WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans a 9-11-style commission on the January 6th Capitol riot, government watchdog Accountable.US released a new report finding major corporations including FedEx and Wells Fargo gave Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) over $12,000 in campaign contributions as he was becoming a leading promoter of conspiratorial election fraud claims that ginned up the Trump base leading to the deadly and seditious coup attempt. The report, previewed in The Kansas City Pitch, found these donations came after Hawley cheered on violent marches organized in part by white supremacist groups to dispute the election, claimed Democrats attempted to overturn the 2016 election results, and applauded legal efforts to challenge Biden’s victory.
It was hard to miss Senator Hawley’s cynical ploy to endear himself to Trump’s base by promoting dangerous lies about election fraud that culminated in the deadly events of January 6th. Hawley made sure of that on every possible medium, and the major corporate players that saw fit to reward Hawley’s dangerous and duplicitous behavior with financial support cannot now ‘play dumb’. Their CEOs owe an explanation to their shareholders and the public about what values they really support.”
Kyle Herrig, President of Accountable.US.
Among the findings of the report:
- Less than 24 hours after Election Day, Senator Hawley retweeted a video that alleged ballot counting violations in Detroit, which had quickly become an epicenter of conspiratorial “election fraud” claims stoked by President Trump and his supporters.
- Over the next nine weeks, Hawley would ratchet up his promotion of the debunked claims that the election results were not valid, culminating in his becoming the first senator to announce he’d object to electoral college certification. When asked if he was attempting to overturn the election, he coyly responded “[that] depends.”
- After the dust settled on the siege of the U.S. Capitol by a violent mob seeking to overturn the election, Hawley was labeled a key agitator of the attack. And over the course of the next days and weeks, there were increased calls for consequences to be levied against him. Yet, as Hawley was in the process of elevating and encouraging the forces that would lead to the riot, he received thousands in dollars from corporations—many of whom have since publicly claimed to be reevaluating political campaign giving.
“It’s easy for companies to say they’re doing the right thing going forward after making questionable decisions just a month earlier,” added Herrig.
Accountable.US reviewed these records as part of its “Subsidizing Sedition” project focused on exposing the politicians, corporations, right-wing groups and others who aided and abetted the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.