Publisher Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that it will no longer publish Sen. Josh Hawley's (R-Mo.) upcoming book, citing "his role" in the events that led to Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday as Congress prepared to certify President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College win.
Hawley told the publisher in reaction, "We'll see you in court."
What are the details?
Simon & Schuster issued a public statement saying:
After witnessing the disturbing, deadly insurrection that took place on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Simon & Schuster has decided to cancel publication of Senator Josh Hawley's forthcoming book, THE TYRANNY OF BIG TECH. We did not come to this decision lightly. As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voice and viewpoints; at the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.
Hawley responded with a statement of his own, which read:
This could not be more Orwellian. Simon & Schuster is canceling my contract because I was representing my constituents, leading a debate on the Senate floor on voter integrity, which they have now decided to redefine as sedition. Let me be clear, this is not just a contract dispute. It's a direct assault on the First Amendment. Only approved speech can now be published. This is the Left looking to cancel everyone they don't approve of. I will fight this cancel culture with everything I have. We'll see you in court.
Hawley, who was the first senator to declare he would object to some of Biden's electoral votes, has faced heavy criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for leading the charge in the upper chamber that was followed by roughly a dozen more GOP members who promised to contest the election results along with more than 100 House Republicans.
After the Capitol was sieged in an attack that caused lawmakers to flee the House and Senate chambers and left one protester fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer, some Republicans changed their minds. Ultimately, the Electoral College votes were overwhelmingly approved.
Hawley stayed the course and contested the Electoral College votes in some states along with a handful of his colleagues, but the junior senator from Missouri has faced the harshest criticism for leading the charge in challenging the election results in the aftermath of the attack on the Capitol.
Popular former Missouri Sen. John Danforth (R) told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday, "Supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the Senate was the worst mistake I ever made in my life."
The Kansas City Star's editorial board declared that Hawley "has blood on his hands."
When CNN asked Hawley Thursday whether President Donald Trump deserved any blame for the Capitol siege, the senator replied, "I don't think urging people to come to the Capitol was a good idea."
He added, "The responsibility of violent criminal acts is with violent criminals."