Ted Cruz’s mentor believes senator ‘was the most influential figure in Congress’ involved in MAGA riot
Senator Ted Cruz speaking with attendees at the 2021 Young Latino Leadership Summit. (Gage Skidmore)

The role that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) played in "leading the charge" to steal the 2020 election for Donald Trump now has become a focus of investigators for the U.S. House of Representatives' select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

The Washington Post today reports that its examination of Cruz’s actions between Election Day and Jan. 6, 2021, "shows just how deeply he was involved, working directly with Trump to concoct a plan that came closer than widely realized to keeping him in power." The newspaper says that the House committee in particular is looking into whether Cruz was in contact with Trump lawyer John Eastman, a conservative attorney who has been Cruz's friend for decades and who wrote key legal memos aimed at denying Biden’s victory.

WaPo writes: "As Eastman outlined a scenario in which Vice President Mike Pence could deny certifying Biden’s election, Cruz crafted a complementary plan in the Senate. He proposed objecting to the results in six swing states and delaying accepting the electoral college results on Jan. 6 in favor of a 10-day 'audit' — thus potentially enabling GOP state legislatures to overturn the result. Ten other senators backed his proposal, which Cruz continued to advocate on the day rioters attacked the Capitol.

The committee’s interest in Cruz is important as investigators zero in on how closely Trump’s allies coordinated with members of Congress in the attempt to block or delay certifying Biden’s victory.

"The Jan. 6 committee’s investigators have recently focused on Eastman’s efforts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to declare Trump the winner. Until now, however, there has been little public notice that Cruz and Eastman have known each other since they clerked together 27 years ago for then-U.S. Appeals Court Judge J. Michael Luttig.

Luttig told The Post that he believes that Cruz — who once said that Luttig was “like a father to me” — played a paramount role in the events leading to Jan. 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 said in a statement to 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.”

Eastman, asked in an inquiry by a lawyer for the Jan. 6 committee whether he had “any communication with Senator Ted Cruz regarding efforts to change the outcome of the 2020 election,” declined to answer by invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.