Cruz and 10 other senators announced their plan to challenge Electoral College votes from disputed states over concerns that the 2020 election “featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations, and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.”
The senator from the Lone Star State said in a new interview that after the senators made the announcement, Democrats started pressing that Cruz “should be arrested and tried for the crimes of sedition and treason.”
“Well, listen, I think everyone needs to calm down. I think we need to tone down the rhetoric,” Cruz told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. “This is already a volatile situation. It’s like a tinderbox and throwing lit matches into it.”
He said the “hyperbole” and “angry language” used to comment on his announcement was “not helpful” and that it was Congress’s role to look at the assertions to rebuild trust in the democratic procedures for the future.
Cruz elaborated that the idea for forming an electoral commission to conduct an emergency audit was to ease concerns from both sides.
He said that he believes Congress should not simply disregard and drop declarations of voter fraud but also that election results should not be set aside because a lawmaker’s favored candidate did not win.
He said his suggestion for an electoral commission was a third option that is moored in the law and backed by historical precedents.
He cited the 1876 presidential election between Republican nominee Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat nominee Democrat Samuel J. Tilden. During that race, three states—Louisiana, Florida, and South Carolina—as well as one electoral vote from Oregon stayed in conflict. The three disputed states, which were contradicted due to voter fraud allegations and election irregularities, had submitted two sets of electoral ballots.
As a settlement, Congress in 1877 established a bipartisan electoral commission made up of five House members, five Senators, and five Supreme Court justices to hear the cases and judge how the unassigned electoral votes should be granted.
“They considered evidence, they examined the ballots, and they made a determination based upon what the disputed ballots [are] and what the outcome should be,” Cruz said.
“What I’m arguing for is Congress ought to do the same thing.”
The Texas senator said that he thinks the Supreme Court is the “better forum” to hear voter fraud allegations but because the current board had denied hearing some of the election debates that have reached its doors, it is now Congress’s responsibility to look at the issues.
“We have an independent responsibility to the Constitution. We have an independent obligation to the rule of law,” he said.