Republicans also oppose using the committee to probe electoral objections, even as they disagree with the two senators’ conduct.
Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will be conducted on the Senate floor, live on TV. The Senate investigation into Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley will take place behind closed doors by one of the most secretive committees in Congress.
After multiple leading Democrats called for the two Republicans to resign, Cruz and Hawley’s challenge to President Joe Biden’s Electoral College win is now tied up in the opaque Senate Ethics Committee. And while Trump’s impeachment trial will conclude quickly, the probe into whether the two senators played a role in inciting the violent Capitol attack will unwind over an interminable timetable with little hint of where it is going.
The committee says nothing about its business until actions are taken. And it has a lot of business before it: Seven Democratic senators filed a complaint against the two GOP senators who led the effort to object to the election results, arguing that they ‘lent legitimacy” to the cause of those who invaded the Capitol. Hawley fired back with a counter complaint alleging “improper conduct” for partisan gain.
The panel is led by Chair Chris Coons (D-Del.), who called for Cruz (R-Texas) and Hawley (R-Mo.) to resign, and Vice Chair James Lankford (R-Okla.), who planned to challenge the election results himself before backing away after the invasion of the Capitol. Coons and Lankford speak frequently to each other and have a warm relationship, just as Coons did with former Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).
And the two senators will keep a tight lid on the highest profile ethics investigation in years.
“Neither of us are going to talk about it at all,” Lankford said in an interview. “We don’t bring up anything on the ethics stuff at all. We don’t confirm anything and we’re pretty lockstep about that.”
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