Senate Democrats file ethics complaint against Hawley, Cruz over election challenge

Source: Politico | January 21, 2021 | Marianne Levine

Democrats are requesting an investigation into the pair of senators over their objections to the election results.

A group of Senate Democrats filed an ethics complaint Thursday against GOP Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, over their Jan. 6 efforts to object to the 2020 presidential election results.

“By proceeding with their objections to the electors after the violent attack, Senators Cruz and Hawley lent legitimacy to the mob’s cause and made future violence more likely,” the senators wrote in a letter to incoming Senate Ethics panel Chair Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Vice Chair James Lankford (R-Okla.).

The letter, led by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), requests that the panel investigate several issues, including whether Cruz (R-Texas) and Hawley (R-Mo) encouraged the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol; whether they coordinated with organizers of the pro-Trump rally immediately before the riot; whether they received donations from any organizations or donors that also funded the rally; and whether the senators “engaged in criminal conduct or unethical or improper behavior.”

Hawley, in a statement, described the complaint as “a flagrant abuse of the Senate ethics process and a flagrant attempt to exact partisan revenge” and said Democrats appeared “intent on weaponizing every tool at their disposal.”

A spokesperson for Cruz said in a statement that “it is unfortunate that some congressional Democrats are disregarding President Biden’s call for unity and are instead playing political games by filing frivolous ethics complaints against their colleagues.”

Both senators have denied allegations that they incited the Jan. 6 insurrection, which led to the death of five people, and condemned the violence.

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