Josh Hawley’s former academic mentor says he blames himself for helping the senator rise to power

  • Josh Hawley’s former academic adviser regrets supporting the senator and helping him achieve his political dreams.
  • “I had no inkling really just how conservative he was,” Stanford historian David Kennedy said.
  • Kennedy made the comments in a lengthy Washington Post profile of Hawley.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Stanford University professor David Kennedy, who mentored a college-aged Sen. Josh Hawley, told The Washington Post that he blames himself for helping his former student and boosting his political career.

“I think he is a thoughtful, deeply analytical person,” Kennedy told The Post. “What I understand far less well is his particular political evolution. I had no inkling really just how conservative he was. I blame myself.”

The professor mentored Hawley and advised him on his thesis about former President Theodore Roosevelt, which was later published as the book “Theodore Roosevelt: Preacher of Righteousness.”

“The feeling on my part is that I simply was not paying attention to what he was doing in the arena of student culture where he was moving,” Kennedy added.

Hawley received significant backlash for his role in sponsoring an official objection to counting Pennsylvania’s slate of 20 electoral votes for President Joe Biden on January 6 – and following through with his plan after the insurrection on the Capitol, forcing Congress to debate the objection into the early hours of the next day.

Read more: FBI director Chris Wray barely survived the Trump era. Now he’s working with Biden’s attorney general taking on domestic terrorism and probing Trump allies.

Kennedy told the Kansas City Star shortly after the insurrection that he was “more than a little bamboozled” and “certainly distressed” by the events surrounding the Capitol riots, but went further during his conversation with The Post by holding himself accountable.

Hawley alienating the people and particularly the major establishment Republicans who contributed to his rise to office was a major theme of The Post profile.

Thom Lambert, a professor at the University of Missouri Law School who recruited Hawley and his wife Erin to teach at the school, told The Post he was stunned when Hawley said the arrest of Kim Davis, a Kentucky clerk who refused to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple in defiance of the Supreme Court, was “tragic.”

“This is the moment when I realized, I’m not sure I know this guy,” Lambert told the Post. “He was trying to establish his credentials as a religious-freedom warrior. This is where I thought, you’re kind of lying here. You’re misrepresenting how the Constitution works.”

Another one of his mentors, former Missouri GOP Senator John Danforth, publicly denounced Hawley’s electoral college objections before the insurrection and, after it, disavowed Hawley altogether.

“Supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the Senate was the worst mistake I ever made in my life,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, saying, “It is very dangerous to America to continue pushing this idea that government doesn’t work and that voting was fraudulent.”

Danforth also talked to The Post, reflecting on the part he played in Hawley’s ascent to the Senate.

“I think he would not be in the U.S. Senate except for me,” Danforth said. “Maybe that sounds like I’m promoting myself being a kingmaker, but my view is, I put him there and created this thing.”

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Mitt Romney reportedly accosted Josh Hawley over the Capitol riot: ‘You have caused this!’

Hawley Romney
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) speaks as the Senate reconvenes after the Capitol was cleared of rioters on January 6, 2020, with GOP Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, left, and Dan Sullivan of Alaska, right, looking on.

  • Sen. Romney reportedly exploded at Sen. Josh Hawley over the January 6 Capitol insurrection.
  • According to The Washington Post, Romney told Hawley: “You have caused this!”
  • Hawley has been resoundingly criticized for raising objections to Biden’s electoral votes.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah exploded at Sen. Josh Hawley over the January 6 Capitol insurrection, The Washington Post reported. He’s said to have told Hawley, “You have caused this!”

The Post, citing sources familiar with the exchange, reported on the Romney-Hawley confrontation in a lengthy profile of the Missouri senator published on Monday.

The Post said that as senators were rushed out of the Capitol and into a secure location, “Hawley remained combative in pushing the very falsehoods that had helped stoke the violence,” prompting Romney’s rebuke.

The normally mild-mannered and affable Romney also shouted “this is what you’ve gotten!” at his Republican colleagues during the chaos of the siege on the Capitol, The New York Times reported.

Read more: FBI director Chris Wray barely survived the Trump era. Now he’s working with Biden’s attorney general taking on domestic terrorism and probing Trump allies.

