (D-Wash.), the third-ranking member of the Democratic leadership, on Friday called on Hawley and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBlinken affirms plan to keep US embassy in Jerusalem The Intercept bureau chief: Biden's top candidate for DOJ antitrust division previously represented Google Attorneys urge Missouri Supreme Court to probe Hawley's actions before Capitol riot MORE (R-Texas) to resign after they led a group of senators who objected to Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s slate of electoral votes for Biden.

She argued that those actions on the Senate floor emboldened rioters who swarmed the Capitol on Wednesday.

“At the end of the day, our job is to keep this country a democracy where voices win, not brute force. Any Senator who stands up and supports the power of force over the power of democracy has broken their oath of office. Senators Hawley and Cruz should resign,” Murray said.