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Sen. Josh Hawley renews objection, call for voter fraud investigation after riot at Capitol

Hawley condemned the violence that interrupted the debate earlier in the day and said that was why he would continue his objection

WASHINGTON — When Senators returned to the Capitol Wednesday night, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley again said he would object to the certification of the Electoral College vote.

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 said he would object to Arizona's Electoral College votes and would object to Pennsylvania when their votes came up. 

Hawley condemned the violence that interrupted the debate earlier in the day and said that was why he would continue his objection.

"There is no place for [violence] in the United States of America, and that's why I submit to my colleagues that what we are doing tonight is actually very important," he said from the Senate floor. "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."

Before Hawley stepped to the podium Wednesday night, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., announced on the Senate floor she would rescind her objection, citing the riot.

After the debate, the Senate voted 93-6 to reject the Republican effort to block counting Arizona’s electoral votes for Joe Biden.

Hawley was joined by Republican Senators Ted Cruz, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Roger Marshall, John Kennedy and Tommy Tuberville in voting to object.

Hawley signed onto the objection of the Pennsylvania Electoral College certification, triggering another debate in the House and Senate. 

The Senate advanced to a vote without debate, and the objection was rejected by a vote of 92-7. More than an hour later, the House also voted to reject the objection.

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. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.