AUSTIN (KXAN) — Sen. John Cornyn will not call on Sen. Ted Cruz to resign or be removed from office in the wake of the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 that left five people dead.
Cruz volunteered to argue Texas’ failed lawsuit to overturn election results in four battleground states and objected to the certification of Electoral College votes that preceded the deadly riot.
Cornyn, Texas’ senior U.S. Senator and a fellow Republican, does not believe Cruz bears any responsibility for the riot.
“No, I don’t,” Cornyn said in an interview with KXAN on Thursday. “Free speech gives people the right to be wrong. It gives them a right to express their strongly held views.”
Brian Smith, a political science professor at St. Andrew’s University in Austin, said Cruz is unlikely to resign unless leading Texas Republicans make the demand.
“For Ted Cruz, he’s always been a smart politician. Whether you like him or not, he’s very strategic, and if he thinks he can hang on, he’s not going to resign,” Smith said.
Video captured by a reporter for “The New Yorker” shows one rioter at the U.S. Capitol using Cruz as justification.
“Cruz would want us to do this,” the man said.