- Ted Cruz had a complex plan to help Trump overturn the last election, per The Washington Post.
- But the plan lost Cruz the support of many close advisers, the report said.
- Trump and Cruz were once bitter rivals, but Cruz is now one of his closest allies.
Sen. Ted Cruz lost yearslong friendships and professional relationships over the he took to help Donald Trump attempt to retain power after his defeat in the 2020 election, The Washington Post reported.
The Post reported Monday that Cruz was investigated by the House Jan 6 commission over his support for Trump’s attempts to cling onto power in 2020, and communications he may have had with John Eastman, a pro-Trump lawyer.
Eastman drafted a controversial memo outlining ways Trump could overturn the Electoral College vote and remain in office despite being beaten by Biden. Eastman is suspected by the commission of a plot to try and illegally subvert the election.
Cruz was closely involved in Trump’s bid to hold on to power, and in the process alienated close aides and advisors, the Post report said.
Cruz provisionally agreed in December 2020 to represent Trump in the Supreme Court on a case being pursued by the Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, seeking to get the election results overturned in four states.
The case was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court. But Cruz’s support for the case, which was based on bogus election fraud claims, shocked one advisor who saw it as a betrayal of Cruz’s political principles.
“He somehow contorted in his mind that it would be okay for him to argue that case,” said the adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to the Post.
Afterwards, the report says, Cruz switched to trying to delay Biden’s certification as president by refusing to certify the election results in some states and arguing for a recount.
It aligned with Eastman’s plan, which sketched a path for Trump to remain in power through Vice President Mike Pence blocking Biden’s certification on the basis of the unproven fraud claims.
Former US Appeals Court Judge J. Michael Luttig, who acted as a mentor to both Cruz and Eastman, told the Post that Cruz’s support for overturning the election had been pivotal for Trump.
“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 publication.
“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.”
Cruz got strong pushback to the plan came from several other advisers, the Post said. Per its report, they urged Cruz not to support Trump’s election fraud “Big Lie.”
Chad Sweet, the former chairman of Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign, in a LinkedIn post said he told Cruz “that if he proceeded to object to the electoral count of the legitimate slates of delegates certified by the States, I could no longer support him.”
As pro-Trump rioters attacked Congress on January 6, Cruz refused to certify Biden’s victory in Arizona before being taken to safety by security officials.
Not long after, the rioters breached the building, prompting the proceedings to be halted until after the attack was over.
A spokesman for Cruz told the Post that the senator had never seen Eastman’s memo.
“Sen. Cruz has been friends with John Eastman since they clerked together in 1995,” said the spokesperson. “To the best of his recollection, he did not read the Eastman memo until months after January 6, when it was publicly reported.”
The extraordinary lengths Cruz went to back Trump contrast with the rancor that existed between them as they competed to be the Republican presidential nominee back in 2016.
In that contest, Trump insulted Cruz’s wife and insinuated that his father was involved in a plot to assassinate President John F Kennedy. Cruz in return refused to endorse Trump.