The Houston Chronicle’s editorial board is calling for Sen. Ted Cruz (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 Trump a short distance away,” the editorial board wrote.

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.

Rioters swarmed the Capitol as Congress met to certify President-elect Joe Biden’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 Hawley (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. 

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 Wyden (Ore.), Patty Murray (Wash.) and Chris Coons (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.”

Tags 2020 election Capitol breach Capitol riot Chris Coons Donald Trump Donald Trump Joe Biden election challenges Houston Chronicle Joe Biden Josh Hawley kansas city Missouri Patty Murray Ron Wyden Senate Ted Cruz Texas Trump election claims

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