KEY POINTS

  • Cruz accused of tacitly supporting Capitol unrest
  • He faces mounting calls to resign
  • Five people dead from Wednesday’s violence

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, is facing mounting pressure from lawmakers and the public alike to resign for tacitly inciting unrest at the Capitol building, with a political rival openly accusing him of sedition.

Cruz was one of the more vocal opponents to the results of the Nov. 3 election, pledging to vote against results that showed former Vice President Joe Biden would be the 46th president of the United States. The Republican Senator joined a small group of congressional leaders who said they would object to the certification of the Electoral College votes unless Congress conducted an emergency audit of the results.

Critics said the senator’s insistence on holding to the election fraud narrative was tantamount to inciting violence.

O'Rourke, a Democrat who nearly unseated Cruz in a 2018 race, also said the Republican lawmaker was guilty of sedition -- action taken against the U.S. government.

The courts, Justice Department and FBI all concluded the Nov. 3 election was fair and free of fraud. Defiance, however, culminated with a so-called Stop the Steal rally in Washington D.C. that saw President Donald Trump urging his supporters to march Wednesday on the Capitol building as lawmakers certified the results. The siege left five people dead, including one woman who was shot fatally by Capitol police, and a cop who died after getting struck in the head with a fire extinguisher, sources told the New York Times

Cruz on Twitter posted a message of condolence for the police officer, Brian Sicknick, who died as a result of his injuries on Wednesday.

“Devastating,” his message read. “Heidi and I are lifting up in prayer the family of the U.S. Capitol Police officer who tragically lost his life keeping us safe. He was a true hero. Yesterday's terrorist attack was a horrific assault on our democracy. Every terrorist needs to be fully prosecuted.”

Commenters on social media had none of it, with him not only being accused of having Sicknick's blood on his hands, but telling him he needed to resign.

“This is your fault, resign now,” said David Weissman, an Army vet who describes himself as a former Trump supporter now aligned with The Lincoln Project of Republican officials opposing the president, from his Twitter account.

From Capitol Hill, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat, said online that Cruz should resign immediately.

Commenting on a video of Cruz saying “we will not go quietly” during a rally against the election results, David Hogg, who has been outspoken since the Parkland High School shooting, said that people died as a direct result of his refusal to respect the will of the voters.

In the Texas Tribune, Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston, said it’s becoming increasingly clear that Cruz is damaging his own reputation.

“His challenge of the Electoral College votes helps him among core Trump supporters but risks further damaging his political standing among rank-and-file Republicans like moderates and suburban swing voters who have traditionally formed a stable winning coalition for Republicans in Texas and nationally,” he was quoted as saying on Thursday. “Siding with Trump is risky.”

ted cruz Senator Ted Cruz is pictured in June 2020. Photo: POOL / Tom Williams