February 3, 2021
Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will be conducted on the Senate floor, live on TV. By contrast, the Senate investigation into Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) will take place behind closed doors—conducted by one of the most secretive committees in Congress, Politico reports.
After multiple leading Democrats called for the two Republicans to resign, Cruz and Hawley’s challenge to President Joe Biden’s Electoral College win is now tied up in the opaque U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics. And while Trump’s impeachment trial probably will conclude quickly; Politico projects that the probe into whether the two senators played a role in inciting the violent Capitol attack will unwind over an interminable timetable, with little hint of where it is going.
The committee says nothing about its business until actions are taken. And it has a lot of business before it: Seven Democratic senators filed a complaint against the two GOP senators who led the effort to object to the election results, arguing that they ‘lent legitimacy” to the cause of those who invaded the Capitol. Hawley fired back with a counter complaint—alleging “improper conduct” for partisan gain.
The panel is led by Chair Chris Coons (D-Delaware), who called for Cruz and Hawley to resign; and by Vice Chair James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), who planned to challenge the election results, himself, before backing away after the invasion of the Capitol. Coons and Lankford speak frequently to each other and have a warm relationship, just as Coons did with former Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia).
And the two senators will keep a tight lid on the highest profile ethics investigation in years. “Neither of us [is] going to talk about it at all,” Lankford said in an interview with Politico. “We don’t bring up anything on the ethics stuff at all. We don’t confirm anything and we’re pretty lockstep about that.”
Research contact: @politico