Shortly after Cruz questioned Arizona results on Wednesday afternoon, the rioters overtook the Capitol, forcing Congress to suspend the certification process for the 2020 election. Several people died in the riots, including a woman who was shot and killed by US Capitol police and a US Capitol police officer. Later that night, after the Senate re-convened, Hawley dismissed the Pennsylvania results.
Since the uprising, Cruz and Hawley have faced backlash from their peers accusing them of instigating violence by questioning the 2020 election results. Hawley and Cruz both condemned the violence on Wednesday. On Thursday morning Cruz said the Justice Department should “vigorously pursue” everyone involved and called for a peaceful transfer of power.
A Hawley spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Cruz rejected democratic demands for his resignation in an interview with KTRK.
“Nobody should be surprised when Democrats are playing politics and when they attack and try to attack strong Conservative leaders,” said Cruz. “I find it really cynical when you try to take advantage of the tragic event that took place in Washington yesterday.”
Cruz and Hawley continued to face criticism Thursday. Former Republican Senator John Danforth told St. Louis Post-Dispatch that endorsing Hawley’s 2018 Senate campaign was “the worst mistake I have ever made in my life.” And Simon and Schuster also announced that they would cancel the publication of his upcoming book.
Both Conservative Senators are widely viewed as potential candidates for 2024.