Hawley generated significant controversy with his plan to sign onto an official objection to Congress counting Pennsylvania’s slate of 20 electoral college votes for President Joe Biden. He followed through with this move after the insurrection when senators were able to return to the Capitol after it had been secured by law enforcement.

Under the parameters of the Electoral Count Act of 1887, each chamber must split up to debate an Electoral College objection for a maximum of two hours. This meant that Congress debated the Pennsylvania objection late into the wee hours of January 7 after being able to return to the Capitol. Hawley specifically took issue with a law passed by the state’s GOP-controlled legislature that allowed voters to vote by mail without an excuse.

The Missouri senator has condemned the riots at the Capitol and distanced himself from the insurrectionists’ actions on multiple occasions since. But critics say Hawley casting doubt on the integrity of the 2020 election elevated the false claims of voter fraud that led to the insurrection.

Hawley’s actions around the riots led to some of his most prominent mentors, including former Missouri Senator John Danforth, publicly disavowing him and stating that they regret their roles in his political rise. Another one of Hawley’s Republican colleagues, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, said bringing the objections was “a really dumbass idea.”

Expanded Coverage Module: capitol-siege-module

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Sen. Josh Hawley wants to send $1,000 monthly checks to families with kids under 13, but provide less to single parents

Josh Hawley
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO).

  • Hawley rolled out a plan for a new “Parent Tax Credit” on Monday.
  • It would distribute $1,000 cash payments to married couples, and slash that in half for singles.
  • Experts said the plan contained design flaws that could hurt low-income workers during recessions.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a plan for a “Parent Tax Credit” on Monday aimed at offsetting the high cost of raising a child. It reflects a push among some conservatives to increase federal spending on families.

The proposal would establish a new, fully refundable tax credit of $6,000 for singles and $12,000 for couples, meaning families with minuscule or no tax obligations would qualify for a payment.

“Millions of working people want to start a family and would like to care for their children at home, but current policies do not respect these preferences,” Hawley said in a press release. “American families should be supported, no matter how they choose to care for their kids.”

To get the money, households must report earnings of $7,540 for the prior year, an amount equal to 20 hours of work each week at the $7.25 federal minimum wage. The earnings floor is the same regardless of whether a person is married or not, and families do not receive more cash if they have more than one child. Families would sign up for the plan through the IRS.

A spokesperson for Sen. Hawley told Insider the program would be in addition to the existing child tax credit. The proposal did not include a cost estimate.

The current CTC provides up to $2,000 per child, though it leaves out families with small tax bills. Democrats beefed it up for a year in President Joe Biden’s stimulus law to $3,600 per child aged 5 and under, and $3,000 for each kid between 6 and 17. Democrats want keep it permanently.

Other Republicans have put forward child allowance measures as well. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah introduced a plan in February to distribute even larger cash payments to parents, paid for with the elimination of some safety net programs.

Patrick Brown, a policy fellow at the conservative-leaning Institute of Family Studies, told Insider that Hawley’s plan appeared to be an attempt at a middle ground between competing GOP childcare plans.

“They’re trying to find a way to say, ‘We want to require work but not screw too many low-income single parents, ” Brown said, though adding “the structure of the CTC still makes more sense to me.”

Seth Hanlon, a tax expert at the liberal-tilting Center for American Progress, told Insider he believed the plan had major design flaws, starting with its earnings threshold.

“That would seem strange if you get nothing if you’re $1 short of that,” Hanlon said. If the Hawley plan was in effect during the pandemic, he said, millions of parents who lost jobs and thus saw their annual incomes fall below $7,540 would have gotten their government aid yanked.

“The number of families benefitting in 2020/2021 would be much lower than other years, which highlights the backwardness,” Hanlon said. He also pointed out parents under the plan need Social Security numbers to qualify, a move that would exclude undocumented families from receiving aid.

Other Republicans, including Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah, slammed the Romney plan as “welfare” after it was unveiled, torching its universal assistance to families as a step that discouraged work.

Brown said he thought the Hawley plan wouldn’t go far among Republicans. “But it does indicate there’s openness to actually not just talking the talk about being a pro-worker party, but actually being willing to invest in that,” he said.

Biden is set to introduce the second part of his infrastructure plan this week with an extension of the monthly child tax credit payments to 2025, The Washington Post reported. The IRS recently said it was on course to start monthly payments of the child tax credit in July.

