Next Monday, February 8, the second impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump will begin in the U.S. Senate, and the American public will get to watch every second of the proceedings on live television.
Another process will also be taking place very soon in the Senate, but as Politico notes, it will take place behind closed doors and could result in two Republican senators — Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri — being hit with severe judgements that might end their political careers.
The Senate Ethics Committee is on the verge of taking a long look at Cruz and Hawley’s connections to the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol which left several dead and terrorized both Congress and the nation:
The committee is headed by Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), who has called for Cruz and Hawley to resign. The ranking Republican on the committee is James Lankford of Oklahoma, who had planned to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election before the Capitol was attacked.
But what can we expect from such a secretive process? That remains unclear, but the final report from committee members could well determine if indeed Cruz and Hawley will remain senators. After all, a recommendation of censure or expulsion could be the kiss of death.
Looking at both recent and more distant history from the Senate Ethics Committee may give us a better picture of what we can expect in the matter of Sens. Cruz and Hawley:
“In 2018 the panel ‘severely admonished’ Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) for accepting gifts and advancing the interests of a Florida man; in 2012 the committee found that former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) had made improper contact with a former Senate aide in 2009.
“(The late Senator Joe) McCarthy was censured by the Senate for abusing his position to make accusations about communists infiltrating the federal government. The resolution stated that McCarthy ‘acted contrary to senatorial ethics.'”
Will Cruz and Hawley be the next senators excoriated by the ethics committee? Only time will tell.