Josh Hawley brutally rebuked by home state newspaper on Jan. 6 anniversary

Senator Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, was the subject of a sharply critical op-ed in a leading newspaper from his home state marking the anniversary of the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Saturday marks the third anniversary of the attack on the Capitol, in which supporters of former President Donald Trump attempted to disrupt the certification of his election loss to Joe Biden. In the years since the incident, many have blamed Trump for fomenting the incident with his rhetoric, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), which has brought criminal charges against him in connection with his election interference efforts that led to the riot. Despite this, Trump has maintained his innocence and remains the leading contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

Numerous congressional Republicans voted against the certification of the 2020 presidential election in the wake of Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud, with Hawley being one of the most prominent examples. A photo of the senator holding up a fist in solidarity with Trump supporters as he entered the U.S. Capitol three years ago became one of the most noteworthy images from the chaotic day.

josh hawley jan 6 op ed
Senator Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, is seen. A major newspaper in Hawley’s home state criticized him for his hand in legitimizing Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.
Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images

To mark the anniversary of the riot, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, one of the leading newspapers in Missouri, published an op-ed written by its editorial board breaking down the events of the attack. The piece titled, “Jan. 6 showed that, yes, it could happen here. The voters must not let it,” also at various points chastised Hawley for his hand in questioning the results of the 2020 election, crediting him for working to legitimize Trump’s lies about widespread fraud.

“Trump’s gaseous lies might have merely dissipated into the atmosphere had it not been for Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who was the first senator to object to ballot results,” the piece reads. “That damnable, self-serving stunt is what made it necessary for Congress that day to debate the undebatable legitimacy of Joe Biden’s victory — thus providing a time-and-place target for the MAGA madness of Jan. 6.”

The board added: “Trump’s culpability is clear, but he isn’t alone. Scores of Republicans in both houses of Congress — most of whom are still there — joined Hawley in his attempt to disenfranchise millions of Americans by blocking certification valid election results. Later, most House Republicans refused to join the successful impeachment vote against Trump, then the Republican-controlled Senate refused to convict.”

Newsweek reached out to Hawley’s office via email for comment.

Trump himself marked the anniversary on Friday with a rally in Iowa, during which he continued to reiterate his false claims about the 2020 election being stolen from him, and echoed conspiracies claiming that the Capitol riot had been carried out by the FBI and Antifa.

Last year, FBI Director Christopher Wray vehemently denied those accusations during a hearing, “If you are asking whether the violence at the Capitol on January 6 was part of some operation orchestrated by FBI sources and/or agents, the answer is emphatically no.”

President Biden, meanwhile, gave a speech in Pennsylvania in which he dismissed Trump’s election lies and warned that reelecting the former president later this year would seriously imperil American democracy.