ST. LOUIS — Missouri Senator Josh Hawley stood by his decision to object to the certification of the Electoral College votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania as pressure mounts for him to resign or be removed from office.
In a statement, Hawley said he will never apologize for what he described as doing his job.
“I will never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections. That’s my job, and I will keep doing it,” the statement said.
Hawley was the first senator to say he would object to the certification of the votes, echoing unfounded claims by President Donald Trump of election fraud in November. Hawley said he wanted to “highlight the failure of some states, including notably Pennsylvania, to follow their own election laws.” He did not offer any specifics or evidence of his claims.
Hawley was one of more than a dozen Republican senators to object to the certification of the Electoral College votes of Arizona Wednesday afternoon. House members objected as well, triggering a two-hour debate.
During the debate, a mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol building and clashed with law enforcement before disrupting Congress’ tallying of the Electoral College votes. One woman who was shot inside the Capitol during the riot has died, sources confirmed to the Associated Press.
When the senators returned to the floor Wednesday night, he again objected to Arizona's Electoral College votes objected to Pennsylvania's votes hours later.
Both objections were shot down by both houses of Congress after hours of debate.
The Electoral College vote was certified just after 2:30 Thursday morning, with Congress confirming President-elect Joe Biden's victory. The final count is 306-232.
On Thursday, publisher Simon & Schuster announced that they would cancel the publication of Hawley's upcoming book.
"After witnessing the disturbing, deadly insurrection that took place on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Simon & Schuster has decided to cancel publication of Senator Josh Hawley’s forthcoming book, THE TYRANNY OF BIG TECH," the publisher said in a statement. "We did not come to this decision lightly. As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: at the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom."
Thursday evening, Hawley called the publisher part of the "woke mob". He accused them of assaulting the First Amendment and said he would see them "in court".
The response also came from commentators and representatives in the political world.
Conservative Washington Post columnist George Will called out Hawley, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and President Trump for their roles in the chaos on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
In a tweet, Shamed Dogan — a Republican who represents parts of St. Louis County in the Missouri House of Representatives — said he regretted voting for Hawley.
Politicians also called for Hawley's resignation.
Even before the proceedings on Capitol Hill were finished, Missouri Representative Cori Bush tweeted that Hawley had "had blood on his hands" and needed to resign.
Bush was joined by fellow progressive members of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Joaquin Castro, who also called for Cruz to resign.
Calls also came in from members of the University of Missouri, where Hawley had previously served as an associate professor in the university's law school.
According to NBC affiliate KOMU, the calls included MU law professor Frank Bowman.
"It's a flagrant publicity stunt," Bowman said. "People like Josh should be ashamed of themselves for the rest of their lives."
Bowman believes personal political gain was the motive behind his objection.
"Josh wants to run for president in 2024, there's no doubt about that," Bowman said. "...he needs to hold on to, or try to inherit, the Trump favorable base."
The Student Bar Association of Mizzou Law released a statement via Twitter demanding his resignation. It read in-part that Hawley "violated the oath he swore upon his election" and "severely damaged the reputation of our institution."
An online petition calling for Hawley to be recalled had more than 22,000 signatures as of 3:30 Thursday afternoon.