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Protesters here push for Hawley to quit Senate

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Several hundred protesters gathered downtown on Saturday to call on Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., to resign over his continued rejection of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory — even after the riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.

Those at the demonstration outside the historic Old Courthouse chanted, “No Hawley. No KKK. No fascist USA,” and held signs calling on Hawley to resign. They also painted “RESIGN HAWLEY” in large yellow block letters in the middle of the street.

“I had to come out today,” participant Peter Doyle said. “I’m not generally a person who goes to protests, but I feel that he has really brought our state down poorly.”

Many of Trump’s allies, including members of his Cabinet, have distanced themselves from him since Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building Wednesday after a rally in which Trump riled them up. Five people died as a result of the riot, including a Capitol Police officer who was struck in the head by a fire extinguisher.

Hawley, 41, and fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas embraced Trump’s calls to reject Biden’s victory before and after the mob attack. Hawley encouraged the pro-Trump crowd outside the Capitol on Wednesday with a thumbs up and fist pump as he walked into the building.

Hawley has rejected the calls for him to resign and said repeatedly that he will not apologize for giving voice to millions who question the results of the election despite overwhelming evidence that it was fair. Hawley also railed against a major publisher for canceling a book deal with him after the riot.

Several prominent Missouri Republicans have distanced themselves from Hawley since the riot, including former Sen. John Danforth and major GOP donors Sam Fox and businessman David Humphreys, who expressed regret over previously supporting Hawley.

Missouri’s other senator, Republican Roy Blunt, deflected when asked Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” whether he thought Hawley and certain other Republican senators were complicit in the riot because they continued to insist that the election’s outcome could be changed.

“I think the president’s decisions and actions that day and leading up to that day on this topic were clearly reckless” Blunt said. He also said he didn’t think Trump should resign, and he refused to say whether he thought Trump had committed an impeachable offense.

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