sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) made an inadvertently comedic cameo Thursday night during the commission’s Jan. 6 primetime hearing when Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) outlined what Donald Trump’s most loyal Congressional supporters were up to during the Capitol uprising.
“Senator Josh Hawley also had to flee,” Luria said. “Earlier that afternoon, before the joint session began, he walked across the east side of the Capitol.”
“As you can see in this photo, he raised his fist in solidarity with the protesters already gathered at the security gates,” she added, showing the iconic photo of Hawley on the morning of January 6. “We spoke to a Capitol Police officer who was there at the time. She told us that Senator Hawley’s gesture shook the crowd, and it disturbed her greatly because he was doing it in a safe space, protected by the officers and the barriers.
Then came the twist. “Later that day, Senator Hawley fled after the protesters he helped instigate stormed the Capitol,” Luria said, before adding, “See for yourself.”
With that, the committee room was treated to the slow-motion CCTV footage of Hawley running across the screen to dodge the rioters who had forcibly invaded his safe space.
Multiple reporters said Hawley’s video was met with “loud laughter” by those watching in the hearing room. “It was a much-needed moment of levity in a room that was getting (more understandably) tense and dark,” MSNBC’s Ali Vitali tweeted.
“Think of what we saw,” Luria concluded. “Undeniable violence in the Capitol, the Vice President being brought to safety by the Secret Service, Senators running through the Senate corridors to get away from the crowd. As Commander in Chief, President Trump was under oath and duty to protect the Capitol.”
But as we now know from Thursday’s testimony, he actively chose not to.