Lawmakers Call To Expel Republicans Who Voted To Overturn Election Results Even After Pro-Trump Riot
Eight Republican senators and more than 130 House representatives objected to the Electoral College count during the formal Congressional certification last Wednesday.
As Congress decides how to proceed with calls for the removal of President Donald Trump from office, many lawmakers want their colleagues who sought to overturn the election results and amplified the president’s anti-democratic conspiracies about his election loss to face consequences.
Eight Republican senators and more than 130 representatives objected to the Electoral College count during the formal Congressional certification last Wednesday. The certification was halted and delayed after a pro-Trump mob, which the president incited, attacked the U.S. Capitol, forcing lawmakers to evacuate and leaving five people dead including a Capitol police officer. Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden’s win early Thursday morning.
But still, Republican Sens. Josh Hawley (MO), Ted Cruz (TX), Tommy Tuberville (AL), Roger Marshall (KS), John Kennedy (LA), Rick Scott (FL), Cynthia Lummis (WY) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS) sustained objections to the Electoral College count, and so did more than 130 GOP representatives. Some have dubbed them the “Sedition Caucus.”
Additional Senate Republicans had previously planned to join the group rejecting “electors from disputed states” during the formal counting in Congress on Wednesday, which would only have delayed — not stopped — the certification of Biden’s win. The senators’ plan drew bipartisan criticism; after the violence and unrest at the Capitol Wednesday afternoon, some of the lawmakers backtracked and denounced the idea during their remarks that night.
Sens. Lindsey Graham and Kelly Loeffler (who lost her seat last week to Rev. Raphael Warnock), had previously backed Trump’s lies for months, but acknowledged on the floor Wednesday night that Biden rightfully won the election.
Separately, as of Monday, January 11, at least one state GOP lawmaker who participated in the insurrection has been arrested; West Virginia House delegate Derrick Evans resigned Saturday, the day after his arrest. Other state Republican elected officials who participated have similarly faced calls to resign.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) wrote in a series of tweets Sunday that the upper chamber “needs to oversee federal investigation of the attack and ransacking of our national Capitol, through Judiciary and perhaps Homeland Security.”
He added: “The Senate Ethics Committee also must consider the expulsion, or censure and punishment, of Sens. Cruz, Hawley, and perhaps others.”
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) spoke with NowThis last week about why she’s introducing legislation to hold her GOP colleagues accountable for the stunning assault on the Capitol. “The fact that someone lost their life today, that blood is on Donald Trump’s hands and every Republican congressperson that is supporting this,” ” she said Wednesday, hours after the attack, to NowThis.
Rep. Bush has said her action falls under the jurisdiction of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment states that no member of Congress — or any member of state or federal government — who has taken an oath of office “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” This action would target the 139 Republican representatives, as The New York Times reported, who supported overturning the Electoral College results and whose actions thereby potentially incited the violence at the Capitol.
The calls for lawmakers’ removal extend beyond Congress.
More than 100 advocacy groups, including progressive MoveOn and the Working Families Party, took out a full-page ad in The Times on Monday calling for Congress to “impeach and expel” Trump as well as the lawmakers who backed his calls to overturn the election.
Several lawmakers and leaders worldwide, from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, are condemning President Trump as well as the violent mob of his supporters.
Shelby Vaculin and Jackie Padilla contributed to this report.