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Sen. Josh Hawley

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

A number of Republicans who previously voted to block President Joe Biden's Electoral College win are suddenly doing an about-face and insisting they were simply trying to protect the "integrity" of U.S. elections.

Facing harsh backlash for his vote, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) on Wednesday attempted to separate himself from the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol the day of the Electoral College certification — which was instigated by pro-Donald Trump extremists and fueled by Trump and the GOP's lies about widespread fraud in the 2020 election — and deny responsibility for trying to overturn its results.

In an interview with a local St. Louis radio station, Hawley said his purpose in blocking certification was not to alter Biden's election win but to seek a debate on "election integrity."

"I never said that the goal was to overturn the election," the Missouri senator said. "That was never the point and it was never possible."

He claimed that "it is a lie that I was trying to overturn an election ... It is a lie that I incited violence."

"That is a lie told by the left-wing mob that now wants to silence me and Ted Cruz and 140 House members and 13 senators and anybody who would dare stand up to them. Anyone who is a Trump supporter who refuses to bow the knee. And I'm just not gonna be silenced," Hawley added, referencing his fellow Republicans who attempted to block Biden's win.

Hawley was the first senator to vow to object to certifying Biden's electoral results, stating in December that "millions of voters concerned about election integrity deserve[d] to be heard."

Even after the Electoral College voted in December to make Biden the winner, Hawley still refused to call him the president-elect.

And that same month, the Missouri senator claimed that his constituents believed "the election had been rigged," and called for an investigation into allegations of voter fraud. But Hawley propped up those very allegations himself, tweeting on Nov. 7, when Biden was declared the victor, that "the media do not get to determine who the president is. The people do. When all lawful votes have been counted, recounts finished, and allegations of fraud addressed, we will know who the winner is."

There was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, as the Trump administration itself confirmed following the election.

Other Republicans in Congress who voted to block Biden's Electoral College victory have similarly tried to disentangle themselves from their past efforts.

In a press briefing on Jan. 21, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who chose to block the Electoral College certification on Jan. 6, said, "What I voted on wasn't to overturn an election — because it wouldn't."

Back in December, McCarthy notably signed on to a Texas lawsuit to overturn the election results in four states and invalidate Biden's victories there. The Supreme Court ultimately threw out the lawsuit.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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