Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will have to appear in front of the Senate Ethics Committee due to a formal complaint filed by their Democratic colleagues. Their alleged breach of ethics? Objecting to the certification of the election on January 6th after the riot. Both senators had said publicly they would object before the vote and followed through with that course of action along with six other Senators and 139 Representatives. However, for some reason, only Cruz and Hawley are being singled out on the Senate side.
This action is premature for several reasons. First, the events at the Capitol are still under investigation. News reports have identified at least one militia group that was planning violence as early as November 9th. This was long before any member of Congress stated a public position on certifying election results and prior to the legal challenges put forth by President Trump and his legal team. The indictment of these militia members from Ohio also shows them actively recruiting members from other groups, including the Oath Keepers, at that time.
The former U.S. Capitol Police chief said in an interview that he was turned down six times by Capitol security officials in the days leading up to January 6th, when he requested National Guard reinforcements. The U.S. House of Representatives’ sergeant at arms has resigned. The Washington, D.C., Metro Police refused a FOIA request from Just the News to get the details of the interviews with these two individuals. The goal was to find out who was aware of the requests for additional security and who ultimately made the decision to reject them. This information seems relevant given the deadly outcome.
Several government agencies are also investigating the response and events leading up to the riot. Inspectors general for the DOJ, DOD, DHS, and Interior Department have all launched investigations. The FBI and New York PD warned the Capitol Police of credible threats in the days leading up to the election certification. The looming question is and should be why leaders ignored this intelligence, leaving the Capitol unsecured.
The complaint to the Senate Ethics Committee is signed by such luminaries as Senators Mazie Hirono and Sheldon Whitehouse. It begins by accusing Cruz and Hawley of encouraging threats against lawmakers by taking claims of election irregularities seriously and increasing the chance of violence by proceeding with their objections after law enforcement cleared the Capitol.
This quote from the complaint is pretty incredible:
The question the Senate must answer is not whether Senators Hawley and Cruz had the right to the object to the electors, but whether the senators failed to “[p]ut loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department” or engaged in “improper conduct reflecting on the Senate” in connection with the violence on January 6.
The Senate Ethics Committee is apparently responsible for deciding whether the senators were morally correct in making objections they had the right to make. Incredible. The complaint also says the committee must investigate the baseless accusations that Congress members helped plan or execute the attack. Specifically, the Senate Ethics Committee needs to find out what Cruz and Hawley knew:
The extent, if any, of communication or coordination between Sens. Hawley and Cruz and the organizers of the rally remains to be investigated. Three members of the House of Representatives who coordinated with Senators Hawley and Cruz to object to the electors, Reps. Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, and Mo Brooks, have been identified as alleged co-architects of the rally. Further investigation is necessary to determine whether and to what extent Senators Cruz and Hawley were also aware of these groups’ activities or coordinated with their efforts.
Incredibly, they are also questioning Cruz and Hawley’s ability to fundraise in advance of the certification vote based on their position. Politicians often fundraise using their position on issues. This question has nothing to do with what happened on January 6th.
The events of January 6th included legitimate, permitted, and peaceful protests as well as a violent mob. It is not clear that any of the members named above knew anything about the planned breach of the Capitol. Activist Ali Alexander has said he coordinated with the three House members on a protest, which all three have denied. There have also been vague accusations that Republican members led people on “reconnaissance” tours, as well as the insanity of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying she thought her Republican colleagues would lead the rioters to her.
The violent events of January 6th were condemned broadly by leaders in both parties, including Cruz and Hawley. Despite protestations in the complaint, this action would do nothing except punish these senators for objecting to the certification, as was their right. Millions of Americans had suspicions of election irregularities after election night, and lawsuits are still ongoing in states that violated their own election laws and the state constitution.
This Ethics Committee investigation also comes on the heels of members of Congress calling for removing some Republicans using the 14th Amendment. A writer for American Prospect suggesting putting the Republican Party on the Domestic Terror watchlist. The implications for this are evident after the DHS advisory on Domestic Violent Extremists or DVEs, listed things as mainstream as opposition to illegal immigration, questioning the 2020 election, or opposing COVID-19 lockdowns as hallmarks of the potential for violent activity.
Are you tired of all the unity yet?