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Simon & Schuster cancels Sen. Josh Hawley's book following Capitol violence

The publisher called the events "disturbing" and a "deadly insurrection."
Image: Congress Holds Joint Session To Ratify 2020 Presidential Election
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., stands in the House Chamber during a reconvening of a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.Win McNamee / Getty Images

Publisher Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that it is shelving Republican Sen. Josh Hawley's book in the wake of hundreds of pro-Trump rioters swarming the U.S. Capitol, which resulted in four deaths and dozens of arrests.

The publisher called the events "disturbing" and a "deadly insurrection."

"We did not come to this decision lightly," the statement said. "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."

Hawley was one of two top Republicans who led an effort to object to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden Electoral College victory, leveling baseless claims of fraud that were encouraged by President Donald Trump.

He has been pilloried by both sides for his role in Wednesday's events — and still went forward with his objection to the Electoral College results in Pennsylvania despite the violent breach. Congress, however affirmed Biden's win in an early-morning vote on Thursday following the violence.

The senator called the canceled book contract an attack on the First Amendment.

“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," he said in a statement Thursday.

Hawley has been an outspoken critic of social media and other tech giants, such as Facebook and Twitter. His book, “The Tyranny of Big Tech,” was slated to be released June 21.

“At a time when these platforms are determining elections, banning inconvenient political views, lining politicians’ pockets with hundreds of millions of dollars, and addicting our kids to screens, I want to draw attention to the robber barons of the modern era,” Hawley said in an October statement announcing the book.