Days after Josh Hawley, a GOP senator from Missouri, said he would oppose the Electoral Votes being certified by the US Congress on January 6, his home in Washington DC was reportedly attacked by Antifa supporters on Monday (January 4) night. The youngest US senator claimed that his wife and newborn baby were threatened by Antifa while he was in Missouri.
In a tweet, Hawley added that the leftwing protesters "attacked" his home and "screamed threats through bullhorns, vandalized property, pounded on the doors of homes, terrorized innocent people and children."
A video, posted on Twitter and live-streamed on YouTube, showed that a small group of protesters demanding him to not obstruct the Congressional count of Electoral Votes. Two speakers used megaphones to condemn Hawley's plan and said it was a political stunt to boost his future. However, Hawley, in the tweet, said he would not be intimidated by "Antifa scumbags and leftwing violence".
What Actually Happened?
The protest was organized by democracy advocacy group ShutDownDC to denounce Hawley's support of US President Donald Trump, who asked Republican members of the Congress to reject the Electoral College votes that would cement President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
While Hawley's tweet said that the protesters vandalized property, the vigil that was recorded on a phone camera didn't show any damage to the property. The group gathered at a local mall before walking to his home and chanting "shame on you". The video showed the group standing on the lawn and the sidewalk during the protest. "When democracy is under attack, what do we do, we stand up fight back," the group shouted.
At one point, a woman with a child in her arms opened the door and asked the protesters to back down as they were disturbing the neighborhood and the baby. "If you can clear out, please. It's for the neighbors and the baby," she said, adding that it was "unacceptable".
Following that, an elderly man confronted the protesters and asked them to leave the place as they were disturbing the neighborhood. The man was restrained by a third-party. However, that did not stop the protest. As for vandalizing, one of the protesters was seen writing something with chalk on the sidewalk, not on his property.
At this point, three protesters placed a pocket copy of the constitution on the front door. They were seen shouting using a megaphone in front of the door. A few minutes later, an officer from the Vienna Police Department came to the protest site and asked one of the organizers to clear the area as it was illegal. Some more officers joined in and monitored the protest. By early morning, the protesters left, leaving candles in front of Hawley's home.
"We held a candlelight vigil outside of his house. At one point three of our supporters went to his front door to deliver a copy of the constitution with Article II, Section 1 dog-eared for his reference. The local police force did respond. The officers on the scene could not determine whether or not any of the activities violated local ordinances," the organizers of the protest told Fox 2 after Hawley accused them of attacking his home.
The protest and Hawley's accusations were met with a mixed response from the netizens. Some said it was vandalism and disturbance while some claimed it was justified. One individual said the protesters should not have protested in front of a house where there was a child. Many debunked Hawley's accusations of threatening his wife.
But Trump and Republican supporters were quick to accuse them of illegal activities. In the lead up to the joint Congressional session on January 6, the DC police expect a large number of protests in the area from both sides of the voters. Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser has called in the National Guard to thwart any violence on the day. Trump has asked his supporters to gather in large numbers while many expect counter-protest as well.