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Senior Democrat says Hawley, Cruz should step down from Judiciary

Senior Democrat says Hawley, Cruz should step down from Judiciary
© Greg Nash

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate This week: House to vote on Jan. 6 Capitol attack commission Gaetz compares allegations against him to earmarks: 'Everybody knows that that's the corruption' MORE (D-Vt.), the incoming Senate president pro tempore, says that Sens. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyNYPD Asian Hate Crimes Task Force chief: Attacks are 'not new' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan MORE (R-Mo.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP resistance to campaign finance reforms shows disregard for US voters Bipartisanship has become a partisan weapon Former OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden MORE (R-Texas) should step down from the Senate Judiciary Committee while federal officials investigate the storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob last week.

“Both of them wanted to subvert the will of the people, wanted to tell the whole world and the United States that we did not have an honest election. I can’t imagine any senator doing that and then serving on Judiciary,” Leahy said.

Leahy is a former chairman of the Judiciary panel and is the Democrat who currently has served the longest time on the panel.

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The senior Democrat made his comment after Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseHelping students make informed decisions on college Lawmakers bicker over how to go after tax cheats Judge's decision on Barr memo puts spotlight on secretive DOJ office MORE (D-R.I.) called for both GOP senators to be taken off the panel, citing potential conflicts of interest as the Department of Justice investigates the causes of riots on Capitol Hill last week that resulted in the death of a police officer.

Whitehouse said Monday that a security review of last week’s events would have to be investigated and that the Judiciary, Homeland Security and Rules committees would be involved in the investigation.

“Because Congress has protections from the Department of Justice under separation of powers, specifically the Speech and Debate Clause, significant investigation will need to be done in the Senate,” Whitehouse said in a statement.

“Because of the massive potential conflict of interest, Sens. Cruz, Hawley and [former Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron] Johnson [R-Wis.] (at least) need to be off all relevant committees reviewing this matter until the investigations of their role is complete,” Whitehouse said.

Democrats will control the committee once Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden's quiet diplomacy under pressure as Israel-Hamas fighting intensifies Overnight Defense: Administration approves 5M arms sale to Israel | Biden backs ceasefire in call with Netanyahu | Military sexual assault reform push reaches turning point CDC mask update sparks confusion, opposition MORE is sworn is as president and incoming Vice President Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris, Hispanic Caucus meet on Central America Harris headlining Asian American Democratic PAC's summit Here's why Joe Biden polls well, but Kamala Harris does not MORE is able to break 50-50 ties in the evenly divided chamber.

Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Pro-tax millionaires protesting in front of Bezos's homes Student debt cancellation advocates encouraged by Biden, others remain skeptical MORE (N.Y.) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Trump signals he's ready to get back in the game Manchin, Murkowski call for bipartisan Voting Rights Act reauthorization MORE (Ky.) still need to negotiate a power-sharing agreement to set new ratios for dividing committee seats and assignments and Cruz’s and Hawley’s future on the Judiciary panel could be discussed as part of that process.