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Houston Chronicle calls on Cruz to resign

The Houston Chronicle's editorial board is calling for Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts Pollster Frank Luntz: 'I would bet on' Trump being 2024 GOP nominee Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls MORE (R-Texas) to resign after he helped lead the effort to challenge the 2020 election results in Congress.

The Chronicle, which has been a vocal critic of Cruz over the years, wrote in an opinion piece Friday that the senator’s actions helped fuel Wednesday’s deadly pro-Trump mob at the Capitol.

The Texas senator "knew exactly what he was doing, what he was risking and who he was inciting as he stood on the Senate floor Wednesday and passionately fed the farce of election fraud even as a seething crowd of believers was being whipped up by President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE a short distance away," the editorial board wrote.

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The editorial board blasted what it called "Cruz's cynical gamble," saying he "peddled his phony concern for the integrity of our elections, he argued that senators who voted to certify Biden’s victory would be telling tens of millions of Americans to ‘jump in a lake’ and that their concerns don’t matter."

The editorial board then addressed Cruz directly, arguing that “those terrorists wouldn’t have been at the Capitol if you hadn’t staged this absurd challenge to the 2020 results in the first place.”

Cruz has defended his move to object to certification of the Electoral College count, saying in an interview Friday that he wanted to investigate allegations of fraud in order to "reestablish widespread trust in the system."

“What happened at the Capitol was a despicable act of terrorism,” Cruz said in the interview with Hearst Newspapers. “The violent criminals who attacked the Capitol should be fully prosecuted and they should go to jail for a very, very long time.”

The senator also said that President Trump's rhetoric "certainly contributed to the violence that occurred" when the pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol complex, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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Rioters swarmed the Capitol as Congress met to certify President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE’s win. Several GOP lawmakers ahead of the vote had signaled their support to challenge the validity of certain Biden electors, and Trump ahead of the riots repeated his unsubstantiated claims of a “stolen” election as he urged his supporters at a rally to march toward the Capitol.

Cruz and fellow GOP Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyCheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts Pollster Frank Luntz: 'I would bet on' Trump being 2024 GOP nominee Why isn't Washington defending American companies from foreign assaults? MORE (Mo.) have drawn criticism from fellow lawmakers for seeking to challenge the vote certification, with several Democrats calling on them to resign. Hawley and Cruz proceeded with voting in favor of objecting to slates of Electoral College votes Wednesday, even as some fellow Republicans backed down from the effort following the riot. 

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This week, The Kansas City Star’s editorial board also slammed Hawley, arguing that the senator’s “actions in the last week had such impact that he deserves an impressive share of the blame for the blood that’s been shed.”

Five people died amid Wednesday’s chaos, including a woman who was shot by a Capitol Police officer and an officer who died after suffering injuries while responding to the rioting. Both fatalities are under investigation.

Multiple Democratic senators have called on Cruz and Hawley to step down, including Sens. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenPutting a price on privacy: Ending police data purchases Overnight Health Care: Biden sets goal of at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by July 4 | White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states Pallone commits to using 'whatever vehicle I can' to pass Democrats' drug pricing bill MORE (Ore.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySchumer 'exploring' passing immigration unilaterally if talks unravel Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap House passes bill to combat gender pay gap MORE (Wash.) and Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsUS, Iran signal possible breakthroughs in nuke talks How the United States can pass Civics 101 Americans for Prosperity launches campaign targeting six Democrats to oppose ending filibuster MORE (Del.).

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