KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Facing calls for his expulsion, U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri is standing firm in his decision to challenge November’s election results, even after the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
In a statement released Thursday, Hawley said he will not apologize for objecting to Electoral College votes, delaying President-elect Joe Biden’s certification.
“I will never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections,” Hawley said. “That’s my job, and I will keep doing it.”
Early Thursday, as members of Congress finally continued to certify the Electoral College votes, Hawley was one of six senators to object to Arizona’s results and one of seven to object to Pennsylvania’s results.
“Violence will never be tolerated and those who engage in it will be prosecuted,” Hawley said early Thursday. “But this body will act to address the concerns of millions of Americans across the country. We do need an investigation into irregularities, fraud. We do need a way forward together. We need election security reforms.”
Congress eventually certified the Electoral College votes, securing Biden’s win, but not until just after 3:30 a.m. EST, more than 12 hours after Congress first began the joint session.
But many lawmakers, including some from Missouri, are calling Hawley out for leading the push to challenge the Electoral College votes. Some are even calling for him to be removed from Congress.
Thousands of everyday citizens have also joined the push. As of Thursday afternoon, more than 21,000 people have signed a change.org petition calling for Hawley’s resignation.
“Josh Hawley said he was doing this for the people of Missouri. Let me tell you something, Josh. You are supposed to represent St. Louis too, but you do not speak for us,” Missouri Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of St. Louis said on Twitter. “You have blood on your hands, and that’s why I’m calling for your removal from Congress.”
“Senator, those of us here in Missouri aren’t concerned about Pennsylvania. We’re worried about our families, our communities, our health. Stop the charade. It’s gone on too long. It’s impacted lives today. It’s tearing apart our country,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted.
A longtime U.S. senator who has been a staunch supporter of Hawley said he was “bamboozled” and no longer backs him.
Three-term Republican Sen. John Danforth of St. Louis told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that he first met Hawley when Hawley was a third-year student at Yale Law School and was immediately impressed by his intelligence.
Now, he calls his support of Hawley “the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life.”
Danforth said telling people the election was fraudulent “is very, very destructive to the country,” and the attack at the Capitol building on Wednesday “was the culmination of that whole approach to politics.”
Danforth said he would no longer support Hawley’s political future, whether it be for a reelection bid or a run for president in 2024.
Asked if he believes Hawley bears some responsibility for the attack on the Capitol, Danforth says simply, “Yes, I do.”