Sen. Ted Cruz had a message for Democrats who want him tried for treason for seeking an emergency election audit: “Calm down.”
The Texas Republican came under fire after announcing Saturday that he and 10 GOP senators will vote to dispute the 2020 Electoral College certification on Jan. 6 unless Congress appoints an Electoral Commission to conduct a 10-day audit of fraud allegations in disputed states.
“Well, listen, I think everyone needs to calm down. I think we need to tone down the rhetoric,” Mr. Cruz said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.” “This is already a volatile situation. It’s like a tinderbox and throwing lit matches into it.”
He said that “yesterday, when I released my statement with 10 other senators, I had multiple, multiple Democrats urging that I should be arrested and tried for the crimes of sedition and treason.”
In a separate statement last week, Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, said he would object to the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election, which saw President-elect Joseph R. Biden declared the winner amid allegations of voter fraud in some key swing states.
Challenges filed by President Trump’s campaign and others have been rejected by multiple courts, in some cases on procedural grounds, while Attorney General William P. Barr said Dec. 1 that he had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would alter the result of the election.
Mr. Cruz, who said he would have preferred to see the Supreme Court take up the issue, argued that Mr. Barr was “speaking as to the evidence the Department of Justice saw.”
“The Department of Justice wasn’t administering any elections, did not have access to particularly widespread evidence on either side of the issue,” Mr. Cruz said.
“As for the states, there are a lot of people in the states and state legislatures who have expressed deep, deep concerns about the unlawful practices that we saw on Election Day, that we saw particularly cities controlled by Democratic politicians shutting down the vote, throwing out observer, disregarding the law,” he said.
Such an emergency Electoral Commission has a precedent — the 1876 presidential results were evaluated by a commission after allegations of fraud — and would only take 10 days, meaning the audit would be finished before the Jan. 20 inauguration, Mr. Cruz said.
He added that “dismissing these claims, I think, does real violence to our democratic system. We ought to have a serious, fair process and tribunal to consider these claims, consider them quickly, consider them expeditiously. We can do it in 10 days before the inauguration.”
A Reuters/IPSOS poll released Nov. 18 found that 39% of Americans surveyed said they were concerned the election was rigged, including 68% of Republicans, 16% of Democrats and 31% of independents.
“I think that would take major steps towards reestablishing trust in our democratic process,” Mr. Cruz said. “And I believe that should be a bipartisan objective. We may be too divided today for that to happen, but Democrats should be interested in Americans having confidence in our electoral system, just as much as Republicans should be.”
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