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Editorial: Hawley and Blunt deepen Missouri's embarrassment by refusing to see Trump's guilt

Editorial: Hawley and Blunt deepen Missouri's embarrassment by refusing to see Trump's guilt

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Hawley and the rioters

Before rioting began, Sen. Josh Hawley raises his fist in solidarity as a crowd of Trump supporters gathers before attacking the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump should be an opportunity for Missouri Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley to redeem themselves for blindly supporting a man whose conduct was indefensible. Instead, they continue bringing additional embarrassment to the state after having flirted with the abolition of democracy in favor of keeping a dictator wannabe in the White House.

Hawley, of course, is the Senate’s biggest cheerleader when it comes to asserting that Trump won the Nov. 3 election and that Trump shouldn’t be held accountable for directing a mob to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Blunt had the gall to tell reporters that, until a 13-minute video of the Capitol attack was shown to senators on Tuesday, he had never taken so much time to watch what occurred on that “truly a horrendous day.” Both voted against allowing the trial to proceed.

Missourians must not allow themselves to be fooled by the weak boilerplate defenses by Hawley and Blunt. Hawley tweeted on Tuesday: “Today Democrats launched their unconstitutional impeachment trial while President Biden cancels thousands of working class jobs across this country. Americans deserve better.” In fact, a bipartisan majority of senators have deemed the proceeding to be constitutional. And the attempt to divert attention to Biden, who has not canceled a single job, is pathetic but oh-so-typical of Hawley.

Behind the scenes, constituents who write to Hawley about the Capitol attack and the impeachment are receiving form-letter responses underscoring the junior senator’s ongoing deception campaign about what he and Trump call the “stolen” Nov. 3 election. In a Feb. 4 letter, he lied by saying the impeachment proceeding is “purely partisan” when, in fact, the Senate’s Republican leadership stated Trump was responsible for the attack.

“It’s time we left this impeachment circus behind and looked to the future,” Hawley’s letter adds, complaining that impeachment has “diverted our attention from critical issues such as the crisis of suicide, rising health care and housing costs, and the lack of internet access in rural areas.”

It’s just a matter of time before Hawley starts asserting that when he fist-pumped the mob as it swarmed the Capitol on Jan. 6, he was actually fist-pumping his attention to suicide, housing costs and rural internet access.

Hawley also hides from accountability by blaming his constituents. “Some wondered why I stuck with my objection following the violence at the Capitol,” he tweeted on Jan. 13. “The reason is simple: I will not bow to a lawless mob, or allow criminals to drown out the legitimate concerns of my constituents.” Technically, Hawley is correct. He didn’t bow to the lawless mob; he fist-pumped his solidarity with them.

At least 41.4% of Hawley’s and Blunt’s constituents voted to oust Trump, and certainly they want to see him brought to justice. Their “legitimate concerns” deserve a fist-pump, too.

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