Northwest Missourian Opinion

Most of the country watched in horror as Trump supporters protesting the results of the presidential election turned into a riot. A violent mob composed of white supremacists and neo-nazis forced entry into the Capitol Jan. 6. Bombs were found and safely disarmed, and five people are now dead because of the riot.

It was a dark day in America’s history, and a day that I, and every American, will never forget.

Let’s make some things clear. First, what happened that day was an attempted coup, an attempt to overturn the results of a democratically won election. Second, those people were not protestors; they were insurrectionists who were there to threaten elected officials and contest the election because Donald Trump lost. Lastly, many Republican politicians and the president did nothing to prevent their supporters from acting this way, and continued to fan the flames of domestic terrorism by supporting Trump’s claims of voter fraud.

One of those politicians is Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley.

Before Jan. 6, Hawley stated that he would object to the election results when the Senate went to certify them in early January. He was soon joined by other Republican senators in his objection such as the infamous Texas Sen. Ted Cruz

These senators continued to spread lies and misinformation about the election. They continued to repeat claims about voter fraud and that the election was stolen. On Twitter, Hawley posted that “January 6 is my opportunity to speak for my constituents and force a debate on election integrity.”

Attorney General William Barr stated that the Justice Department had found no evidence of voter fraud that could have changed the outcome of the election, according to the Associated Press.

The results of this election were investigated and many states did multiple recounts. It has been made very clear, especially now that the Senate certified the election, that Joe Biden is going to be the 46th president of the United States.

“Violence is not how you achieve change. Violence is not how you achieve something better,” Hawley said, condemning the violence at the Capitol. Despite condemning violence, he continued to claim fraud in the election. The same kind of unfounded claims that led to violence at the Capitol.

Hawley called for the rioters to be prosecuted, but on Twitter he posted a very different statement than what he said on the Senate floor. In the statement he wrote that he had lost his book contract “because I was representing my constituents, which they have now decided to redefine as sedition.” He stated it as an attack on the First Amendment, and that he would take this matter to court.

Many are calling for the expulsion of Hawley and other representatives and senators and for the impeachment and removal of the President who incited the riot. Missouri Rep.

Cori Bush presented a house resolution earlier this week to investigate and expel the Republican members of Congress who incited the riot, and has gained support from colleagues.

There will be criticisms that expulsion is going too far, but it is exactly what we need. The president and the members of Congress who incited the riot do not deserve to be in the positions they hold.

If we leave them be and do nothing about what they said and the violence they incited, then there is no accountability. There must be accountability, not just for the rioters who threatened the Capitol and its workers, but for the politicians who egged them on.

Josh Hawley did not represent his constituents. He represented the interests of himself and of a man who has tried to reverse an election that he lost. Hawley isn’t helping Missourians by trying to overturn an election, he’s hurting us. He’s enabling those who say the election was stolen; he is threatening our democracy.

I will never forget a picture of Hawley that was taken that day, with his fist raised in the air as he greeted the rioters just hours before they would walk into the Capitol, ready to threaten those who worked there and discredit our democracy.

If Hawley wants to talk about voting integrity, then maybe we should talk about the fact that Hawley used his sister’s address in Missouri to vote, while living full time in his home in Virginia, according to an article by the Kansas City Star. Hawley shouldn’t represent Missouri. How can he claim to know his constituents if he doesn’t even live here?

Josh Hawley must resign and leave Congress.

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