- When far-right rioters breached the Capitol during the Electoral College certification on Wednesday, numerous lawmakers were rushed into a secure room to escape the unfolding mayhem.
- One of those lawmakers was Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, the leader of the Senate GOP challenge to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, who found himself being shunned by his colleagues during the incredibly volatile situation, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- “It was extremely striking,” an individual recalled to the Journal. “For most of the time, he was in a corner of the room by himself with no one talking to him or acknowledging him.”
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When far-right rioters breached the Capitol during the usually-mundane Electoral College certification on Wednesday, numerous lawmakers were rushed into a secure room to escape the mayhem that had seeped into its halls.
One of those lawmakers was Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, the leader of the Senate GOP challenge to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, who found himself being shunned by his colleagues during the incredibly volatile situation, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“It was extremely striking,” recounted an individual to the Journal. “For most of the time, he was in a corner of the room by himself with no one talking to him or acknowledging him.”
According to Republican aides, Hawley’s GOP Senate allies “were furious with him.”
While an array of Democratic lawmakers slammed his efforts to contest Biden’s win shortly after he announced his intentions in late December, the post-riot pushback will likely threaten his effectiveness in the chamber going forward, especially with growing calls for him to resign.
Hawley, who was elected in 2018 by ousting two-term Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, had been thought of as a likely 2024 presidential contender, was the first senator to announce his objections to the 2020 presidential election results.
Many saw Hawley’s move as part of a calculated strategy to endear himself to supporters of President Donald Trump, and once he signed on, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who also has his eyes on the White House, jumped in and brought along several more senators to join in the effort.
By law, a formal objection to the Electoral College results needs at least one House member and a member of a Senate to allow for a debate and a vote on the keeping or invalidating an individual state’s electoral results.
“In the secure room on Wednesday, a push soon got under way from GOP leadership to persuade the 13 Republican objectors in the Senate to drop any further objections to ratification,” according to the Journal.
Cruz then convened with Hawley and several other Senate objectors to come up with a resolution, but Hawley was the only senator that proceeded. Hawley didn’t push for further Senate debate, but his challenge to Pennsylvania’s electoral results enabled House GOP objectors to continue debating the results well into the early hours of the morning on Thursday.
Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College victory over Trump was then certified, but the blowback to Hawley continued.
Former Republican Sen. John Danforth of Missouri, one of Hawley’s biggest advocates in running for the Senate, said on Thursday that he strongly regretted the decision.
“Supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the Senate was the worst mistake I ever made in my life,” Danforth told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Tony Messenger. “Yesterday was the physical culmination of the long attempt (by Hawley and others) to foment a lack of public confidence in our democratic system. It is very dangerous to America to continue pushing this idea that government doesn’t work and that voting was fraudulent.”
On Thursday, Simon & Schuster announced that they were dropping Hawley’s upcoming book, “The Tyranny of Big Tech,” which was set to be released in June 2021.
Despite his increasing isolation from colleagues on both sides of the aisle, Hawley said that he would not resign.
“I will never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections,” he said in a statement. “That’s my job, and I will keep doing it.”