Ted Cruz’s Efforts to Keep Trump in Office Went Far Deeper Than We Knew

A new report from the Post also documents some of the powerful friends he’s lost along the way.

Rod Lamke/CNP/Zuma

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Ted Cruz knows a thing or two about the Constitution—or at least he should. After attending Harvard Law School, the Texas senator once clerked for US Appeals Court Judge J. Michael Luttig, advised George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, and served as Texas’ solicitor general.

But none of that extensive legal experience stopped him from apparently attempting to undermine the law of the land in an audacious bid to keep former President Donald Trump in office for another four years. In fact, it seems as though Cruz’s intimate knowledge of the Constitution spurred him to play a key role in the scheme to overturn the 2020 election.

Cruz’s efforts to drum up public fear of widespread voter fraud, despite its virtual nonexistence, are well recorded. Now, the Washington Post reports that in conjunction with Trump lawyer John Eastman, Cruz devised a plan to contest the election results in six swing states, and, crucially, to delay the acceptance of the Electoral College results until after a 10-day “audit.” The plan reportedly hinged on a constitutional clause that suggests that states have wide latitude in selecting electors: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors.”

But Cruz would have had needed a lot more people on his side for his plan to succeed. Unsurprisingly, very few of the players in Cruz’s illustrious legal career supported this brazen ploy at subverting the Constitution. In fact, he eventually lost the support of Chad Sweet, who had chaired his 2016 presidential campaign, and of Carly Fiorina, his former running mate. Cruz’s communications director, Lauren Bianchi, also resigned after he rejected her advice and instead voted to contest Pennsylvania’s election results. And Luttig, the judge whom Cruz has looked up to as a father figure, has been speaking to the House committee investigating January 6.

“Once Ted Cruz promised to object, January 6 was all but foreordained, because Cruz was the most influential figure in the Congress willing to force a vote on Trump’s claim that the election was stolen,” Luttig told the Post. “He was also the most knowledgeable of the intricacies of both the Electoral Count Act and the Constitution, and the ways to exploit the two.”

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