SUBSCRIBE NOW AND SAVE 3 months just 99¢/month

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

American Opinion: It's long past time for the Senate ethics panel to address senators' Jan. 6 actions

American Opinion: Hawley, of course, now claims victimhood, alleging the ethics complaint would punish him for exercising his official power to object to election results. But the complaint, filed in late January, specifically cites the Code of Ethics for Government Service, which requires that elected officials put “loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department.” Just because there’s a mechanism in place allowing senators to object to election results doesn’t mean it’s OK for Hawley to abuse that process for crass political gain.

120121.op.wct.AmericanOpinion.SENATE.02.jpg
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R- Mo., sits in the House Chamber before a joint session of congress on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/TNS)
TNS

Ten months after a group of Senate Democrats lodged ethics complaints into the conduct of Republican Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas regarding their roles in sparking the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the Senate Ethics Committee has shown no sign of movement. Both senators tell Politico they haven’t even been contacted by the committee.

The House recently moved with appropriate speed to censure Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., for promoting a cartoon fantasy in which his character kills a fellow member of Congress.

Jan. 6 wasn’t a fantasy; it was real, and the culpability of these two senators must be determined.

Hawley and Cruz were the only two senators to object to certification of Joe Biden ’s clear victory in the 2020 election results, citing (with zero evidence) supposed concerns about the election’s integrity. That was the same baseless, toxic nonsense then-President Donald Trump had been spewing since before the election. Such talk whipped up the mob of Trump loyalists to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Hawley was the first senator to object to certification, which is the only reason there had to be a floor vote on the issue. That vote provided the rallying point for the mob. Without that, the attack might not have even happened.

ADVERTISEMENT

More than a dozen Republican senators initially said they would join Hawley in voting against certification. But after the mob attacked, most of them realized the damage the charade had done to the country and backed off, voting to certify an election in which — again — there wasn’t a single valid indication of significant irregularities. But not Hawley. Even after the violence, he persisted in voting with just five other senators to continue promoting Trump’s big lie that Biden’s win was illegitimate.

Hawley even had the nerve to give a glowering Senate floor speech later that night condemning the violence — an arsonist standing among the ashes. If he had an ounce of honor, he’d have heeded our Jan. 7 call for his resignation (we certainly weren’t alone on that). But at this point, why even talk about honor?

Hawley, of course, now claims victimhood, alleging the ethics complaint would punish him for exercising his official power to object to election results. But the complaint, filed in late January, specifically cites the Code of Ethics for Government Service, which requires that elected officials put “loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department.” Just because there’s a mechanism in place allowing senators to object to election results doesn’t mean it’s OK for Hawley to abuse that process for crass political gain.

Hawley and Cruz have the right to defend themselves from the allegations — but so far, they haven’t even had to. The Ethics Committee should stop sitting on this.

This American Opinion editorial is the opinion of the editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

©2021 STLtoday.com . Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

wct.op.americanopinion
American Opinion

Related Topics: NO-INDEXJOE BIDEN
What to read next
Summary: Leiserowitz sees the emergence of “a fundamental shift in society” that could quickly spill over into political action, as with same-sex marriage and other fast-shifting issues before it. “You’re beginning to see the coalescing of a powerful citizens’ movement demanding that leaders act, both business leaders and government leaders.”
Summary: We seem determined to let omicron run its course, but as the virus burns through the population, what carnage is it leaving behind? More deaths. Sick children. Vaccinated people who are now saddled with long-term illness and disability. But if we can’t rely on our institutions for protection — or even reliable information — the virus itself may be the least of our worries.
American Opinion: The insurrection might have come as a huge surprise to most Americans, but these investigations suggest it should’ve been no surprise at all, especially for their social media hosts.
American Opinion: All sane Americans know who the real divider is. He stoked a mob to rush the Capitol to stop the counting of votes of the Electoral College. For that high crime, he was impeached with bipartisan support in the House and a bipartisan majority in the Senate then voted to convict him. The biggest lie of all is that he, drowning in self adulation, loves this country.