By Tyler Aquilina
January 07, 2021 at 07:41 PM EST
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Credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Simon & Schuster has canceled plans to publish an upcoming book by Senator Josh Hawley, one of the Republican members of Congress who attempted to overturn the results of the presidential election.

Hawley, a supporter of President Donald Trump and the junior senator from Missouri, drew criticism Wednesday for challenging the election results — both before and after the violence at the U.S. Capitol — and was accused of encouraging the mob of Trump supporters that stormed the Congressional chambers. His book, The Tyranny of Big Tech, was slated for publication in June.

"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," Simon & Schuster said in a statement Thursday. "We did not come to this decision lightly. As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices 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."

In a statement posted to social media, Hawley said, "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."

On the Senate floor Wednesday, Hawley objected to the certification of Joe Biden's victory over Trump in the election, along with six others, citing false allegations of fraud frequently repeated by the president and his supporters. Hawley was the first senator to announce he would challenge the results, and has consistently claimed that the election was fraudulent without providing evidence.

A scathing editorial in the Kansas City Star on Wednesday said Hawley had "blood on his hands" in the wake of the Capitol riot. "Hawley… and other Republicans who upheld Trump's con about widespread fraud knew all along that his claims were bogus," the editorial reads. "Now that they've seen exactly where those lies have landed us, decency demanded that they try to prevent further violence by making clear that President-elect Joe Biden did not win by cheating."

Hawley did not do so. In a statement, he condemned the pro-Trump mob's violence at the Capitol on Wednesday, before returning to the Senate chamber to object to the election results again, even as several of his colleagues relented.

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