Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) took to the Senate floor Wednesday evening to condemn the violence that overtook the Capitol earlier in the day but reiterate the baseless claims of a rigged presidential election that led to it. He made the statements in the dark hours after President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building and halted the certification of the Electoral College’s votes, which confirm that Joe Biden has won the presidency. Hawley had expressed his support for the mob of Trump supporters attending the president’s incendiary “Stop the Steal” speech earlier in the day.
“Violence is never warranted...But we do need an investigation into irregularities and fraud,” he said, citing no evidence. Many of his Republican colleagues had walked back from their objections to the election’s outcome following the stark spectacle of Confederate flags waving in the halls of the federal government, but Hawley persisted. He contended that Pennsylvania had violated its own constitution in allowing mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, an argument that had already been made in the state’s courts and failed. The Kansas City Star, Hawley’s hometown paper, wrote that the senator had committed an “assault on democracy” and that there was “blood on his hands.”