Texas newspapers call for resignation of state’s senator Ted Cruz after Capitol riots

Texas Senator Ted Cruz faces calls to resign following his involvement in challenging the Electoral College vote certification

((Reuters))

One of Texas’s leading newspapers has called for the resignation of Senator Ted Cruz following his involvement in challenging the certification of the 2020 election results.

The Houston Chronicle’s editorial board published a scathing piece on Friday, blaming the firebrand Texas senator for his role in encouraging the pro-Trump riots that took place at the US Capitol on 6 January.

“Cruz had helped spin that web of deception and now he was feigning concern that millions of Americans had gotten caught up in it,” the editorial read.

Mr Cruz was one of dozens of Republican lawmakers who objected to the certification of the Electoral College votes from particular states won by president-elect Joe Biden.

The Texas senator joined Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Roger Marshall of Kansas, and John Kennedy of Louisiana in an attempt to throw out the election results in Arizona. Mr Cruz also joined with six other senators to try to overturn the Pennsylvania results.

While senators and representatives were debating the objections on Wednesday, proceedings were interrupted when the Capitol building was breached by a mob of Trump supporters who had gathered at a “stop the steal” rally over the election results in DC.

Following the riot, Mr Cruz tweeted that “yesterday’s terrorist attack was a horrific assault on our democracy. Every terrorist needs to be fully prosecuted.” He also told Fox News that there would be a peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.

But Mr Cruz has faced blame for his involvement in firing up the rioters and making people believe Congress would have the power to change the presidential election results.

“Those terrorists wouldn’t have been at the Capitol if you hadn’t staged this absurd challenge,” the Chronicle’s editorial read.

“We’re done with drama, opportunism, cynical scheming that has now cost American lives,” it continued. “Resign and deliver Texas from the shame of calling you our senator.”

The San Antonio Express-News, another local newspaper in Texas, has also called for the removal of Mr Cruz from office. “If we seek a turning point in support of democracy, then those who have damaged it must be sanctioned and repudiated,” the editorial board writes.

The newspaper was seeking the expulsion of Mr Cruz from his position in the Senate.

Mr Cruz was not the only senator facing calls to resign following the riots. Mr Hawley, the Republican freshman senator from Missouri, has also come under scrutiny. He was the first senator to announce the plan to publicly challenge the Electoral College certification.

After the riots, Congress returned to the Capitol to finish certifying the election results. Some senators and House members who had vowed to object to the certification changed their minds following the day’s violence. But Mr Hawley went ahead with his objections.

Mr Hawley claimed that it was imperative of Congress to have the debate and raise concerns about the election, despite providing little to no proof that would overturn any state results.

Missouri’s Kansas City Star, Mr Hawley’s home-state newspaper, issued a damning editorial that placed the failed insurrection on his shoulders, writing that he “has blood on his hands in Capitol coup attempt.”

“No one other than President Donald Trump himself is more responsible,” the editorial continued.

Five people died in the riots, including a Capitol Police officer who was struck on the head by a fire extinguisher. A female rioter was fatally shot by an officer.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers have also criticised Mr Hawley and Mr Cruz for their involvement in the riots. Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse called Mr Hawley’s challenge to the certification “really dumbass.”

Mr Hawley’s mentor, former Republican Senator John Danforth, even distanced himself following the riots. “Supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the Senate was the worst mistake I ever made in my life,” Mr Danforth told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Both Mr Cruz and Mr Hawley will not face re-election until 2024.

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