Senate Democrats are pushing for two of their Republican colleagues to resign following Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol building, claiming that their roles in challenging the results of November’s election helped to “undermine” democracy.
“At a time of deep national division and in the midst of a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, Senators Cruz and Hawley chose to undermine our democracy and feed the big lie that the election was stolen,” Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., tweeted Saturday night. “They should resign immediately.”
Smith joins several other Democrats, including Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Patty Murray, D-Wash.; and Chris Coons, D-Del.
“Both @HawleyMO and @SenTedCruz have betrayed their oaths of office and abetted a violent insurrection on our democracy,” Brown said. “I am calling for their immediate resignations. If they do not resign, the Senate must expel them.”
In an interview with WBOC’s Cassie Semyon, Coons agreed with those calling for the Republicans’ exit.
“Yes, I think they should resign,” he said.
Murray also called for Hawley and Cruz to resign, claiming that “[a]ny Senator who stands up and supports the power of force over the power of democracy has broken their oath of office. Senators Hawley and Cruz should resign.”
While Hawley and Cruz were vocal supporters of the electoral vote objections, neither one endorsed force or violence. Both condemned the violence and said that those who broke the law should face consequences.
Cruz called what happened Wednesday a “terrorist attack” and “a horrific assault on our democracy.” He called for those involved to face prosecution.
In an interview with KXAS-TV, Cruz claimed that by calling for debate in the Senate he was following proper procedure and in no way was involved in violent activity.
“What I was doing is debating on the floor of the Senate election integrity,” Cruz said. “That has nothing to do with this criminal terrorist assault, which was wrong and needs to be prosecuted. It’s exactly the opposite. What I was doing is how you’re supposed to resolve issues in this country.”
Hawley also said that “those who attacked police and broke the law must be prosecuted.”
Fox News’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.