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These are the 6 Republicans who voted against a bipartisan bill on anti-Asian hate crimes

ted cruz resign
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex.

  • The Senate voted Wednesday to move forward a bill that would address the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.
  • In a rare bipartisan showing, almost all senators voted to advance the bill.
  • Insider reached out to the six Republican senators who voted to block the legislation.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Senate overwhelmingly voted on Wednesday to advance a bill addressing the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Led by Democrats Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Rep. Grace Meng of New York, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act will require federal officers to “facilitate the expedited review” of hate crimes.

“It defines COVID-19 hate crime as a violent crime that is motivated by two things: (1) the actual or perceived characteristic (e.g., race) of any person, and (2) the actual or perceived relationship to the spread of COVID-19 of any person because of that characteristic,” according to the bill’s summary.

In a rare bipartisan effort, a vast majority of senators voted 92-6 to advance the bill – bringing it one step closer to passing.

But the legislation could still face a difficult path forward. Republicans only supported the procedure on the agreement they could add amendments to the bill after it advanced: They added 20.

Hirono told HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic, some of the amendments added, “have absolutely nothing to do with the bill.”

Senate leaders will now have to agree which amendments to consider in order to pass the bill through the Senate, “very, very soon,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a floor speech Wednesday.

Here are the six Republicans who voted “no.”

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas

Tom Cotton
In this May 11, 2017 file photo, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

A representative from Cotton’s office told Insider that he voted against the bill because “he’s working on related legislation.”

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asks a question during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

Representatives from Sen. Cruz’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri

Josh Hawley Ted Cruz

Representatives from Sen. Hawley’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas

roger marshall
Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) questions Xavier Becerra, U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2021.

Representatives from Sen. Marshall’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).

Representatives from Sen. Paul’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama

Tommy Tuberville
2020 Alabama Republican US Senate nominee Tommy Tuberville

Representatives from Sen. Tuberville’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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AT&T and Cigna are funding Republican groups led by election objectors they had promised to stop supporting

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (center) and Josh Hawley (top) led the GOP effort to challenge Electoral College votes on January 6, which was interrupted as Trump supporters attempted to violently overturn Biden's victory.
  • AT&T and Cigna gave money to groups run by the GOP election objectors they pledged to stop supporting, Popular Information reported.
  • Some companies paused certain PAC contributions after GOP efforts to overturn Biden’s victory led to violence.
  • Here’s how much each S&P 500 corporate PAC had given – and if they’ve paused or resumed contributions.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

AT&T and Cigna both gave money last month to groups overseen by Republican lawmakers who sought to overturn the US presidential election results in January, despite earlier promises to pause support for those lawmakers, Popular Information’s Jedd Legum reported Friday.

After violent pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, interrupting the GOP’s last-ditch effort to invalidate states’ Electoral College results, companies faced intense public criticism over their financial support of the 147 Republican members of Congress who backed the effort.

Amid the backlash, dozens of major corporations said they would pause contributions and reevaluate how they determine which lawmakers to support.

Yet barely a month later, AT&T and Cigna gave contributions to Republican groups led by – and benefitting – those same lawmakers.

AT&T’s Political Action Committee (PAC), just 35 days after pausing contributions to the 147 election objectors, gave $5,000 to the House Conservative Fund in February, according to Legum. Rep. Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana who voted against certifying Electoral College results, sits on the fund’s executive committee – while other objectors are among its membership.

“Our employee PACs continue to adhere to their policy adopted on January 11 of suspending contributions to campaign committees of members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes. Our employee PACs did not adopt a policy to halt contributions to Democratic and Republican multi-candidate PACs, however,” an AT&T spokesperson told Insider in a statement.

They added that while the contribution “was not intended to circumvent the current suspension policy regarding individual campaigns,” the PAC “is requesting that none of its contribution to the House Conservative Fund or to any other multi-candidate PAC go to any member of congress who objected to the Electoral College votes.”

“Going forward, our employee PACs will begin reviewing all multi-candidate PAC contributions for consistency with the policy on individual campaign contributions,” the spokesperson said.

Insider could not immediately confirm whether AT&T’s PAC was aware of Rep. Johnson’s connection to the House Conservative Fund when it made the contribution or when the PAC requested that the funds not benefit him or other objectors.

