Inauguration Day: Election deniers including Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz arrive for Biden ceremonies

Chris Riotta
·3-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Lawmakers who contested President Donald Trump’s electoral defeat were seen arriving at the US Capitol to attend his successor’s inaugural ceremonies — two weeks after a deadly mob stormed the building in an attempt to overturn the election.

Republicans like Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas, as well as Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who helped lead the charge in disputing the election results, were all in attendance at the Inauguration Day events on Wednesday afternoon in Washington D.C.

Those lawmakers spurred backlash for refusing to accept the legitimate outcome of the election even after Mr Trump’s Department of Homeland Security described the vote as the “most secure” in US history.

Watch: Former Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama arrive at inauguration

Some even continued to contest the results after the Senate reconvened following a deadly six-hour mob attack on the Capitol that forced lawmakers into hiding — an ambush that left at least five dead, including United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

President Donald Trump ditched the capital early, however, and was not planning to attend the ceremonies. He declined to follow many of the day’s standard traditions, though he did reportedly leave his successor a note in the West Wing that was dropped off by an aide.

Follow The Independent’s live coverage on Inauguration Day 2021

Mr Biden’s inaugural committee announced a theme for the events focusing on national unity following the deadly riots. The president-elect invited bipartisan congressional leaders to join him for a prayer service in Washington ahead of the inaugural ceremonies.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested some elected officials may face criminal charges if they were proven to have involvement in the Capitol riots.

“We must trust each other, respect the people who sent us here. We must also have the truth, and that will be looked into," she said in a press conference earlier this week. "If, in fact, it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection — if they aided and abetted the crime — there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress, in terms of prosecution for that."

Some viewers of the inaugural ceremonies criticised the attendance of the Republicans who refused to accept the presidential election results, as calls continued to grow for their removal from office.

Presidential historian Michael Bechloss wrote in a tweet: “For showing up at the Biden inauguration, the insurrectionist Senator Hawley gets today’s chutzpah award.”

Mary Trump, niece to the president and author of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, wrote on Twitter: “Why is the traitor Ted Cruz allowed anywhere near this inauguration? I thought the National Guard was there to keep people like him out.”

Watch: What does a Joe Biden presidency in the US mean for the global economy?