Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) sparked outrage on Tuesday when he asked top law enforcement officials if they were complicit in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, which he himself helped to provoke.
Hawley’s questioning came during a joint hearing by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Rules Committee.
Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger, former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, testified before the committees.
RawStory noted that Hawley, who was “the first GOP senator to announce that he would challenge the election certification of President Joe Biden, in a move that was widely seen as motivation for the Donald Trump supporters who violently stormed into the building,” referenced remarks by retired Gen. Russell Honoré the day after the insurrection.
“In that [Sund] did not have sufficient police on hand to protect the Capitol, which has led me to believe that there was some complicity on behalf of the Capitol police and that will come out in the investigation,” said Honoré, who has since been tapped by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to investigate the riot. “I hope I’m wrong.”
Hawley asked each of the witnesses whether they felt complicit in the attack that left five dead — and viewers were appalled and infuriated.
The Daily Beast’s Spencer Ackerman noted that Hawley “pumped his fist in salute to the insurrectionists” as he passed by on Jan. 6, while tweeting that the senator “feign[ed] outrage at the idea that any former Capitol law enforcement leadership was ‘complicit’ in the insurrection.”
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