Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) caught viral attention on Thursday during the latest hearing on the Jan. 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol after members on the committee played a video of the senator interacting with protesters before hurrying through a hallway in the Capitol later that day.
Thursday’s Jan. 6 Committee hearing primarily focused on the time period from when the Capitol building was first breached to when then-President Donald Trump finally issued a call for rioters and protestors to disperse. The committee noted Hawley’s support for Trump’s challenges against the 2020 presidential election before juxtaposing that support against a video of him running through the halls of the Capitol as the building was breached.
During the hearing, Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) said Hawley “raised his fist in solidarity” with protesters gathering around the Capitol in the hours before the building was breached.
Luria, a U.S. Navy veteran, said a female Capitol Police officer recalled that Hawley’s raised fist gesture had “riled up the crowd” standing outside the security barriers around the building. Luria said Hawley’s gesture bothered the police officer “because he was doing it in a safe space protected by the officers and the barriers.”
“Later that day, Senator Hawley fled after those protesters he helped to rile up stormed the Capitol. See for yourself,” Luria said before playing security camera footage of Hawley moving quickly through a hallway in the Capitol before another clip of him walking down a stairway.
Hawley was one of a dozen Republican Senators and dozens more Republican Representatives who vowed in the days before Jan. 6, 2021 to challenge the certification of 2020 election results for Joe Biden during a joint session of Congress that day. The plan to object to the election results lost support after the riot, but Hawley and some other lawmakers maintained their opposition to the election results when lawmakers returned to the joint session later that evening.
Hawley’s office did not immediately respond to an American Military News request for comment.
The clip of Hawley running through the hallway of the Capitol caught the attention of fellow lawmakers.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) — a member of the Illinois Air National Guard and one of two Republicans allowed on the Jan. 6 Committee by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — tweeted, “Worth remembering: Josh Hawley was the first senator to say he would object to the electoral college, causing a cascade of Ted Cruz-es. There would not have been as much oxygen to [Trump’s] coup plan without Fistpump McRunpants.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) tweeted a photo of Hawley raising his fists toward protesters before the Capitol breach with the caption “Sowing” and a screenshot of Halwy running with the caption “Reaping.”