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Bipartisan Lawyers’ Coalition Raps Cruz on 2020 Election Efforts

May 20, 2022 by Dan McCue
Bipartisan Lawyers’ Coalition Raps Cruz on 2020 Election Efforts
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, on the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

AUSTIN, Texas – A bipartisan coalition of attorneys asked the Texas State Bar this week to sanction Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for regularly repeating “demonstrably false and misleading statements to the public” in an effort to keep former President Trump in office.

According to its website, the 65 Project is a coalition formed to protect democracy from abuse of the legal system “by holding accountable lawyers who engage in fraudulent and malicious lawsuits to overturn legitimate election results and fuel insurrection.”

It takes its name from the 65 lawsuits it says were filed in a number of swing states after the November 2020 election to overturn the results and give Trump a second term. 

None of those lawsuits proved successful, and in almost every case, the courts involved found the complaints contained in the suits to be false and misguided at best.

In an ethics complaint filed with the Texas State Bar on Wednesday, the coalition said Cruz’s efforts to overturn the presidential election results violated a number of Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.

In its 15-page complaint, the 65 Project claims Cruz agreed to act as a lawyer in litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court in two now discredited cases, Kelly v. Pennsylvania and Texas v. Pennsylvania

In doing so, the coalition said, Cruz assisted “with criminal conduct and defending and amplifying ‘claims not backed by law’ and ‘claims not backed by evidence (but instead, speculation, conjecture, and unwarranted suspicion).’”

The complaint notes that on Dec. 7, 2020, Cruz publicly announced he’d been asked to represent the Pennsylvania Republicans before the U.S. Supreme Court, and that he had agreed. He also made clear that he reviewed the pleadings in advance before agreeing to represent the plaintiffs.

The day after Texas initiated the action, on Dec. 8, 2020, Trump asked Cruz to represent him before the U.S. Supreme Court. Cruz agreed, creating an attorney-client relationship relating to the Texas v. Pennsylvania litigation.

“Importantly, in the leadup to Cruz making these statements, he had been identified not only as taking on the Kelly matter as a lawyer, but as an attorney who has argued and won cases before the U.S. Supreme Court,” the complaint said.

The 65 Project went on to assert that Cruz’s conduct “before and after his involvement in those matters” also raises concerns.

“He regularly sought to intentionally amplify these false claims on multiple occasions and in various forums,” the coalition said.

They cite Cruz wrongly stating on Nov. 5, 2020 that “Democrats were violating the law and setting the stage to potentially steal an election,” and on the same day accusing Philadelphia elections officials of “clouding the vote counting in a shroud of darkness.”

On Jan. 2, 2021, Cruz alleged Pennsylvania’s election was replete with “voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.”

And on Jan. 3, 2021, the coalition said, Cruz sent out a solicitation for campaign contributions declaring he was “leading the charge” to reject electors from states with “disputed” election results.

“Finally, failing to achieve their desired ends through the court, Trump and his supporters turn to preventing Congress from certifying Biden’s victory,” the 65 Project said. “Cruz played a significant role … in the effort.

“He collaborated with Trump and his legal team and worked in concert to pursue a plan designed to keep Trump in the White House — a plan which its proponent admitted violated the law,” the complaint continued.

“The basis for this strategy rested in two memoranda written by John Eastman, one of Trump’s attorneys and a longtime friend of Cruz. Eastman’s memoranda, which have been shown to be grounded in neither law nor fact, recommended that [Vice President] Pence take ‘bold’ action to secure Trump’s victory.

“It also required the cooperation of at least one senator who would assist in delaying things further by demanding the chamber operate under normal rules rather than those required under the Electoral Count Act. Eastman’s memorandum specifically named Cruz as a likely participant,” the complaint said.

Cruz was later one of more than a dozen Republican Senators who objected to certifying Biden’s election victory.

In sum, the 65 Project said “Cruz chose to offer his professional license to Trump’s arsenal during the latter’s assault on our democracy. He cannot be shielded from the consequences of that decision simply because, unlike Trump’s other attorneys, he happens to hold high public office.

Cruz is just the latest of Trump’s allies to be brought to the attention of the Texas State Bar by groups seeking to hold them responsible for their alleged actions.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and assistant attorney general and Dallas attorney Sidney Powell are also reportedly under investigation by the bar.

The Well News reached out to Cruz’s office for comment.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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