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Three GOP senators opposed to Electoral College vote, still battling detractors

Sens. Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul all have shown their support for Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud

Updated: January 26, 2021 - 3:59pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

GOP Sens. Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul continue to face backlash for supporting former President Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud having impacted the outcome of the 2020 presidential election that he lost.

Seven Democratic senators have filed Capitol Hill ethic charges against Cruz and Hawley, saying their vocal opposition to Congress on Jan. 6 certifying the election results led to opponents seizing the U.S. Capitol Building in a failed attempt to stop the certification.

Hawley has filed a counter ethics suit against the Democratic lawmaker but also faces criticism from within his own party.

"I have not been shy in my criticisms of Josh Hawley, either in public or in private, Nebraska GOP Sen. Ben Sasse told NPR.. "This was a terrible, terrible idea."

Hawley said in a column for Southeast Missourian: "Sadly, much of the media and many members of the Washington establishment want to deceive Americans into thinking those who raised concerns incited violence, simply by voicing the concern. ... That’s false. And the allegation itself is corrosive and dangerous." 

Cruz has faced backlash from such Capitol Hill lawmakers as Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said he incited the violence earlier this month.

"Both you and Senator Hawley must resign," she tweeted a day after the incident. "If you do not, the Senate should move for your expulsion.

Some of the more recent criticism has come from actor Seth Rogan, who on Twitter called Cruz a fascist and also accused him of inciting an insurrection at the Capitol.

"This isn’t a Twitter 'feud,' " Rogen also tweeted. "@tedcruz tried to overthrow our government. He inspired a deadly mob to storm the Capitol. And I think that deserves ridicule. So f- him."

Paul was not among those leading the charge to object to election results. However, he still supported Trump's efforts to attempt to overturn the election amid concerns of voter fraud. Though Paul did not object to the Electoral College vote following the riot, he still thinks the election was stolen.

On Sunday, ABC's "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos pressed Paul to acknowledge that the election was not stolen.

"Hey, George, Georgie, where you make a mistake is that people coming from the liberal side like you, you immediately say everything's a lie instead of saying there are two sides to everything," Paul responded. "Historically what would happen is if I said I thought there was fraud, you would introduce someone else who said there wasn't. But now you insert yourself in the middle and say that the absolute fact is that everything I'm saying is a lie."

Former Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke said in a tweet that Cruz's Twitter fight with Rogen was an effort to distract people from his "sedition" efforts.

"Don’t let him off the hook. Don’t let him make this about 'Hollywood' — this is about Ted Cruz aiding and abetting an insurrection that killed 5 people including a cop and very nearly ended in the murders of members of Congress and the Vice President," O’Rourke tweeted.

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