Ethics Panel Asked to Probe Cruz,Hawley01/22 06:22

Ethics Panel Asked to Probe Cruz,Hawley01/22 06:22

   

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Seven Democratic senators on Thursday asked the Senate 
Ethics Committee to investigate the actions of Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and 
Josh Hawley "to fully understand their role" in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the 
Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

   Thousands had gathered that day as Congress voted to formally certify 
President Joe Biden's victory over Trump in November. Hawley and Cruz led 
objections in the Senate to Biden's victory, despite the widespread recognition 
that the effort would fail.

   In the end, Congress certified Biden's Electoral College victory, but not 
before thousands marched to the Capitol at Trump's urging, overwhelmed security 
and interrupted the proceedings. In the end, the violence led to five deaths, 
injured dozens of police officers and caused extensive damage to the Capitol.

   The Democratic senators said the question for the Senate to determine is not 
whether Cruz and Hawley had the right to object, but whether the senators 
failed to put loyalty "to the highest moral principles and to country above 
loyalty to persons, party, or Government department." They also said the 
investigation should determine whether Cruz, of Texas, and Hawley, of Missouri, 
engaged in "improper conduct reflecting on the Senate."

   "Until then, a cloud of uncertainty will hang over them and over this body," 
the Democratic senators wrote in a letter to the leaders of the Senate Ethics 
Committee.

   The Democratic senators said Cruz and Hawley announced their intentions to 
object even though they knew that claims of election fraud were baseless and 
had led to threats of violence.

   "Their actions lend credence to the insurrectionists' cause and set the 
stage for future violence. And both senators used their objections for 
political fundraising," the Democratic senators said in their letter.

   Cruz and Hawley have condemned the violence on Jan. 6. Cruz called it a 
"despicable act of terrorism." Hawley said those who attacked police and broke 
the law must be prosecuted.

   Cruz helped force a vote on Biden's victory in Arizona, while Hawley helped 
force one on Biden's victory in Pennsylvania.

   "Joe Biden and the Democrats talk about unity but are brazenly trying to 
silence dissent," Hawley said in a prepared statement. "This latest effort is a 
flagrant abuse of the Senate ethics process and a flagrant attempt to exact 
partisan revenge."

   "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," said a Cruz 
spokesperson, Maria Jeffrey Reynolds.

   Those Democrats requesting the investigation are Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of 
Rhode Island, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Tina Smith of Minnesota, Richard Blumenthal 
of Connecticut, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Sherrod Brown 
of Ohio.

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