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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 LeahyDemocrats seek answers on impact of Russian cyberattack on Justice Department, Courts Senate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee Democrats swear in three senators to gain majority MORE (D-Vt.), the incoming Senate president pro tempore, says that Sens. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyTrump DHS chief argues for swift confirmation of Biden pick amid Hawley hold Overnight Defense: Austin takes helm at Pentagon | COVID-19 briefing part of Day 1 agenda | Outrage over images of National Guard troops in parking garage Ethics complaint filed against Biggs, Cawthorn and Gosar over Capitol riot MORE (R-Mo.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBiden leans on Obama-era appointees on climate Ethics complaint filed against Biggs, Cawthorn and Gosar over Capitol riot Hawley, Cruz see approval ratings dip in wake of Capitol riot: poll 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 WhitehouseDemocrats seek answers on impact of Russian cyberattack on Justice Department, Courts Senate Democrats file ethics complaint against Hawley, Cruz over Capitol attack Democrats seize on GOP donor fallout 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 BidenDC residents jumped at opportunity to pay for meals for National Guardsmen Joe Biden might bring 'unity' – to the Middle East Biden shouldn't let defeating cancer take a backseat to COVID MORE is sworn is as president and incoming Vice President Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden must wait weekend for State Department pick Senators introduce bill to award Officer Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal An ally in the White House is good for abortion access, but not enough MORE is able to break 50-50 ties in the evenly divided chamber.

Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCapitol insurrection fallout: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? Schumer calls for DOJ watchdog to probe alleged Trump effort to oust acting AG Student loan forgiveness would be windfall for dentists, doctors and lawyers MORE (N.Y.) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden leans on Obama-era appointees on climate Kentucky Republican committee rejects resolution urging McConnell to condemn Trump impeachment Calls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack 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.