- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Sen. Josh Hawley unloaded on Democrats Wednesday for essentially telling 74 million Americans to “shut up” about election integrity concerns.

The Missouri Republican, speaking before the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, said it’s “absolutely unbelievable” how Democrats and the media are treating legitimate questions about how the 2020 presidential election was conducted.

Mr. Hawley said that “every single” constituent in a group of nearly 30 people at a recent meeting expressed the stance that “they had been disenfranchised.”

“These are normal, reasonable people,” the senator said. “These are not crazy people. These are reasonable people and who, by the way, have been involved in politics. They’ve won, they’ve lost. They’ve seen it all. These are normal folks living normal lives who firmly believe that they have been disenfranchised. And to listen to the mainstream press quite a few voices in this building tell them after four years of non-stop Russia hoax — it was a hoax. It was based on the whole Russia nonsense. It was based on, we now know, lies from a Russian spy! The Steele dossier was based on a Russian spy. After four years of that, being told that the last election was fake and that Donald Trump wasn’t really elected and that Russian intervened — after four years of that — now these same people are told ‘you just sit down and shut up if you have any concerns about election integrity. You’re a nutcase. You should shut-up.’”

Mr. Hawley warned his audience that pairing personal attacks with calls for “unity” wasn’t going to work anytime soon.

“I’ll tell you what: 74 million Americans are not going to shut up,” the Republican continued. “Telling them that their views don’t matter, and that their concerns don’t matter, and they should just be quiet is not a recipe for success in this country. It’s not a recipe for the unity that I hear now the other side is suddenly so interested in after year — years! — of trying to delegitimize President Donald Trump.”

The Show Me State, he concluded, must be shown respect.

“So, suffice it to say, I’m not too keen on lectures about how Missourians and others who voted for President Trump and now have some concerns about fraud, about integrity, about compliance with the law, should just be quiet and that they are somehow not patriotic if they raise these questions,” Mr. Hawley said. “It’s absolutely unbelievable.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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