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As Joe Biden Calls for Unity, AOC Demands Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz Expulsions

Newsweek logo Newsweek 1/22/2021 James Walker
a close up of a woman wearing glasses: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged Republicans to consider what they were doing by calling for Trump's impeachment trial to be delayed. © Tom Williams-Pool/AFP via Getty Images Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged Republicans to consider what they were doing by calling for Trump's impeachment trial to be delayed.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez demanded that the Senate hold a vote to expel Republican lawmakers Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz if the upper chamber moved to delay former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial until February.

The New York Democrat told CNN that the Republican pair should be ousted from the Senate as she accused them of supporting the "insurrection" on the Capitol building earlier this month. She also urged her Republican colleagues to consider "what they are doing" by trying to protect Trump from a trial in the upper chamber.

The former president was impeached for the second time last week as he was charged with inciting the attack on the Capitol at a rally with his supporter earlier in the day. Republicans have since asked Democratic leadership to delay Trump's trial until the middle of February.

If the former president does stand trial in the upper chamber, a two-thirds majority vote will still be required to convict him.

Speaking about the Republican-proposed delay to former President Trump's impeachment trial, Ocasio-Cortez said: "I would really advise my colleagues, particularly my Republican colleagues, who certainly supported the underlying lie that led to this insurrection, to really think about what they are doing in trying to protect Donald Trump."

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She added that if Republicans wanted to delay Trump's trial, Democrats should bring forward a vote to expel Sens. Cruz and Hawley from the upper chamber over their role in the "Stop the Steal" objections to the presidential election results.

"If we've got time on our hands, then we should actually be bringing justice to the members of Congress... who also helped support this insurrection," the congresswoman said. "If they don't resign, they should be expelled from the Senate."

In a statement, Sen. Hawley said: "I will never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections. That's my job, and I will keep doing it."

Newsweek has contacted the office of Sen. Cruz for comment on the congresswoman's call for their ouster.

Ocasio-Cortez pushed for the ouster of the Republican lawmakers a day after President Joe Biden issued a call for national unity as he delivered his inaugural address outside the Capitol building on Wednesday.

High-profile guests at the Inauguration Day ceremony also opted to wear purple—a move widely interpreted as a show of bipartisan unity, as the key colors of the two major parties, red and blue, combine to make purple.

Speaking about the challenges facing America, Biden said: "To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity."

"This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward," he later added. "And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you, we will not fail."

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