ST. LOUIS (AP) — Several hundred protesters gathered in downtown St. Louis to call on Republican Sen. Josh Hawley to resign over his continued rejection of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory — even after the riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Those at the Saturday demonstration outside the historic Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. chanted “No Hawley. No KKK. No fascist USA,” and held signs calling on the first-term Missouri senator to resign. They also painted “RESIGN HAWLEY” in large yellow block letters in the middle of the street.
“I had to come out today. I’m not generally a person who goes to protests, but I feel that he has really brought our state down poorly,” Peter Doyle told TV station KMOV.
Many of Trump’s allies, including members of his Cabinet, have distanced themselves from him since Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building Wednesday following a rally in which Trump riled them up. Five people died as a result of the riot, including a Capitol Police officer who was struck in the head by a fire extinguisher.
Hawley, 41, and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas, embraced Trump’s calls to reject Biden’s victory before and after the mob attack. Hawley encouraged the pro-Trump crowd outside the Capitol on Wednesday with a thumbs up and fist pump as he walked into the building.
Hawley has rejected the calls for him to resign and said repeatedly that he will not apologize for giving voice to millions who question the results of the election despite overwhelming evidence that it was fair. Hawley also railed against a major publisher for canceling a book deal with him after the riot.
Senator Hawley issued the following statement responding to President-elect Joe Biden’s comparison of him and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to a Nazi propagandist:
"President-elect Biden has just compared me and another Republican Senator to Nazis. You read that correctly. Think about that for a moment. Let it sink in. Because I raised questions in the format prescribed by the laws of the United States about the way elections were conducted in the state of Pennsylvania, just as Democrats did about other states in 2001, 2005, and 2017, he is calling me a Nazi. This is undignified, immature, and intemperate behavior from the President-elect. It is utterly shameful. He should act like a dignified adult and retract these sick comments. And every Democrat member of Congress should be asked to disavow these disgusting comments."
Several prominent Missouri Republicans have distanced themselves from Hawley since the riot, including former Sen. John Danforth and major GOP donors Sam Fox and businessman David Humphreys, who expressed regret over previously supporting the Stanford- and Yale-educated lawyer.
Missouri’s other senator, Republican Roy Blunt, deflected when asked Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” whether he thinks Hawley and certain other Republican senators were complicit in the riot because they continued to insist that the election’s outcome could be changed.
“I think the president’s decisions and actions that day and leading up to that day on this topic were clearly reckless” Blunt said. He also said he doesn’t think Trump should resign and he refused to say whether he thinks Trump committed an impeachable offense.