Ted Cruz’s Former Mentor Just Ripped Him a New Asshole

A deep-dive into the Texas Senator's coup-enabling behavior contained a delicious tidbit.

Ted Cruz’s Former Mentor Just Ripped Him a New Asshole
Photo:Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images (Getty Images)

Long before he was a menace to airport workers, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) clerked for federal appeals court judge Michael Luttig and developed a strong relationship with him. The New York Times wrote in 2016 that Cruz had described Luttig—a President George H.W. Bush appointee—as “like a father to me.”

Luttig is now retired, and he used some of his free time to talk to The Washington Post for its investigation of Cruz’ involvement in efforts to overturn the 2020 election and keep former President Donald Trump in power. The Post reports that Cruz worked directly with Trump to challenge the election and that his efforts are “of interest” to the House of Representatives January 6th Select Committee.

Here’s a top-level summary of Cruz’s plan:

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 former judge basically told the Post that the insurrection was his former clerk’s fault and that Cruz used his legal knowledge for evil.

“Once Ted Cruz promised to object [to the results in six swing states], 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. “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.”

Luttig later implied that Cruz sold his soul to Trump because he wants to be president: “Such is Republican politics of the moment, that presidential and congressional aspirants will purchase the former president’s blessing and approval at any price.” Ouch.

These delicious quotes come after a week in which Cruz very publicly reminded us why no one likes him. First, he yelled at “Do you know who I am?” at Montana airport employees when he was worried about missing his flight back to Washington, D.C. Cruz may have been heated because he didn’t want to be late for his moment to ask Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson if babies are racist. (The man loves an ill-timed vacation, as my colleague Caitlin noted.) As Cruz was preparing to present his little posters from children’s books, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) reminded everyone that Cruz’s former boss, Judge Luttig, had endorsed Jackson’s nomination—which is just a perfect cherry on this mentor-mentee saga.

But back to the attempted coup for a sec: The Post reports that the January 6th Committee is particularly interested in “whether Cruz was in contact with Trump lawyer John Eastman, a conservative attorney who has been his friend for decades and who wrote key legal memos aimed at denying Biden’s victory.”

Eastman, for his part, would prefer the committee not find out!

Eastman is fighting efforts by the committee to obtain emails that contain the word “Cruz,” among other search terms. In a filing, Eastman’s lawyer wrote that the committee’s subpoena of such records represents an effort “to sift through several months of Dr. Eastman’s political and personal communications which may have no connection to January 6.”
U.S. District Judge David O. Carter on Monday ruled that Eastman had to turn over 101 documents to the Jan. 6 committee, but the decision did not say if that included any emails involving Cruz. The decision came in a ruling that said it is “more likely than not that President Trump and Dr. Eastman dishonestly conspired to obstruct” the Jan. 6 counting of the electoral college vote.

Seems bad!! And seems like Cruz may eventually get hauled in front of the committee to testify.

We’ll be watching, Teddy.

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