Multiple Democratic senators are calling on Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) to resign because of their roles in objecting to the certification of Joe Biden’s election.
Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the incoming chairman of the powerful Finance Committee, became the second Senate Democrat on Friday to urge the GOP lawmakers to step down.
“Every member of the Senate takes a sacred oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Upholding that oath is a matter of conscience. The behavior of President Trump and Senators Hawley and Cruz culminating in the assault on the seat of our democracy shocks that conscience,” Wyden said in a statement.
Wyden said: “Any senator exhorting such an assault violates their sworn oath and is unworthy of holding federal office.”
He said “there must be consequences for senators who would foment a violent mob for personal gain.”
“I call on Sens. Hawley and Cruz to resign and accept the responsibility which they so clearly bear,” he said.
Wyden’s statement came shortly after Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the No. 3-ranking Senate Democrat, called for Cruz and Hawley to step down for challenging the validity of Biden’s victory.
“The violent mob that attacked the Capitol was made up of people who don’t accept democracy, and want to take this country by use of force,” Murray said.
“At the end of the day, our job is to keep this country a democracy where voices win, not brute force. Any senator who stands up and supports the power of force or the power of democracy has broken their oath of office,” she said. “Senators Hawley and Cruz should resign.”
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), one of Biden’s closest allies in Congress, said Friday he also supports calls for Cruz and Hawley to step aside.
“Yes, I think they should resign,” he said during a press conference in Wilmington.
The storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob Wednesday resulted in the death of a Capitol Hill police officer and dozens of injuries.
A spokesperson for Cruz responded by accusing Murray of hypocrisy for not condemning the takeover of downtown Seattle by protesters this summer, part of a wave of social unrest sparked by police brutality against African Americans.
“Sen. Murray’s rhetoric is hypocritical, dishonest, and dangerous. Sen. Cruz immediately condemned this terrorist attack and called for anyone who stormed the Capitol to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” the Cruz aide said.
“Sen. Cruz has always condemned political violence of all kinds, unlike Sen. Murray, who this summer defended what she called a ‘vital’ and ‘legitimate’ insurrection in her home state that resulted in four shootings, two deaths, multiple alleged sexual assaults, mass looting, and arson.”
Hawley said he would not apologize for simply acting on the concerns of constituents who think the election was marred by misconduct and irregularities.
“I will never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections. That’s my job, and I will keep doing it,” he said.
Trump’s legal team has failed to back up its claims of widespread voter fraud with evidence and Republican- and Democratic-appointed judges have dismissed dozens of their challenges.
Hawley condemned the violence against Capitol Police on Wednesday.
“I want to thank law enforcement all across this country,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of violence against law enforcement and today we saw it here in the Capitol of the United States.
“In this country, in the United States of America, we cannot say emphatically enough, violence is not how you achieve change,” he said.
Updated: 7:57 p.m.