Will Republicans Like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley Face Consequences After the Capitol Attack?


The nation and the world are still sorting through the fallout from the January 6 fascist attack on the U.S. Capitol. Among the questions being asked are what to do about the Republicans who bolstered Trump’s election fraud lies. In particular, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) are facing harsh rebukes of their central role in orchestrating the inevitably doomed parliamentary coup attempt that was delayed by the invasion of pro-Trump forces.

Almost immediately after the events of January 6, calls for their censure in — or even outright expulsion from — the Senate began. Meanwhile, some donor money is drying up, which could change political fortunes moving forward. Cruz is already established as one of his party’s most pompous windbags, and Hawley is a so-called rising star within a party drifting further and further right. Both are considered likely 2024 presidential candidates, and what happens right now — the consequences they face for supporting Trump’s antidemocratic moves — could have major ramifications for their careers.

Importantly, Cruz and Hawley are receiving the most attention, but they aren’t alone. Even after pro-Trump forces forced members of Congress to evacuate the Capitol on January 6, 147 Republicans still voted to support a baseless challenge to Joe Biden’s presidential election victory. The list — on offer here from The New York Times — is a who’s who of people seemingly either ready to support our federal government’s slide into fascism or, as Business Insider reported, too afraid to do anything to stop it.

Here’s what we know right now about what Cruz, Hawley, and the rest are dealing with as of January 14.

Ted Cruz

It’s been a hectic week for Cruz, who has reasserted himself as the Republican Party’s foremost example of what it means to compromise with Trump — no small feat in an exceptionally competitive contest. Cruz has been publicly scolded by an old Yale and Harvard law school professor and denounced by hundreds of his Princeton classmates. His communications director resigned.

Cruz has denounced the violence of January 6, but he also took time in the days immediately after the attack for a Twitter feud with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) as she pressed him to resign, retweeting news coverage of his own tweets. Cruz has said he was trying to “reestablish widespread trust in the system,” but he has also started boosting claims of right-wing censorship by social media companies following Trump getting banned nearly everywhere online by companies fearing further incitement to violence.

AOC isn’t the only person to call for Cruz’s resignation. The Texas Democratic Party, some Senate Democrats, and protests in Texas have also demanded he step down. It may be unlikely that Cruz would step down on his own, but he could face censure in the Senate, where some Democrats are also calling for his expulsion if he doesn’t step down.

It’s up in the air what consequences Cruz may face from within Congress. After he defeated Democrat Beto O’Rourke in 2018, his Senate seat isn’t up for reelection until 2024 — the same year he could mount another presidential campaign after getting beat by Trump in 2016. That year, Cruz was booed at the Republican National Convention when he neglected to endorse Trump. Now, he is one of Trump’s staunchest defenders, seemingly eager to appeal to the 45th president’s loyal following.





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