The wife of Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley has filed a criminal complaint against the organizer of a protest at the couple’s Virginia home last week after the lawmaker lodged an objection to 2020 presidential electors.
According to reports on Friday, the organizer has been charged with misdemeanor illegal protesting.
Erin Hawley was home alone with the couple’s infant daughter, Abigail, when a protest organized by a group called ShutdownDC descended on their home Jan. 4. The group reportedly said it was opposed to Sen. Hawley’s plans to object to electors from Pennsylvania.
The couple’s two older sons were with their father back in Missouri.
Video of the protesters posted to social media showed them chanting “Shame on you!” and “Stand up, fight back!” outside of the residence.
“We are not going to let people hold our democracy hostage,” a protest leader said in the footage. “We are not going to let them infringe on our rights. Every ballot has been counted. That is over.”
“So if our democracy is under attack, what do we do?” he asked. “When democracy is under attack, what do we do?”
As the crowd continued yelling and chanting, Erin Hawley opened the front door and asked protesters to leave.
“We’ve got neighbors and a baby, thank you,” she said, but the group refused to disperse.
“I was fearful and closed and locked the door,” she said in a statement accompanying the criminal complaint.
According to the video, three of the protesters walked up to the front door of the home saying they wanted to leave signs or a copy of the U.S. Constitution. But in her statement, Erin Hawley said they shouted, “Come out, come out!”
“I was frightened,” she said, according to the complaint.
Reports noted that a local magistrate found “probable cause” to allow charges to proceed against the organizer, identified as Patrick Young. Police in Vienna, where the Hawleys live, said the group of about 15-20 people was told they were in violation of ordinances against protests in front of private residences, noise, and writing on the sidewalk in chalk.
Following the protest, an angry Hawley condemned the participants and accused them of vandalizing the couple’s residence and threatening his family inside the home.
“Tonight while I was in Missouri, Antifa scumbags came to our place in DC and threatened my wife and newborn daughter, who can’t travel,” Hawley tweeted. “They screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open our door. Let me be clear: My family & I will not be intimidated by leftwing violence.”
“Bulls**t! This was no candlelight vigil, this was an attempt to terrorize @HawleyMO’s family, his wife & kids, and neighbors, you made that very clear. This is what those leftist socialist anarchists want to do to this country, tomorrow Georgia gets a chance to reject them!” a tweet from the Reagan Battalion, a conservative news aggregator, wrote on Twitter.
This was no candlelight vigil, this was an attempt to terrorize @HawleyMO’s family, his wife & kids, and neighbors, you made that very clear.
— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) January 5, 2021
Two days after the protest, rioters — many of whom were supporters of former President Donald Trump — stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in an incident that led to five deaths including that of a Capitol Police officer and a Trump supporter who was shot and killed inside.
In a subsequent floor speech, Hawley condemned the violence but also upheld his legal right to object to electors.
“In this country, in the United States of America, we cannot say emphatically enough, violence is not how you achieve change,” he said.
Nevertheless, he added, “what we are doing here tonight is actually very important, because for those who have concerns about the integrity of our elections, those who have concerns about what happened in November, this is the appropriate means.”
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