Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) defended his objection to the Electoral College results on Jan. 6, saying he did not support lawlessness after the breach at the U.S. Capitol during the joint session of Congress.
“This time around, anyone who objected has been called an ‘insurrectionist,’” Hawley wrote in a Wednesday column.
“Sadly, much of the media and many members of the Washington establishment want to deceive Americans into thinking those who raised concerns incited violence, simply by voicing the concern. That’s false. And the allegation itself is corrosive and dangerous,” he wrote in the Southeast Missourian.
The freshman Republican senator noted that debate over whether to certify the electoral results—amid allegations of fraud and other irregularities—is not “mob violence,” as some pundits and Democratic political leaders have asserted.
“It is in fact how we avoid that violence,” Hawley said.
After Congress reconvened after the Capitol breach, both Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) maintained their objections. Several other Republican senators who were planning objections did not object.
“Some wondered why I stuck with my objection following the violence at the Capitol,” Hawley wrote. “The reason is simple: I will not bow to a lawless mob, or allow criminals to drown out the legitimate concerns of my constituents.”
Hawley’s remarks came as House Democrats and 10 Republicans voted to impeach President Donald Trump for his speech, claiming that his words incited a mob to break into the Capitol. Trump, for his part, has told reporters that he did not.
“People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump told reporters in response to the Big Tech backlash for his speech on Jan. 6 to protesters. “We want no violence … absolutely no violence,” he said. In a statement issued on Wednesday by the White House, Trump called on people not to protest during the Jan. 20 inauguration or before that.
“Democrats objected after the elections of 2000, 2004, and 2016—in other words, every time a Republican has won the White House in the last 30 years,” Hawley also said in the opinion article. “And they were within their rights to do so. The joint session is the forum where concerns about an election can be raised, debated, and ultimately resolved with a vote.”
The senator said that Big Tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google interfered in the 2020 election.
“I also objected to point out the unprecedented interference of the Big Tech corporations in this election in favor of the Biden campaign, not just in Pennsylvania but everywhere,” he said. “Their interference in our democratic process has only accelerated in recent days.”