Cigna, which had said it would “discontinue support of any elected official who encouraged or supported violence, or otherwise hindered a peaceful transition of power,” continued that support just 22 days later by giving $15,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Legum reported. The NRSC is chaired by GOP Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, another election objector.

Cigna did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

Political Action Committees backed by S&P 500 companies gave more than $23 million to the 147 GOP election objectors during the most recent campaign cycles (2020 for House members; 2016 and 2018 for senators), according to an Insider analysis of Federal Election Commission data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Critics, from activists to shareholders to other executives, have argued the contributions helped those lawmakers get elected and stay in power, giving them the platform they used to undermine voters’ faith in the election (which Trump’s former top cybersecurity official called “the most secure in American history“).

Read more: Democrats are plotting the death – and rebirth – of a hamstrung Federal Election Commission now that they’ll control the White House and both chambers of Congress

Following reporting from Popular Information and other media outlets, many companies began rethinking their political contributions.

Companies’ commitments varied widely, however.

Few have permanently blacklisted election objectors, and as Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pointed out, the largest contributions typically happen right before, not after elections, leaving the door open for companies to resume their support once the public’s attention has turned elsewhere – an argument bolstered by AT&T and Cigna’s recent contributions.

Other companies paused all PAC contributions, potentially allowing them to benefit from the positive PR without having to explicitly condemn – or risk alienating – more than half of the Republicans in Congress.

Still, dozens issued public statements or internal memos announcing they would pause contributions while reevaluating how they use their money to influence politics.

Here’s a list of the S&P 500 companies – some of the largest and most influential businesses in the US – how much they gave to the 147 election objectors in the latest election cycles through their corporate PACs, and whether they’ve pulled (or resumed) their support.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that AT&T’s employee PAC had violated its policy, announced January 11, that it would “suspend contributions to members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes,” by giving to a multi-candidate fund that includes such members. AT&T’s PAC did not adopt a policy to suspend contributions to multi-candidate groups, a spokesperson said.

Do you work for one of these companies and have information about how they’re responding to recent events? We’d love to hear how they’re navigating the current political landscape. Contact this reporter using a non-work device via encrypted messaging app Signal ( +1 503-319-3213 ), email (tsonnemaker@insider.com), or Twitter (@TylerSonnemaker ). We can keep sources anonymous. PR pitches by email only, please.

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AT&T, Cigna abandon promises to stop financing Republicans who voted to overturn the election

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (center) and Josh Hawley (top) led the GOP effort to challenge Electoral College votes on January 6, which was interrupted as Trump supporters attempted to violently overturn Biden's victory.
  • AT&T and Cigna have resumed funding GOP election objectors, Popular Information reported Friday.
  • Some companies paused PAC contributions after GOP efforts to overturn Biden’s victory led to violence.
  • Here’s how much each S&P 500 corporate PAC had given – and if they’ve paused or resumed contributions.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

AT&T and Cigna both gave money last month to groups overseen by Republican lawmakers who sought to overturn the US presidential election results in January, contradicting the companies’ earlier promises, Popular Information’s Jedd Legum reported Friday.

After violent pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, interrupting the GOP’s last-ditch effort to invalidate states’ Electoral College results, companies faced intense public criticism over their financial support of the 147 Republican members of Congress who backed the effort.

Amid the backlash, dozens of major corporations said they would pause contributions and reevaluate how they determine which lawmakers to support.

Yet barely a month later, AT&T and Cigna have apparently determined that some of those lawmakers are once again deserving of support.

AT&T and Cigna did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

AT&T’s Political Action Committee (PAC), just 35 days after pausing contibutions to the 147 election objectors, gave $5,000 to the Republican Study Committee in February, according to Legum. Rep. Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana who voted against certifying Electoral College results, sits on the RSC’s executive committee.

Cigna, which had said it would “discontinue support of any elected official who encouraged or supported violence, or otherwise hindered a peaceful transition of power,” continued that support just 22 days later by giving $15,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Legum reported. The NRSC is chaired by GOP Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, another election objector.

Political Action Committees backed by S&P 500 companies gave more than $23 million to the 147 GOP election objectors during the most recent campaign cycles (2020 for House members; 2016 and 2018 for senators), according to an Insider analysis of Federal Election Commission data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Critics, from activists to shareholders to other executives, have argued the contributions helped those lawmakers get elected and stay in power, giving them the platform they used to undermine voters’ faith in the election (which Trump’s former top cybersecurity official called “the most secure in American history“).

