President Donald Trump may have to face charges that he incited the riot at the Capitol on January 6th, but at least his trial will be done in the daylight. The same can’t be said for whatever is about to happen to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who will have to face incitement allegations in front of a “secretive” Senate Ethics Committee whose methods are about as transparent as mud. According to Politico, the committee will address allegations that the “two senators played a role in inciting the violent Capitol attack.”
After multiple leading Democrats called for the two Republicans to resign, Cruz and Hawley’s challenge to President Joe Biden’s Electoral College win is now tied up in the opaque Senate Ethics Committee. And while Trump’s impeachment trial will conclude quickly, the probe into whether the two senators played a role in inciting the violent Capitol attack will unwind over an interminable timetable with little hint of where it is going.
The committee says nothing about its business until actions are taken. And it has a lot of business before it: Seven Democratic senators filed a complaint against the two GOP senators who led the effort to object to the election results, arguing that they ‘lent legitimacy” to the cause of those who invaded the Capitol.
Neither Cruz nor Hawley, of course, had anything to do with the crowd that attacked the Capitol, and they certainly never told anyone to storm the building on January 6th. Their sole “crime” was to raise legitimate issues with the electors from certain states and object to them in a manner befitting their power as U.S. senators.
A spokesperson for Sen. Cruz said that the committee proceeding “sets a dangerous precedent when ethics complaints are used as a political tool to try to intimidate and punish.”
The complainants who sent their concerns about Cruz and Hawley to the Ethics Committee include such luminary Democrats as Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Sen. Dick Blumenthal (D-MA). They say that by “proceeding with their objections to the electors after the violent attack, Senators Cruz and Hawley lent legitimacy to the mob’s cause and made future violence more likely.”
Ah. So, the lesson here is that if a violent mob attacks lawmakers, said lawmakers should abandon their principles? Otherwise, they may have to face a secretive ethics committee headed up by the opposition party? How very Orwellian!