- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 10, 2021

Blame for last week’s assault on Congress is quickly expanding, with Democrats and activist groups now calling for resignations from Senate and House Republicans who backed President Trump’s challenge to the Electoral College count.

Top targets are Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, the highest-profile lawmakers and future presidential aspirants, but others are also being ensnared by the expanding demand for repercussions after the mob attack, which claimed multiple lives and stained American democracy.

The lawmakers led a push to block or delay the Electoral College vote count until after a more thorough probe of voting irregularities could be completed — far short of the aggressive language President Trump used, but still crossing lines in the view of Democrats.

“There must be consequences for senators who would foment a violent mob for personal gain,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat. “I call on Sens. Hawley and Cruz to resign and accept the responsibility which they so clearly bear.”

He didn’t connect any specific statement from either senator to fomenting violence, but said their resignations were necessary.

Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, has also called for her two colleagues to go.

“Any senator who stands up and supports the power of force over the power of democracy has broken their oath of office. Sens. Hawley and Cruz should resign,” she said.

Several hundred people rallied in downtown St. Louis on Saturday to demand Mr. Hawley’s ouster, while in Texas anti-Cruz demonstrators rallied in several cities, including San Antonio, where they gathered at the Alamo.

Mr. Cruz late last week defended his move to challenge the vote, and said he would do it again, saying he was pushing to defend the Constitution.

“The job that I was elected to do is to fight for the people of Texas, and what I was doing is debating on the floor of the Senate election integrity,” Mr. Cruz said. “How we can protect the integrity of our elections. That has nothing to do with this criminal terrorist assault, which was wrong and needs to be prosecuted.”

Mr. Hawley also said he would not apologize “for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections.”

Mr. Hawley has had his book deal canceled by publisher Simon & Schuster, which the senator called a “woke mob.”

Mr. Cruz did say some blame for the assault on the Capitol does lie with Mr. Trump, calling his rhetoric “reckless.”

The president addressed a rally of supporters near the White House on Wednesday, complaining about the electoral-vote counting that was happening up the street at the Capitol and repeating thoroughly debunked claims of fraud and malfeasance. He even verbally attacked his own running mate, Vice President Mike Pence, saying he lacked “courage” in not usurping the count he was presiding over.

An hour after Mr. Trump stepped off the stage, hundreds of his supporters were at the doors of the Capitol, smashing windows and pushing through police barricades to break in. They forced an armed standoff at the doors of the House chamber, took over the Senate chamber and ransacked offices.

Congress would reconvene late Wednesday to finish the electoral-vote count. Some senators who’d previously planned to object to several states’ electoral votes withdrew their objections, but Mr. Cruz and Mr. Hawley pushed ahead, as did dozens of House Republicans.

In the end, they were overwhelmingly rebuffed. The Pennsylvania motion, their best shot, was rejected on a 92-7 vote in the Senate and 282-138 in the House.

Most House Republicans did vote to object, sparking virulent recriminations and demonstrations from activists back in their home states.

On Sunday, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Oregon Democrat, called for the resignations of the GOP’s top two leaders, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise, for advancing “false and inflammatory theories” about the electoral count.

“They should resign in shame,” he said.

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