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Democrats request investigation into Hawley and Cruz’s role in Capitol riot

Seven Senate Democrats filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Thursday, asking the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate whether they coordinated with leaders of the pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” rally that took place immediately before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

In a letter, the Democrats — Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Tina Smith of Minnesota, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island — said the committee “should also offer recommendations for strong disciplinary action, including up to expulsion or censure, if warranted by the facts uncovered.”

Prior to the rally and attack on the Capitol, Hawley and Cruz said they would object to the vote counts in states lost by former President Donald Trump. This “amplified claims of election fraud that had resulted in threats of violence against state and local officials around the country,” the letter stated, adding that Hawley and Cruz “touted their plan to challenge the electors to drum up campaign contributions.”

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The Democrats said the question that must be answered is whether Cruz and Hawley “failed to ‘put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or government department’ or engaged in ‘improper conduct reflecting on the Senate’ in connection with the violence on Jan. 6.”

Hawley and Cruz have both defended themselves by saying they believed they were protecting the integrity of the election.