By Ella Kietlinska and Joshua Philipp
Sen Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said he does not regret anything he did on Jan. 6, 2021, in response to criticism he has received from politicians and media on the political left for persisting with his plans to challenge the electoral votes during the Senate session on that day.
“What I did was stand up for election integrity, and also for the voters of my state,” Hawley said on Epoch TV’s “Crossroads” program on July 22. “I think leading a debate on the floor of the Senate about election integrity is what the Senate is there for.”
In 2016, the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign paid an operative with ties to Russia to lie to the FBI and to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to surveil the Trump campaign and his associates, Hawley explained, noting that the Democrats “have pioneered this” and that Clinton, “to this day, says that the election was stolen from her.”
But when people inquire and press for answers regarding the 2020 election, Hawley noted, they are labeled “a threat to democracy.”
“People’s confidence in our elections is absolutely vital to a free and open, well-functioning democracy,” Hawley said, adding that he objected to Pennsylvania’s Electoral College results in January 2021 because Pennsylvania changed the rules of the election during the election. “That’s wrong, and I hope it never happens again.”
Hawley said that he does not regret that he filed his objection to the certification of electoral votes and participated in the debate on election integrity when he returned to Capitol on Jan. 6 after its evacuation.
“Most of the people, the overwhelming majority of folks who went to Washington, D.C., and even [those] who were near the Capitol grounds, were there peacefully, Hawley said. “I don’t regret at all saluting the folks who were there protesting peacefully, I don’t regret saying and defending their constitutional right to protest.”
Protecting Election Integrity
Protecting the efforts of the states to take steps to ensure election integrity is one of the most important things for restoring public faith in the electoral process, Hawley said.
Missouri, the state Hawley represents, has really strong election laws, including voter ID requirements, he said, adding that Georgia and Texas want to make their elections safe and secure. However, he said the Democrats want to prevent that and to control elections around the country from Washington.
“I think one of the most important things we can do is stop that and allow the states to protect their own elections, allow them to reform where there needs to be reform.”
Hawley stressed the importance of taking back the House of Representatives and the Senate in the fall in order to strengthen congressional oversight of the Department of Justice, which he said is “completely out of whack.”
He said that on the one hand, the Justice Department is “treating folks who are protesting peacefully as if they’re violent, as if they’re domestic terrorists, treating parents as if they’re domestic terrorists,” while on the other hand “refusing to enforce the law—if you want to firebomb a pregnancy care center, apparently just go right on ahead, if you want to threaten a Supreme Court Justice, apparently just go right on ahead.”
Democrat lawmakers recently blocked a Republican resolution to condemn the wave of violence and vandalism targeting pro-life groups and churches nationwide. Over the past few months, pregnancy centers and churches have been set ablaze, had their windows smashed, walls defaced, and buildings firebombed.
Hawley urged people who feel discouraged from voting due to a lack of trust in the electoral process not to give up.
“That’s what the left wants. They want us to be so discouraged that we say, ‘We just give up.’ If that happens, what, we just give them the country? We surrender the truth? We can’t do that.”
To the American people, Hawley says, “This is the time to stand strong, have the courage of your convictions.”
“The only power that they have over us is the power of fear. It’s the attempt to get us to say, ‘Oh no, I was wrong, please give me your blessing, please forgive me—that’s not gonna happen.”
Eva Fu contributed to this report.