A group of leftist protesters showed up at Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley's Washington, D.C.-area home Monday night while only his wife and newborn daughter were there, shouting through bullhorns and allegedly banging on the door in protest of his recent decision to challenge the presidential election results.
Hawley, who was away from his family and back in Missouri at the time, has drawn harsh criticism since becoming the first senator to announce plans to object to the Electoral College certification when electors meet on Jan. 6.
As any young father feeling helpless to defend his family would be, he was incensed over the incident and denounced the "Antifa scumbags" on Twitter late Monday night for causing his family to feel threatened.
"They screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open our door," he said. "Let me be clear: My family & I will not be intimidated by leftwing violence."
Tonight while I was in Missouri, Antifa scumbags came to our place in DC and threatened my wife and newborn daughte… https://t.co/kb3HLZ3opk— Josh Hawley (@Josh Hawley) 1609820001.0
At least one of Hawley's neighbors shared the sentiment, as video shows him approaching the group and demanding to know why they were "disturbing our neighborhood and scaring our children."
A peaceful vigil?
However, in conversation with the Washington Post, the group, known as ShutDownDC, characterized their demonstration much differently.
It was nothing more than a "peaceful vigil," the activists argued in a Post write-up that described the night's activities like this: "On the sidewalk in a Northern Virginia suburb, a group of 15 people chanted while holding candles and signs saying, 'Protect democracy.'"
"This was not threatening behavior," one ShutDownDC organizer, Patrick Young, told the Post. "This is people engaging in democracy and engaging in civil discourse ... This was a pretty tame and peaceful visit to his house."
A 50-minute long video of the events posted on YouTube by the group titled, "Vigil For Democracy," shows protesters loudly shouting and chanting outside Hawley's home and at least one point approaching the door to leave a copy of the U.S. Constitution.
Vigil For Democracy youtu.be
Video shows Virginia police present at the scene, but it was not immediately clear if any action was taken against the protesters except that one officer asked them to quiet down until her supervisor arrived.
Later, in response to the group's press release on the demonstration, Hawley tweeted, "Now 'vigil' means screaming threats through bullhorns, vandalizing property, pounding on the doors of homes and terrorizing innocent people and children."
Now “vigil” means screaming threats through bullhorns, vandalizing property, pounding on the doors of homes and ter… https://t.co/pywpeHuEkc— Josh Hawley (@Josh Hawley) 1609821160.0
Then on Tuesday morning, after the Post article was published, Hawley hit the group again on Twitter, slamming their "outright lies."
The Antifa group "now describe themselves as sweet angels," he said. "BS. You screamed through bullhorns, shouted down my wife when she asked you to leave, vandalized property, pounded on our door, and terrorized neighbors."
And didn’t have the guts to do it in daylight, but only under cover of darkness so you could hide. You’re scum. And we won’t be intimidated— Josh Hawley (@Josh Hawley) 1609856350.0