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Hawley files ethics counter-complaint against seven Democratic senators

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyPence heckled with calls of 'traitor' at conservative conference Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior 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 passes resolution condemning recent rise in antisemitic attacks Police reform negotiations enter crucial stretch GOP turns against Jan. 6 probe as midterm distraction MORE (R-Okla.) and Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsCentrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? Tensions grow between liberals and centrists on infrastructure MORE (D-Del.) arguing that the seven senators who submitted an ethics complaint against Hawley and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Ted Cruz says critical race theory is as racist as 'Klansmen in white sheets' Pentagon pulling 'certain forces and capabilities,' including air defenses, from Middle East 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 WhitehouseCentrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle Lawmakers rally around cyber legislation following string of attacks Graham, Whitehouse: Global transition to renewables would help national security MORE (R.I.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination Lawmakers rally around cyber legislation following string of attacks Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision MORE (Ore.), Tina SmithTina Flint SmithUsher attends Juneteenth bill signing at White House Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' Top union unveils national town hall strategy to push Biden's jobs plan MORE (Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoSenate on collision course over Trump DOJ subpoenas Democrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill White House gets back to pre-COVID-19 normality MORE (Hawaii), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Democrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl MORE (Va.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress Democrats reintroduce bill to create 'millionaires surtax' 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.