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Hawley raises $3M after leading efforts to block Electoral College results: report

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyCheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts Pollster Frank Luntz: 'I would bet on' Trump being 2024 GOP nominee Why isn't Washington defending American companies from foreign assaults? MORE (R-Mo.) has raised more than $3 million during the first three months of 2021 after leading efforts to block President BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE's win, according to a new report. 

Hawley, who was the first Senate Republican to announce he would oppose the congressional certification of Biden's Electoral College victory, hauled in more than 57,000 donations during the first quarter, including $600,000 during the 2 1/2 weeks following the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, Politico reported

In announcing he would oppose the certification of Biden's Electoral College victory, Hawley referenced claims of voter fraud in Pennsylvania, assertions that were eventually thrown out in court. 

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“Let me say again, as I have said before: the lawless violence at the Capitol last week was criminal. There can be no quibbling about that. Those who engaged in it should be prosecuted and punished," Hawley wrote in an op-ed after the attack on the Capitol. "Lawless violence undermines the democratic process by which we settle our disputes and threatens our democratic life. That applies to mobs of any and all political persuasions. Mob violence is always wrong."

Hawley added that "democratic debate is not mob violence ... It is in fact how we avoid that violence.”

Critics said Hawley and other Republicans who backed former President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE's unproven claims of voter fraud were responsible for the Jan. 6 insurrection, a claim the Republican senator has dismissed. He has since said his goal was not to overturn the election. 

“I never said that the goal was to overturn the election,” he said. “That was never the point and it was never possible. What we need to have are elections that are fair, free and open, and I think Congress needs to do its job and look into election irregularities."

Republicans in several states such as Georgia have used claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election to justify sweeping reform bills that opponents say intentionally make voting more difficult, especially for people of color.

Hawley has received praise from the Republican base following his objection to the certification of Biden's win, as a majority of likely GOP voters have indicated in recent polling they still back Trump over the Republican establishment in Washington.  

“I just want to say to those people who say to us, ‘Oh, you’re the past, your moment has passed, it’s over, it’s Joe Biden’s America now,’ we’re not the past, we’re the future, we represent the future of this country,” Hawley said after receiving a warm, boisterous reception at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year. “We’re not going to back down to the woke mob, we’re not going to back down to the cancel culture, we’re not going to be told what we can say or do.”