US senator says ‘Antifa scumbags’ menaced family in refuted claim

Protesters gathered at Republican Josh Hawley’s home days before he will object to the presidential election results.

Senator Josh Hawley is part of a group of Republican legislators who plan to object to the election results on Wednesday [File: Greg Nash/The Associated Press]

United States Senator Josh Hawley, a vocal member of a cadre of Republicans who plan to oppose the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory, has accused protesters of threatening his wife and newborn daughter at their home near Washington, DC.

Hawley claimed the protesters, who gathered in front of his house on Monday night “screamed threats, vandalised, and tried to pound open our door”.

The demonstration took place just two days before Congress is set to vote on approving the Electoral College vote, which will cement Biden’s victory. Those gathered accused Hawley of trying to subvert the democratic process.

Hawley said his wife and newborn daughter were home during the incident while he was in Missouri, adding on Twitter “Antifa scumbags came to our place in DC and threatened my wife and newborn daughter, who can’t travel.”

The group that organised the protest, Shut Down DC, refuted the senator’s characterisation, writing on Twitter that the protest had been peaceful and lasted for about 30 minutes outside the senator’s suburban Virginia home.

“We sang songs, chanted and shared our stories,” Shut Down DC wrote. “A small group of people delivered a copy of the constitution to his door.”

A video shared by the group showed protesters marching to Hawley’s home carrying candles, megaphones and signs. Some wrote on the sidewalk in front of the home with chalk.

Police responded to the scene, but stood by after asking the protesters to lower their volume.

Republican plot

The incident comes as the US Congress prepares to meet on Wednesday to certify the results of the presidential election, in which Biden has won 306 Electoral College votes, well above the threshold of 270 needed for victory.

Amid pressure from President Donald Trump, who has refused to concede and continues to baselessly claim the vote was marred by widespread fraud, at least 13 Republicans in the US Senate have said they will object to certifying the results.

They join about 140 Republicans in the House of Representatives who have vowed to do the same.

The ploy has been condemned by some Republican legislators and is all but assured to fail. An official objection would require a majority vote in both chambers. Chances of reaching that majority in the Republican-controlled Senate are slim, and Democrats control the House.

Still, Trump has remained persistent in his attempts to overturn the results, cajoling and threatening Georgia’s top election official to “recalculate” the state’s final tally in an hour-long phone call on Saturday that has raised new legal questions over the president’s conduct.

Speaking on Monday at a Georgia rally for dual Senate runoff races that will decide which party controls the chamber, Trump singled out Republican Senator Mike Lee, who was in attendance, for refusing to join the plot to object to the certification.

Trump also told the crowd he hopes Vice President Mike Pence “comes through for us”.

It remains unclear what Trump expects of Pence, who will oversee Wednesday’s congressional vote in a largely ceremonial capacity that involves opening the proceedings, counting certificates of electoral votes, and declaring the winner based on those votes – in this case, Biden.

The vice president, who has “welcomed” the plot to object to the results, will not have the unilateral power to override the outcome.

Source: Al Jazeera

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