The violent armed anarchy on display at the nation’s capitol Wednesday was brought to you by none other than Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley in enthusiastic support of President Donald Trump’s incitement to insurrection. Trump and Hawley owe the nation a full accounting of their role in this shocking challenge to American democracy. What millions of Americans watched on television midday Wednesday was not even close to a patriotic defense of freedom or liberty. It was armed, violent rebellion, and Hawley reportedly stood outside the Capitol as it started Wednesday, cheering them on.
The rioters — whom Trump had openly encouraged with a promise to come join them — forced both houses of Congress to interrupt certification proceedings acknowledging the Electoral College victory of President-elect Joe Biden. That was supposed to be a solemn occasion acknowledging the triumph of American democracy. Hawley initiated and led the effort to interrupt it, and the protesters followed his lead. Trump did nothing to urge the protesters to stand down.
It’s too late for impeachment, but a full congressional censure is in order, if not removal of Trump immediately under the 25th Amendment. He unquestionably encouraged and enabled what turned into the ransacking of the Capitol.