A coalition of thousands of law students and lawyers have called for Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to be disbarred for leading an objection to President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, saying the senators contributed to inciting Wednesday’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Hawley and Cruz, graduates of Yale and Harvard law schools respectively, have faced increasing condemnation after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the election.
Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele specifically cited a photo of Hawley making a gesture of support to a crowd in Washington earlier in the day.
“Senators Hawley and Cruz directly incited the January 6th insurrection, repeating dangerous and unsubstantiated statements regarding the election and abetting the lawless behavior of President Trump. A violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol. Five people have died,” the petition reads.
“The nation and the world watched as rioters took over the very halls and chambers that embody our democracy. Yet after the violence and terror of the day’s events, Senators Hawley and Cruz still chose to stand in the chamber of the U.S. Senate and persist in their baseless objections to the will of the people,” it adds.
Signers include former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), retired judge H. Lee Sarokin and Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, who has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration.
The petition was started by a group of seven Yale law students, including Daniel Ki, who told The Washington Post “we thought it was important to speak up.”
“We decided to ask other law students and members of the bar to join in the call to begin immediate disbarment proceedings against Sens. Hawley and Cruz and have been inspired and heartened by the overwhelming response,” Ki told the newspaper.
Separately, Hawley and Cruz have faced calls from their Democratic colleagues to resign, including Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the chamber’s No. 3 Democrat, and Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).