Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who has been using the Capitol riot to advance his career, claims House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is using the riot to try to consolidate power.
“I’m concerned that they continue to treat the January 6 catastrophe, that criminal riot as an excuse to seize power, to control more power, to step on people’s Second Amendment rights to take away their First Amendment rights,” Hawley said Wednesday evening on Fox News.
“Now, we’re hearing about a domestic war on terror,” Hawley said. “I mean, what’s that going to be? An excuse to go rifle through the emails and bank statements and personal messages of law-abiding Americans? I mean, this is very, very frightening stuff.”
Spokespeople for Hawley did not respond to a request for an explanation on the war on terror the senator is hearing about, or to expand upon the threat of the government canceling people’s rights and rifling through their emails and bank statements.
The riot itself was part of a Republican effort to consolidate power by throwing out an election result that party leader Donald Trump did not like.
Some Republicans, though, blame Pelosi for the attack, and have suggested she deliberately exposed the Capitol to a riot for political gain.
The insurrectionists brutally attacked police officers and trashed the Capitol, including rifling through Pelosi’s desk and stealing mail.
Pelosi and President Joe Biden have called the Trump supporters who raided the Capitol “domestic terrorists,” but they haven’t called for a domestic “war on terror.”
Biden has asked law enforcement officials in his administration to evaluate the threat of domestic terrorism, and Pelosi has called for a commission to investigate the attack on the Capitol. She said Thursday that the commission’s task would be to “find the truth but also understand how we have to protect the American people from what might be out there in terms of domestic terrorism and the rest.”
Trump incited the attack by lying for months that the election would be stolen from him, then planning a rally on the day Congress was meeting to certify his loss, then telling his supporters to “fight like hell” and head over to the Capitol.
Hawley was the first senator to announce he would object to certifying the election, and he suggested it would be up to Congress, not voters, to determine who would be president on Inauguration Day. Before he entered the Capitol to raise his objection on Jan. 6, he raised his fist to the crowd that later mobbed the building. After the attack, he and many other Republicans still voted against certifying the election results.
In the aftermath of the attack, Hawley’s colleagues — and even some of his former backers in Missouri — have pilloried him and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for their roles in the day’s events.
Instead of acknowledging what he did, Hawley has acted as though he is the victim, because he lost (and quickly regained) a book deal and because Senate Democrats asked for an ethics committee to investigate whether he’d violated his oath of office. He has repeatedly complained about being “muzzled” on national television, using the calls for his resignation to try to capture the attention of Trump supporters who believe they, too, are persecuted by the Washington establishment.
On Wednesday, Hawley went on Fox News to complain that former Gen. Russel Honore, whom Pelosi tapped for an initial review of the Capitol’s security failure, had written tweets calling the senator “a little piece of shit” for helping Trump incite the mob.
“It’s just unbelievable, and it shows that Nancy Pelosi isn’t interested in getting any facts,” Hawley said. “She is interested in power and in amassing power and an excuse to keep holding power, including those thousands of troops who are still at the Capitol who are still there treating it like an armed camp. Why? No one will say, but this is what Pelosi is interested in.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.