Sen. Josh Hawley, the Missouri Republican who raised his fist in solidarity with a crowd of Trump supporters outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, was forced to flee rioters in new footage presented Thursday night by the House Jan. 6 committee in a televised hearing.
Hawley can be seen running through a hallway in the Capitol and then quickly making his way down a staircase with colleagues. The video was taken just hours after the senator was photographed saluting protesters massing at security gates near the building.
Rep. Elaine Luria, a Democratic member of the Jan. 6 committee, cited panel interviews with law enforcement in describing how Hawley’s salute “riled up the crowd” and made it harder for officers to protect the complex from the pro-Trump mob.
Not long after Hawley made the gesture, barriers on the east side of the Capitol were breached, Luria said.
“Later that day, Sen. Hawley fled after those protesters he helped to rile up stormed the Capitol,” Luria said. She noted that many of the people he saluted joined the mob after breaking through the barricades.
Footage of Hawley fleeing during the riot drew bursts of laughter in the committee hearing room.
Following the riot, Hawley condemned the violence at the Capitol and said he was simply objecting to the electors to give voice to his constituents in Missouri, a state that went for former President Trump by 15 percentage points in 2020.