Hawl-ing ass: Sen. Josh Hawley booking through Capitol on Jan. 6 is a big hit on Twitter

Thursday's hearing introduced new Jan. 6 video — but Josh Hawley's Capitol exit was the social media fave

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published July 21, 2022 10:04PM (EDT)

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) talks to reporters after an amendment vote on the infrastructure bill at the U.S. Capitol on August 4, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) talks to reporters after an amendment vote on the infrastructure bill at the U.S. Capitol on August 4, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

During Thursday's primetime hearing of the House select committee on Jan. 6, new video evidence was introduced to shed further light on the events of the Capitol siege. Among that footage, nothing made a bigger impression than a clip of Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., making a rapid exit from out of the Capitol as Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and other supporters of Donald Trump roamed through the building.

As Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., pointed out during her hearing remarks, earlier on Jan. 6 Hawley had raised his fist outside the Capitol, in apparent tribute to the protesters who would shortly storm the complex and seriously injure numerous law enforcement officers. Cutting to the footage of Hawley running through the hallway, Luria said, "Later that day, Sen. Hawley fled after those protesters he helped to rile up stormed the Capitol. See for yourself."

"As you can see . . . he raised his fist in solidarity with the protesters already amassing at the security gates," Luria added. "We spoke with a Capitol Police officer who was out there at that time. She told us that Sen. Hawley's gesture riled up the crowd, and it bothered her greatly because he was doing it in a safe space, protected by the officers and the barriers."

The footage earned an immediate response from Twitter, with many reactions ranging the spectrum of shock, awe, and disgust.

"He's running," writer and history teacher Seth Cotlar said.

"New meme GIF just dropped," Dr. Jorge Caballero joked.


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"Live footage of @HawleyMO fleeing the Capitol after riling up an armed mob to overturn the election," wrote Zac Petkanas, a former adviser to Hillary Clinton.

Journalist Dan Przygoda responded with a clip of the Jan. 6 hearing attendees themselves reacting in real time to the footage shown of Hawley. 

Jamelle Bouie, a columnist for the New York Times and CBS News analyst, got creative with his reaction, sharing the following movie clip with the comment "hawley, basically."

And here is the Hawley run set to various movie soundtracks and classic pop hits:


By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon's Nights and Weekends editor, and her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere

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Jan. 6 Committee Josh Hawley