Read more: Democrats are plotting the death – and rebirth – of a hamstrung Federal Election Commission now that they’ll control the White House and both chambers of Congress

Following reporting from Popular Information and other media outlets, many companies began rethinking their political contributions.

Companies’ commitments varied widely, however.

Few have permanently blacklisted election objectors, and as Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pointed out, the largest contributions typically happen right before, not after elections, leaving the door open for companies to resume their support once the public’s attention has turned elsewhere – an argument bolstered by AT&T and Cigna’s recent contributions.

Other companies paused all PAC contributions, potentially allowing them to benefit from the positive PR without having to explicitly condemn – or risk alienating – more than half of the Republicans in Congress.

Still, dozens issued public statements or internal memos announcing they would pause contributions while reevaluating how they use their money to influence politics.

Here’s a list of the S&P 500 companies – some of the largest and most influential businesses in the US – how much they gave to the 147 election objectors in the latest election cycles through their corporate PACs, and whether they’ve pulled (or resumed) their support.

Do you work for one of these companies and have information about how they’re responding to recent events? We’d love to hear how they’re navigating the current political landscape. Contact this reporter using a non-work device via encrypted messaging app Signal ( +1 503-319-3213 ), email (tsonnemaker@insider.com), or Twitter (@TylerSonnemaker ). We can keep sources anonymous. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Former GOP senator dismissed the party as ‘a grotesque caricature’ of its former self

John Danforth
Former Republican Sen. John Danforth of Missouri.

  • Former Sen. John Danforth said that today’s GOP is “a grotesque caricature” of its former self.
  • Danforth expressed that the party is “in decline” in uncompetitive in swaths of the country.
  • He also said that Trump should be convicted in his upcoming Senate impeachment trial.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

In a recent PBS interview, former GOP Sen. John Danforth of Missouri said that today’s Republican Party is “a grotesque caricature” of its former self.

While speaking with political journalist Judy Woodruff, Danforth, who made waves in January when he expressed regret at supporting GOP Sen. Josh Hawley in the wake of the deadly January 6 Capitol riots, said that the party is “the opposite of what it had been.”

“America needs a strong, responsible conservative party,” he said. “That has been the Republican Party. It is neither strong, nor responsible, nor conservative today.”

He added: “It’s losing, I think, its grip on the country as a whole. It’s becoming increasingly a regional party. With almost no exceptions, the Northeast now is gone as far as the US Senate is concerned. The West Coast is completely gone.”

Republicans, who once boasted a sizeable moderate faction in the New England, have seen their support crater in the region over the past 20 years. At the moment, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is the only Republican in Congress representing New England.

On the West Coast, California has voted for every Democratic presidential nominee since 1992, while Oregon and Washington state haven’t voted for a Republican presidential nominee since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Danforth reiterated that the party is “in decline.”

“In the last two presidential elections, President Trump lost in 2016 by three million votes,” he said. “He lost in 2020 by seven million votes. We’re going in the wrong direction.”

Read more: Inside the 7-minute virtual workouts the Biden transition team used to stay connected as staffers prepared to demolish Trump’s policies

The former senator, who served in the upper chamber from 1976 to 1995, said that the party’s current messaging has strayed deeply from its roots.

“The worst thing is that we have become really kind of a grotesque caricature of what the Republican Party has traditionally been,” he said. “We were founded as the party of the union, of holding the country together. Now we have got on this populist tack, which is very much us against them.”

He added: “There are conspiracies out there involving liberals and corporations and big tech. They’re picking on you, the American people. You should resent this. You should feel your grievances. We feel them for you. And we’re going to continue to create wedges to drive Americans apart.”

Danforth, who recently called his support of Hawley’s 2018 campaign as “the worst mistake I ever made in my life,” continued to criticize the freshman senator’s actions for his role in the Capitol riots and contesting the electoral vote certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

“What Hawley did was to create an event,” Danforth said. “He announced that he was going to object, that he was going to make this into a big deal, and then he repeatedly said that the election was in doubt, that January 6 was going to be the decisive day, this wasn’t over yet.”

He added: “He appeared in front of the Capitol Building in that famous photograph encouraging what was going on. He claimed that all he was trying to do was to use the opportunity to speak. He didn’t speak. When Pennsylvania came up on the floor of the Senate, he remained in his chair.”

