Josh Hawley claims Democrats are using Jan 6 to consolidate power. While Republican lawmakers in nearly every state propose restrictions on ballot access and subversive changes to election administration, GOP Senator Josh Hawley accused congressional Democrats of seeking to “consolidate” their political power through the “politics of fear” in the wake of the Capitol insurrection.,52100165.html

Mr Hawley, relying on baseless claims of voter fraud, was the first senator to announce his objection to the certification of Electoral College votes from the 2020 presidential election.

During an interview with Fox News personality Tucker Carlson on 4 January, he appeared to downplay the riots that were fuelled by a spurious “stolen election” narrative.

“The politics of fear that the Democratic Party has been pushing on this country for a whole year now – it’s the only thing they have to offer the country,” he said. “And what they’re trying to do with it is consolidate their power.”

He accused Democrats of wielding the federal government to “weaponise the FBI against parents” and claimed that “demonstrators” have been smeared as “insurrectionists”.

“This is the party that wants to control this country,” he said. “The only thing they have is this politics of fear, and it started last January 6 and they have used that event to try and consolidate their power and push this fear politics.”

During a speech from the Senate floor on 6 January, the Missouri senator said “what we are doing here tonight is actually very important because for those who have concerns about the integrity of our elections, those who have concerns about what happened in November, this is the appropriate means, this is the lawful place where those objections and concerns should be heard.”

Two days before the attack on the Capitol, Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked Mr Hawley whether he planned to object to Joe Biden’s certification.

“I’m trying to pin you down on what you’re trying to do. Are you trying to say that as of 20 January, President Trump will be president?” Mr Baier asked.
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“Well, that depends on what happens on Wednesday,” Mr Hawley replied. “This is why we have the debate.”

“No, it doesn’t,” Mr Baier responded. “The states by the Constitution say they certify the election. They did certify it. By the Constitution, Congress doesn’t have the right to overturn the certification, at least as most experts read it.”

In the aftermath of the assault on Congress, which sought to overturn the results of the 2020 election, Republican state lawmakers passed at least 32 new laws in 17 states to change the rules of election administration, stripping oversight from election officials to put it into the hands of GOP-controlled state legislatures.

Republican lawmakers filed at least 262 bills in 41 states in 2021 alone, and more are expected as legislative sessions resume in 2022, according to States United Democracy Center.

Hundreds of election workers and officials involved with the process of election administration have also faced threats and harassment from those emboldened by election fraud lies.

A parallel effort saw the passage of at 24 laws in 19 states restricting ballot access, after GOP lawmakers filed more than 440 bills in 49 states in 2021 alone, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

More than a dozen bills restricting ballot access have been pre-filed ahead of 2022 legislative session in four states, and at least 88 bills in nine states will carry over from 2021 sessions.

Biden to give speech on ‘urgent’ need for voting rights protections against ‘corrupt’ GOP election laws

President to condemn state-level attempts to undermine ballot access as Senate plans to revive voting rights legislation

Garland issues chilling warning to perpetrators of Jan. 6 ‘at any level’

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Atlanta, Georgia to urge the passage of federal voting rights protections, as members of Congress prepare to revive legislation to expand ballot access and combat voter suppression after Republicans have repeatedly blocked several measures from receiving a vote.

Their remarks on 11 January will address the need to pass legislation “to protect the constitutional right to vote and the integrity of our elections from corrupt attempts to strip law-abiding citizens of their fundamental freedoms and allow partisan state officials to undermine vote counting processes”, according to the White House.

In a letter to members of the Senate on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged to change the Senate’s filibuster rules on or before 17 January if Republicans once again obstruct a vote to bring legislation to the floor.

A growing body of lawmakers and civil rights advocates have pressed Democratic senators to dismantle the Senate’s procedural rules, as protests outside the White House and hunger strikes have demanded that the president push his party to intervene. Senate Democrats need the support of at least 10 Republicans to reach a 60-vote threshold to break a filibuster.

Democratic US Senator Kyrsten Sinema has signalled that she is not willing to amend the 60-vote rule, potentially stymying her party’s efforts to protect the right to vote against a tidal wave of GOP attempts to restrict ballot access and consolidate electoral oversight into the hands of Republican-dominated state legislatures.

Cruz says immigration policy is ‘strongest grounds right now for impeachment, but there may be others’

Jen Psaki hits back at Ted Cruz’s threats to impeach Biden

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki has pushed back against Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who claimed that President Joe Biden would be impeached for his border policies if the GOP takes control of the House following this autumn’s midterm elections.

Dallas Morning News correspondent Todd Gillman asked Ms Psaki if the White House had a “reaction to Senator Cruz saying President Biden may be impeached if the Republicans take back the House next year, specifically for the border policies?”

“Well, our reaction is: Maybe Senator Cruz can work with us on getting something done on comprehensive immigration reform and putting in place measures that will help make sure smart security is what we see at the border, taking a more humane approach to the border instead of name-calling, accusation calling, and making predictions of the future,” Ms Psaki said.

Speaking on his Verdict with Ted Cruz podcast, the senator said “I do think there’s a chance of” the Republicans impeaching Mr Biden if they take control of the lower chamber.

He added that the administration’s immigration policy is “the strongest grounds right now for impeachment, but there may be others”.

“I put the odds of the Republicans winning the House at 90/10 and it may even be higher than that,” he said.

Mr Cruz appeared to admit that any impeachment would be a partisan affair and retaliation for the Democrats impeaching former President Donald Trump twice.

“Whether it’s justified or not, the Democrats weaponized impeachment. They used it for partisan purposes to go after Trump because they disagreed with him. One of the real disadvantages of doing that is the more you weaponize it and turn it into a partisan cudgel, you know what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” Mr Cruz said.

A deeply divided Congress is about to show the world a very unsettled view from the U.S. Capitol: Rather than a national crisis that pulls the country together, the deadly riot on Jan. 6, 2021, only seems to have pushed lawmakers further apart.

Some members are planning to mark the anniversary of the Capitol insurrection with a moment of silence. Others will spend the day educating Americans on the workings of democracy.

And still others don’t think the deadliest domestic attack on Congress in the nation’s history needs to be remembered at all.

Where they stand on remembrance can be largely attributed to their political party, a jarring discord that shows the country’s lawmakers remain strikingly at odds over how to unify a torn nation.

The president who had been fairly and legitimately defeated, Donald Trump told his followers to “fight like hell” to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election and said he would march with them to the Capitol, though he did not. The result was violence and mayhem that left five people dead in the immediate aftermath, hundreds facing charges and millions of dollars in property damage.

But the lack of bipartisan resolve to assign responsibility for the siege or acknowledge the threat it posed has eroded trust among lawmakers, turned ordinary legislative disputes into potential crises and left the door open for more violence after the next disputed election.

It all sets Congress adrift toward a gravely uncertain future: Did Jan. 6 bring the end of one era or the start of a new one?

“One thing that people should consider when thinking about Jan. 6 is … people should think about the fragility of democracy,” said Joanne Freeman, a professor of history and American studies at Yale, whose book “Field of Blood” chronicles violence and bloodshed in Congress in the years before the Civil War.

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