Sen. Hawley blasts 'hypocritical' Democrats over election count objection, points to Bush race

Sen. Josh Hawley speaks out after announcing plan to object to electors

The Missouri lawmaker joins ‘The Story’ exclusively to react to criticism

Sen. Josh Hawley joined "The Story" exclusively on Wednesday to speak out after receiving backlash from Democrats over his stated plan to object to several states' presidential electors when Congress certifies the election next week.

Under current law, at least one U.S. senator and one U.S. House member are required in order to force a debate over elector tallies in a state. Hawley, R-Mo., on Wednesday became the first U.S. senator to announce his intention, joining Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., as a counterpart in the House.

Host Will Cain noted that the Missouri lawmaker almost immediately drew blowback from his Democratic colleagues, with Connecticut Sen. Christopher Murphy claiming he is attempting to "turn America into a state akin to Russia or China," while Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen called him "grossly irresponsible."

Hawley is "undermining even more public confidence in our democratic process and siding with the false Trump narrative," Van Hollen said in a CNN interview earlier in the day.

"First of all, I don't hear the Democrats making such outrageous claims when they were the ones who were objecting during the electoral college certification in 2004 and 2016. Democrats have done this for years to raise concerns about election integrity," Hawley said on Fox News. "Now when Republicans and 74 million Americans have concerns about election integrity, we are supposed to sit down and shut up? Somebody has to stand up here."

The lawmaker pointed out that Van Hollen did not object to then-Sen. Barbara Boxer's, D-Calif., formal objection to Ohio electors during the 2005 certification of President George W. Bush's reelection and therefore defeat of then-Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass. 

Boxer had been formally joined in her objection by the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, a Democrat from Cleveland.

"I think Van Hollen in 2005 – January 2005 – personally praised the Democrats in the House and Senate who objected during the certification process as it was their right to do," Hawley said. "Every senator and House member has the right to object if they want to. It is a judgment call on their part."

Hawley added that although Missouri — whose electors will vote for President Trump — is not one of the several states under consideration for objection, he is still hearing from his constituents that they feel disenfranchised by alleged inconsistencies in the other states like Pennsylvania and Georgia.

"This is the one opportunity I have as a United States Senator…," he said. "[H]ere my one opportunity to stand up and say something, and that is exactly what I'm going to do."

Hawley singled out the Keystone State, accusing officials there of "not follow[ing] their own laws in the election process."

In 2019, the Republican-majority legislature passed Act 77, which was signed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. The new law allowed for no-excuse absentee voting, among other measures — but several state Republicans have claimed the Democratic-majority State Supreme Court legislated from the bench when they issued 2020 orders giving voters until the Friday after Election Day to submit those ballots through the mail and essentially negated signature verification requirements.

"We had unprecedented interference with the biggest most powerful of corporations all in favor of Joe Biden, censorship like we have never seen before," Hawley said referring to Big Tech like Facebook and Twitter.

"We have no congressional investigation of the fraud," Hawley said. "We need it. We've had no congressional action. We need that to protect our elections going forward. I will make all these points and try to force a debate about all of these points."

In response to Hawley's announcement, Biden spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki called the plan "antics" and claimed it will have no effect on whether Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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