- Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore
- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz smirks from the stage at a 2019 event hosted by conservative group Turning Point USA.
In an interview with the news site, the Texas Republican said that if someone assaulted a police officer during the melee, "they should spend a long, long time in jail."
“If, on the other hand, the Biden administration is targeting and persecuting people for exercising political speech that is nonviolent and simply expressing their peaceful support for a political party different from that in power, that is not the purpose of our criminal justice system,” added Cruz, one of the six senators who still voted to object to the electoral college's count of the 2020 election following the breach.
To date, more than 570 people have been charged since the attack, according to Huff Post, most for low-level misdemeanors related to trespassing. The site further points out that those who breached the Capitol were doing more than expressing their “peaceful support for a political party."
Beyond that, the claim that the insurrectionists who sacked the United States' center of representative democracy are being railroaded for simply exercising their First Amendment rights doesn't exactly put Cruz in the company of serious legislators.
U.S. Reps. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Matt Gaetz, R-Florida; and Marjorie Taylor-Greene, R-Georgia, seized on similar claims during a late-July publicity stunt in which they demanded to visit jailed January 6 rioters. And so did U.S. Rep. Andrew S. Clyde, R-Georgia, who was widely ridiculed after comparing the mob to a “normal tourist visit.”
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