Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote Monday that any Republican refusing to hold insurrectionists accountable even if they're in the GOP are "complicit" in "sedition."
She specifically cited Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) speaking to Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" Sunday. In the interview, Toomey talked about "soul searching" for Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), noting that both men were "complicit" in "the big lie" that President Donald Trump won the 2020 election. But he said that expulsion from the Senate would be an "overreach."
Rubin called Toomey the biggest offender of "let the voters decide" after Trump's first impeachment. Since then, 374,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus and five people died in the siege on the Capitol.
"No. Toomey was elected. He has the constitutional obligations to try to remove a president who subverts democracy," Rubin wrote. "He has an obligation under the Constitution to, in appropriate circumstances, expel members by a two-thirds vote. He cannot shirk his duties as he did in acquitting Trump the first time. Why have impeachment and expulsion in the Constitution if the answer is: 'Let the voters decide'? For goodness' sake, he is not even running for reelection in 2022. I find it unfathomable that he remains so timid."
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has called on Hawley and Cruz to be expelled from the Senate. Taking to Twitter Sunday, Brown explained that the men violated their oath of office and must resign.
Both @HawleyMO and @SenTedCruz have betrayed their oaths of office and abetted a violent insurrection on our democr… https://t.co/9o4CqTaJnA— Sherrod Brown (@Sherrod Brown) 1610227704.0
Liberal Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) agreed when speaking on "This Week" over the weekend.
"If we allow insurrection against the United States with impunity, with no accountability, we are inviting it to happen again, that is how serious it is," she said. "We came close to half of the House nearly dying on Wednesday... and if another head of state came in and ordered an attack on the United States Congress, would we say that that should not be prosecuted? It is an act of insurrection, it's an act of hostility, and we must have accountability because, without it, it will happen again."
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment reads: "No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability."
So, both the House and Senate would be within their rights to expel Hawley, Cruz and any other official who supported the insurrection or worked to incite violence at the Capitol on Wednesday.