Erin Hawley, the wife of Senator Josh Hawley, has penned an op-ed for Fox News decrying a group of protesters that gathered outside her home in the days before the attack on the US Capitol.
Ms Hawley claimed that on 4 January, a group of about 20 protesters gathered outside her home in Virginia while Mr Hawley was in Missouri.
“I walked upstairs to see approximately 20 protestors standing in front of our house shouting through bullhorns. I stepped outside, baby in arms, and asked them to leave, saying we had a newborn and neighbors. They refused, and I took Abbi back downstairs,” Ms Hawley said in the piece.
She claims that three “large men” pounded at her door and yelled “come out, come out” while they were protesting, and that police arrived to the scene 15 minutes later.
The protesters said they were holding a candlelight vigil outside Mr Hawley’s house to ask him to reconsider his plan to challenge the electoral vote count on 6 January and to “encourage him to reconsider his attack on Democracy.”
Mr Hawley tweeted about the incident and played to the fears of his conservative supporters by blaming the incident on Antifa, despite having no evidence to suggest that the protesters were aligned with that ideology.
“Tonight while I was in Missouri, Antifa scumbags came to our place in DC and threatened my wife and newborn daughter, who can’t travel. They screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open our door. Let me be clear: My family & I will not be intimidated by leftwing violence,” Mr Hawley wrote on Twitter.
Less than 48 hours later, Mr Hawley would go on to wave in solidarity to the horde of Trump supporters who attacked the US Capitol.
Though police did respond to the vigil, no one was arrested, and reports from the evening show there were no violent acts.
Officer Juan Vazquez, a spokesman for the Vienna Police Department in Virginia, told the Kansas City Star that there was no evidence of violence or property damage.
“It was a minor event,” Mr Vazquez said. “Basically we got a call saying there was some sort of protest in front of a residence in our town. … The group was maybe 15 to 20 people.”
According to the officer, the protesters left the area without incident after warning them that they were disrupting a residential neighborhood.
Ms Hawley said the protest – which she called “an assault” – outside her home and the threats she claims were made against her and her family in the days follow were not civil discourse, but just exercises in fear.
“The assault on our home, followed by weeks of personal attacks on our family (from the simple, but sinister, ‘watch your back,’ to much more colorful and descriptive texts, emails, and phone calls) are not civil discourse. They are just meant to frighten,” she said.
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