Top Senate Democrats Call For Hawley, Cruz To Resign Over Capitol Attack

 Top Senate Democrats Call For Hawley, Cruz To Resign Over Capitol Attack

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Topline

A growing number of Democrats in Congress are calling on Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who have been accused of culpability in the Capitol attack on Wednesday for their efforts to overturn the election, to resign.

Congress Holds Joint Session To Ratify 2020 Presidential Election

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) talks with house members during a joint session of … [+] Congress to certify the 2020 Electoral College results on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

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Key Facts

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) – the No. 3 Senate Democrat – is the highest-ranking Democrat to call for their resignations, arguing in a statement, “Any Senator who stands up and supports the power of force over the power of democracy has broken their oath of office.”

The development comes after Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a close ally of President-elect Biden known for his relationships with GOP lawmakers, said of the two senators on Thursday: “I think they should resign.”

Progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told Cruz on Thursday to “accept responsibility for how your craven, self-serving actions contributed to the deaths of four people,” and said he and Hawley should be expelled if they do not resign.

“I will never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections,” Hawley said in a statement to Forbes, adding, “That’s my job, and I will keep doing it.”

Key Background

Hawley and Cruz led the charge to object to President-elect Joe Biden electors, the process which was abruptly halted Wednesday after supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol in an effort to force lawmakers to overturn the election. The Capitol then went into lockdown, but even after lawmakers regrouped following the attack and some withdrew their objections, Hawley proceeded to argue in favor of Cruz’s objection to Arizona’s electors and lodge his own objection to Pennsylvania’s electors. The move drew the ire of senators on both sides of the aisle.

Chief Critic

Cruz swatted down calls for his resignation in an interview with Texas ABC Affiliate KTRK, accusing Democrats of “playing politics” and “trying to attack strong conservative leaders.”

Tangent

Hawley has not addressed the calls, but he decried Simon & Schuster’s decision to rescind his book deal, calling it a “direct assault on the First Amendment” and threatening legal action.

What To Watch For

It is unlikely Cruz or Hawley will resign, and a resolution introduced by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to expel them and others who objected to Biden’s electors has not drawn broad support from lawmakers in either party.