Danforth also said that former President Donald Trump should be convicted in his upcoming Senate impeachment trial for “incitement of insurrection” regarding the Capitol riots.

“If this – if what he did doesn’t warrant conviction, what does?,” he said. “I think anything other than a strong vote of conviction by Republicans is going to be viewed, rightly so, as condoning Trump.”

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GOP group invests $700,000 into backing Sen. Josh Hawley after he was scrutinized for inciting Capitol riot

Josh Hawley
Sen. Josh Hawley addresses the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Policy Conference at the Capitol on June 27, 2019.

  • A political action committee has put $700,000 behind Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley after he was criticized for his role in inciting the January 6 Capitol insurrection, Axios reported. 
  • Hawley continued with his effort to dispute the electoral votes even after Trump supporters breached the Capitol. 
  • Critics have called on him to resign, and several Democrats have asked for an ethics probe into his and Sen. Ted Cruz’s actions.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Senate Conservatives Fund has put $700,000 in total behind Senator Josh Hawley after he was scrutinized for helping incite the mob that attacked the Capitol earlier this month, Axios reported. 

Since January 12, the political action committee paid $397,782.53 to send more than 2 million texts and emails in support of Hawley. They also raised around $310,000 for his campaign committee, the outlet reported. 

In one email that was sent out, executive director Mary Vought said: “The junior senator from Missouri’s decision to object to the election results showed tremendous courage. It brought him instant scorn from the media and even a public rebuke from his own Senate leader.”

Supporters of President Donald Trump breached the US Capitol and clashed with law enforcement on January 6, halting a joint session of Congress as lawmakers were set to certify President Joe Biden’s election victory. The attack left five people dead.

While many Republicans abandoned their plans to dispute the election results following the violence, Hawley and Senator Ted Cruz pushed forward in an effort that would have been futile but gained them points with Trump’s base.

Read more: SCOOP: Sen. Dianne Feinstein fails to disclose husband’s stock purchase, says she’s willing to pay a fine

Critics, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have called on Hawley and Cruz to resign and Sen. Joe Manchin said the Senate should consider using the 14th Amendment to remove Cruz and Hawley.  

Last week, seven Democratic senators called for an ethics probe into Hawley and Cruz over their objections to the Electoral College vote to determine whether or not their actions contributed to the Capitol siege. 

In a statement, Hawley called the complaint “a flagrant abuse of the Senate ethics process and a flagrant attempt to exact partisan revenge.”

Axios added that SCF’s support for Hawley is helping him weigh a potential 2024 presidential run, especially as a number of corporate PACs said they wouldn’t donate to Hawley and others who voted to contest the election.

 

 

 

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7 Democratic senators call for ethics probe into Cruz and Hawley to determine whether their electoral college objections contributed to the Capitol siege

Josh Hawley Ted Cruz
Josh Hawley is the subject of an ethics complaint from seven Democratic senators.

  • Seven Democratic senators have now called for a probe into Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz’s role in the Capitol siege. 
  • The Democrats filed an ethics complaint to investigate if Hawley’s and Cruz’s objections to the Electoral College vote on January 6 contributed to the violence that led to five deaths. 
  • Cruz and Hawley have previously faced criticism and pressure to resign from other lawmakers. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Seven Democratic senators have called for an ethics probe into Republican Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz over their objections to the Electoral College vote on January 6 and whether or not their actions contributed to the Capitol siege. 

The probe was requested on Thursday in an ethics complaint by Democratic Senators Sheldon Whitehouse, Ron Wyden, Tina Smith, Richard Blumenthal, Mazie Hirono, Tim Kaine, and Sherrod Brown. 

“The Senate Ethics Committee should open an investigation into the actions of Senators Hawley and Cruz, and perhaps others as the investigation may reveal, in order to protect the integrity, safety, and reputation of the Senate,” they wrote in the complaint.

They also said: “Their actions lend credence to the insurrectionists’ cause and set the stage for future violence. And both senators used their objections for political fundraising.”

The senators asked that the committee offer disciplinary recommendations “including up to expulsion or censure.”

Read more: SCOOP: Trump taps his former chief of staff and impeachment lawyers as the gatekeepers to his papers during his post-presidency

Hawley called the complaint “a flagrant abuse of the Senate ethics process and a flagrant attempt to exact partisan revenge” in a statement on Thursday. 

