- Lawmakers and other public officials in Texas are calling for Sen. Ted Cruz to resign over his role in fomenting the baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election being stolen from President Donald Trump, which culminated in the storming of Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
- Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said Cruz "undermined our democracy, inspired treasonous, seditious acts, and brought shame to Texas."
- Cruz's former opponent, Beto O'Rourke, said in part: "There must be consequences for Cruz's role in the insurrection and his cynical, self serving sedition which inspired the terrorists and coup plotters who stormed the halls of our nation's government."
- The senator also faced criticism over a fundraising email blast that went out just as a massive crowd of Trump supporters breached the Capitol, sparking chaos.
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Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is facing mounting pressure from lawmakers and public officials to resign.
Cruz was the first senator to speak on the floor Wednesday in favor of a commission and 10-day audit of the 2020 election results as part of President Donald Trump's effort to overturn a race he lost. Cruz cited the precedent of 1877, where a group of 15 lawmakers made a deal to install Rutherford B. Hayes as president in exchange for removing federal troops out of former Confederate states during reconstruction.
Minutes after Cruz's speech, a massive pro-Trump mob stormed and breached the Capitol, sparking hourslong pandemonium.
ABC 13, a local affiliate in Texas, compiled the initial calls for Cruz's resignation.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa delivered one of the harshest assessments, saying Cruz "undermined our democracy, inspired treasonous, seditious acts, and brought shame to Texas."
"The tragic results of his actions will reverberate for generations," Hinojosa continued. "By leading the objection to the Electoral College certification, all the while knowing the devastating consequences, he has demonstrated he is not fit to serve in the U.S. Senate."
Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro also called on Cruz to resign, as did his twin brother, Julián, the former presidential candidate and mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014.
Cruz's former opponent, Beto O'Rourke, also condemned the senator's role in undermining faith in the election.
"There must be accountability and there must be consequences for Cruz's role in the insurrection and his cynical, self serving sedition which inspired the terrorists and coup plotters who stormed the halls of our nation's government," O'Rourke said in a statement.
Houston Chief of Police Art Acevedo added to the pile-on.
"You fanned the flames of mistrust and history will hold you accountable for the ensuing chaos," he tweeted. "Outrageous!"
Cruz condemned the violence in a tweet on Wednesday, but did not back down from his push for the commission.
"The Constitution protects peaceful protest, but violence—from Left or Right— is ALWAYS wrong," the senator tweeted.
Cruz's campaign sent out a fundraising email blast about contesting the results as the siege was unfolding on Wednesday, which was scheduled in advance, an aide told ABC 13.
"I'm leading the fight to reject electors from key states unless there is an emergency audit of the election results," Cruz said in the email. "Will you stand with me?"
The unnamed aide quoted by ABC 13 said the email came from "a firm," leaving the Cruz camp unaware of the timing.
"In no way shape or form would he ever have approved this to go out right now," the aide said in a statement to the TV station. "He is dismayed by what's happening in the Capitol and called on those storming the Capitol to stop the violence."
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