Senate Democrats request investigation into Cruz and Hawley

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Seven Senate Democrats have penned an ethics complaint demanding an investigation into Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley for their role in inspiring the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

“When Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley announced they would object to the counting of state-certified electors on January 6, 2021, they amplified claims of election fraud that had resulted in threats of violence against state and local officials around the country,” read the letter.

“By proceeding with their objections to the electors after the violent attack, Senators Cruz and Hawley lent legitimacy to the mob’s cause and made future violence more likely,” the letter continued.

The Senators go on to argue that the ethics committee should investigate the conduct of Cruz and Hawley, “to fully understand their role.” 

“Until then, a cloud of uncertainty will hang over them and over this body,” the Senators, led by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), said. 

The complaint asks that the ethics committee investigate the fundraising of Cruz and Hawley, what they and their staff knew about the rally, whether they recieved funding or coordinated with organizers of the rally, or otherwise engaged in criminal or improper behavior. 

“The Committee should also offer recommendations for strong disciplinary action, including up to expulsion or censure, if warranted by the facts uncovered,” the letter concludes. 

The ethics complaint, penned by Whitehouse, Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA.), Ron Wyden (D-OR.), Tina Smith (D-MN.), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT.), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), mirror a similar effort in the House. 

Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri has introduced a bill to direct the ethics committee to investigate fellow House members who tried to overturn the 2020 election. Rep. Veronica Escobar of El Paso is the only Texas lawmaker to back the bill so far.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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