A Cruz spokeswoman told the Associated Press: “It is unfortunate that some congressional Democrats are disregarding President Biden’s call for unity and are instead playing political games by filing frivolous ethics complaints against their colleagues.”

On January 6, supporters of President Donald Trump breached the US Capitol and clashed with law enforcement, halting the joint session of Congress as lawmakers were debating challenges to electoral votes.

Critics, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have called on Hawley and Cruz to resign.

Many Republicans abandoned their plans to dispute the election results following the violence, but Hawley and Cruz pushed forward in an effort that would have been futile but gained them points with Trump’s base. 

Sen. Joe Manchin previously said that the Senate should consider using the 14th Amendment to remove Cruz and Hawley. 

The 14th Amendment says that no lawmaker holding office “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.” 

Then-President Donald Trump has also been criticized for inciting the mob. The House has since impeached Trump on a charge of inciting an insurrection. The Senate will soon hold a trial and vote on whether to convict the former president.

So far, there have been 169 people charged in the Capitol insurrection. 

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Corporate America is pausing its financial support for the 147 GOP lawmakers who challenged Biden’s victory. Here are all the S&P 500 companies who gave them money – and then stopped.

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (center) and Josh Hawley (top) led the GOP effort to challenge Electoral College votes on January 6, which was interrupted as Trump supporters attempted to violently overturn Biden's victory.
  • S&P 500 companies gave $23 million to the 147 GOP lawmakers who contested Electoral College results.
  • After GOP efforts to overturn Biden’s victory led to violence, some companies paused their support.
  • Here’s a list of how much each corporate PAC had given and whether they’ve paused contributions.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

On January 6, Congress convened a joint session to formally certify President Joseph Biden’s Electoral College victory, but it was quickly interrupted by a group of Republican objectors who argued, based on little more than conspiracy theories, that Congress shouldn’t proceed because there had been widespread election fraud.

In total, 147 Republicans – roughly 55% of the GOP lawmakers in Congress – objected to certifying the results of at least one state’s Electoral College vote.

But that long-shot effort to overturn democratic election results was itself interrupted by pro-Trump rioters who – citing the same election fraud conspiracies – stormed the US Capitol building in an attempt to violently keep Trump in power, forcing members of Congress to evacuate, leaving five dead and dozens injured.

In the wake of the failed insurrection, corporate America found itself facing backlash for its extensive financial support of Trump and the lawmakers whose repeated amplification of election fraud conspiracies helped fuel the violence.

Political Action Committees backed by S&P 500 companies gave more than $23 million to the 147 GOP election objectors during the most recent campaign cycles (2020 for House members; 2016 and 2018 for senators), according to an Insider analysis of Federal Election Commission data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Critics, from activists to shareholders to other executives, have argued the contributions helped those lawmakers get elected and stay in power, giving them the platform they used to undermine voters’ faith in the election (which Trump’s former top cybersecurity official called “the most secure in American history“).

Read more: Democrats are plotting the death – and rebirth – of a hamstrung Federal Election Commission now that they’ll control the White House and both chambers of Congress

But following reporting from Popular Information and other media outlets, many companies began rethinking their political contributions.

Companies’ commitments have varied widely, however.

Few have permanently blacklisted election objectors, and as Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pointed out, the largest contributions typically happen right before, not after elections, leaving the door open for companies to resume their support once the public’s attention has turned elsewhere. Others have paused all PAC contributions, potentially allowing them to benefit from the positive PR without having to explicitly condemn – or risk alienating – more than half of the Republicans in Congress.

Still, dozens have issued public statements or internal memos announcing they will at least pause contributions while they reevaluate how they use their money to influence politics.

Here’s a list of the S&P 500 companies – some of the largest and most influential businesses in the US – how much they gave to the 147 election objectors in the latest election cycles through their corporate PACs, and whether they’ve pulled their support.

Do you work for one of these companies and have information about how they’re responding to recent events? We’d love to hear how they’re navigating the current political landscape. Contact this reporter using a non-work device via encrypted messaging app Signal ( +1 503-319-3213 ), email (tsonnemaker@insider.com), or Twitter (@TylerSonnemaker ). We can keep sources anonymous. PR pitches by email only, please. 

 

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