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Hawley files ethics counter-complaint against seven Democratic senators

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyDeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Chamber of Commerce clarifies stance on lawmakers who voted against election certification Crenshaw pours cold water on 2024 White House bid: 'Something will emerge' MORE (R-Mo.) is filing a counter-complaint on Monday against seven Democratic senators who asked the Ethics Committee to investigate him.  

Hawley sent a letter on Monday to Sens. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordSenate inches toward COVID-19 vote after marathon session Ron Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Senate coronavirus bill delayed until Thursday MORE (R-Okla.) and Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsSenate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote The eight Democrats who voted 'no' on minimum wage Justice Democrats call moderates' votes against minimum wage hike 'unconscionable' MORE (D-Del.) arguing that the seven senators who submitted an ethics complaint against Hawley and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz Cruz puts hold on Biden's CIA nominee It will be Vice (or) President Harris against Gov. DeSantis in 2024 — bet on it Senate rejects Cruz effort to block stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants MORE (R-Texas) last week issued a "frivolous complaint to accomplish impermissible partisan purposes."  

"These Senators have engaged in improper conduct that may reflect upon the Senate. The Committee should discipline these Members to ensure that the Senate’s ethics process is not weaponized for rank partisan purposes," he added.

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Hawley's pushback comes as he faces fierce criticism for his actions on Jan. 6  including calls for him to resign or be expelled from the Senate  after he and Cruz led the challenges against Pennsylvania's and Arizona's election results, respectively. 

Democratic Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseFeds looking at communications between lawmakers, Capitol rioters: report FBI director commits to providing Senate information after grilling from Democrat Biden nominee previews post-Trump trade agenda MORE (R.I.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSenate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote Senate inches toward COVID-19 vote after marathon session Senate Democrats vote to provide 0 unemployment benefits into September MORE (Ore.), Tina SmithTina Flint SmithDemocrats near pressure point on nixing filibuster  Sen. Tina Smith calls for eliminating filibuster Senator notices mismatching shoes at trial: 'I had a lot on my mind' MORE (Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Republicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine MORE (Hawaii), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats near pressure point on nixing filibuster  Overnight Defense: White House open to reforming war powers | Army base might house migrant children | Fauci scolds military on vaccine White House open to reforming war powers amid bipartisan push MORE (Va.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSchumer insists Democrats unified after chaotic coronavirus debate Mandel gets Club for Growth nod in Ohio Senate primary Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks MORE (Ohio) last week sent a complaint to the Ethics Committee asking that it investigate Hawley and Cruz and "offer recommendations for strong disciplinary action, including up to expulsion or censure, if warranted by the facts uncovered.”  

Hawley has denounced the violence after rioters breached the Capitol, resulting in the death of five people, but he has stood by his decision to try to challenge President Biden's win in Pennsylvania. Hawley made his objection after the joint session resumed after being suspended for hours because rioters stormed the building. 

Hawley on Monday appeared to reference calls for him to resign, writing in a separate letter to the Democratic senators that had "considered whether I should call for you to resign or be expelled from the Senate." 

"The First Amendment does not ... give you carte blanche to abuse the Senate ethics process. I have today filed a complaint with the ethics committee that details your deliberate and partisan abuse of this process, including your apparent coordination with various dark money groups, and requests that you be appropriately disciplined," Hawley wrote.