Hawley Raises Ethics Questions Surrounding Seven Democrats

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Posted: Jan 25, 2021 11:45 PM
Hawley Raises Ethics Questions Surrounding Seven Democrats

Source: Greg Nash/Pool via AP

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) on Monday filed an ethics complaint against seven Democratic senators who asked for an "unprecedentedly frivolous and improper" ethics investigation into him and Sen. Ted Cruz.

According to Hawley, the senators failed to provide any evidence. Instead, the senators attempted to connect Hawley and Cruz's objection to certifying Pennsylvania's election results to the Capitol Hill riots, something Hawley disagrees with. 

"They submitted their meritless complaint in potential coordination with a campaign by partisan and dark-money groups that have peddled falsehoods about me and my objection. By knowingly submitting a frivolous complaint to accomplish impermissible partisan purposes, these Senators have engaged in improper conduct that may reflect upon the Senate," the complaint stated.

The Missouri senator pointed to the complaint against him, saying there were no legal issues surrounding his objection. Instead, he argued, the motive was purely political. 

"There is a strong legal basis to believe that Pennsylvania’s electoral votes were not regularly given. Indeed, it appears that Pennsylvania conducted the 2020 general election using a mailvoting scheme that violated the Commonwealth’s Constitution," he explained. "That’s not just my opinion: while no judge has concluded that the mail-voting system was valid, multiple members of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court expressed substantial doubt about the validity of the statute."

Hawley stated there were more legal merits to his objection of Pennsylvania's electoral votes than the objections Democrats had to Republicans' wins in the 2000, 2004 and 2016 presidential elections. The only difference now is the political affiliation. 

"My Democrat colleagues may disagree with my reading of Pennsylvania law—and, apparently, the intuitions of some of Pennsylvania’s most esteemed jurists—but it is clear that my objection rested on far more solid ground than the electoral college objections submitted by Democrat Members of Congress after the 2000, 2004, and 2016 elections," he explained. "Yet Democrats did not hasten to censure or expel their objecting colleagues; instead, they offered paeans to them. The only difference is that I am a Republican. This manifestly partisan exercise demeans this Committee and the critical purposes that it serves."

The Missouri senator accused the seven senators of collaborating with various outside organizations. Specifically, Hawley wants an investigation to answer the following questions:

• In preparing their complaint, what contacts did Senators Whitehouse, Wyden, Smith, Blumenthal, Hirono, Kaine, and Brown have with the Lincoln Project, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, MoveOn, Voto Latino, the Sierra Club, or any other outside organization?

• In preparing their complaint, what contacts did Senators Whitehouse, Wyden, Smith, Blumenthal, Hirono, Kaine, and Brown have with Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, White House officials, or other Democratic leadership?

• Have Senators Whitehouse, Wyden, Smith, Blumenthal, Hirono, Kaine, and Brown, or their affiliates, been contacting lobbyists for corporations urging the suspension of those corporations' political contributions?

The senators Hawley referred to are Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tina Smith (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-MA), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).