Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) attends a joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College votes of 2020 presidential election in the House chamber on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) attends a joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College votes of 2020 presidential election in the House chamber on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images)

"The 'I'm Rubber You're Glue' Defense to Treachery": Hawley Files Ethics Complaint Against Dems Who Filed One Against Him

The Missouri Republican is facing growing calls for his resignation or removal from the Senate for inciting the deadly mob attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.

Jake Johnson

Facing growing calls for his resignation or explusion for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley on Monday filed an ethics complaint against the seven Democratic senators who filed an ethics complaint against him and fellow GOP Sen. Ted Cruz last week over their roles in inciting the deadly January 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The Missouri Republican's counter-complaint (pdf) against Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio.) accuses the Democratic senators of filing an "unprecedently frivolous and improper ethics complaint" and demands that the Senate Ethics Committee mete out "discipline" in response.

In a letter to the group of seven Democrats on Monday, Hawley wrote that he was "astounded to see the outrageous personal and partisan attack you labeled an 'ethics complaint.' It is a startling abuse of the ethics process and a direct assault on democratic debate."

Hawley's counter-complaint prompted immediate mockery, with Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) likening the filing to a schoolyard taunt:

The Democratic complaint against Hawley and Cruz states that the Republican senators "amplified claims of election fraud that had resulted in threats of violence against state and local officials around the country."

"Cruz and Hawley continued to amplify the claims of fraud that they likely knew to be baseless and that had led to violence earlier that day," the complaint continues. "Violent action provoked by false fraud claims remains a persistent threat."

In the early hours of January 7—shortly after the violent right-wing mob incited by then-President Donald Trump invaded and ransacked the halls of the Capitol Building—Hawley and Cruz voted with several of their Senate GOP colleagues and more than 100 House Republicans to toss out Arizona and Pennsylvania's electoral votes for President Joe Biden, an effort that was ultimately unsuccessful.

Hawley's role in the last-ditch Republican attempt to disenfranchise millions of voters drew particularly close attention, in part thanks to the now-infamous photo of the Missouri senator raising his fist in support of the pro-Trump mob just before it stormed the Capitol, resulting in five deaths.

While Hawley now claims he was "never attempting to overturn the election," The Washington Post's Greg Sargent argued last week that the senator's narrative is "just clever parsing: Hawley and others who announced plans to object to Biden's electors plainly helped persuade untold numbers of Americans that the election result might still be overturned (Hawley even subsequently voted to sustain the objections)."

"As long as a large enough constituency still continued believing the election was stolen from Trump, Hawley would be remembered among them as the leading fighter on their behalf," Sargent wrote. "Hawley thought he could harness these impulses. He is now stuck in the monumentally absurd position of condemning the violence without retracting or apologizing for his role in feeding the Big Lie that incited it."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Sanders Denounces a Pentagon Budget System Found 'Inherently Susceptible to Fraud'

"They don't seem to want to get serious about spending taxpayer dollars wisely and effectively," said the Vermont senator, declaring it "absolutely unacceptable."

Andrea Germanos ·


Campaigners to Biden: Stop Acting Like a Big Pharma 'Puppet' and Help Vaccinate the World

"Status quo protection of the intellectual property rights of profiteering pharmaceutical companies will not save us from this pandemic."

Jake Johnson ·


'An Atrocity': Poor Go Without as Rich Nations Set to Let 100 Million Covid Vaccines Rot

"Poorer countries shouldn't have to wait until our doses are about to expire to vaccinate their populations."

Andrea Germanos ·


Haiti Official Demands 'Humanitarian Moratorium' as US Ramps Up Deportations

The administration's rapid removal of refugees and migrants was denounced as "reprehensible" and "cruel."

Julia Conley ·


20 Years After Start of 'War on Terror', Groups Demand Closure of Gitmo 'Once and For All'

"President Biden has the authority and power to permanently close Guantánamo Bay, turning it from a living symbol of torture and injustice to a historical warning to future generations."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo