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Communications director for Ted Cruz resigns over Capitol riot

Republicans continue to resign in the fallout of the insurrection at the US Capitol by Trump supporters last week.

The communications director for Sen. Ted Cruz – who led the effort on 6 January to contest the electoral vote count to confirm Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election – has resigned over the insurrection.

Lauren Blair Bianchi issued a statement to Punchbowl News after she resigned her position as Mr Cruz’s communications director.

“I’m grateful to Senator Cruz for the opportunity and wish him and his first-rate staff nothing but the best,” she said.

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Mr Cruz’s office said it agreed it would be best for the team and Ms Bianchi to part ways and added that Mr Cruz “thanks her for her service and wishes her the best.”

A source familiar with Ms Bianchi told the outlet that she had become increasingly uncomfortable with Mr Cruz’s actions, namely echoing and supporting Donald Trump’s false claims regarding the outcome of the 2020 election.

Jason Schmid, a top Republican aide in the House Armed Services Committee, also resigned his position, citing his opposition to the 147 House Republicans that back Mr Trump’s fight to overturn the legal results of the election.

Politico first reported Mr Schmid’s resignation letter.

“Anyone who watched those horrible hours unfold should have been galvanized to rebuke these insurrectionists in the strongest terms,” Mr Schmid wrote in his resignation letter. “Instead, some members whom I believed to be leaders in the defense of the nation chose to put political theater ahead of the defense of the Constitution and the republic.”

Mr Schmid said the House Republicans “harmed the ability of every service member, intelligence officer, and diplomat to defend the nation and advance American interests.” He also claimed they “disregarded” American democratic ideals “for cynical political purposes.”

“Regardless of the motivations behind the vote, these members bear the consequences that the men and women in harm’s way will face for many years to come,” Mr Schmid wrote. “I cannot imagine any series of events more damaging to the already fragile US led post-World War II order that has brought more peace and prosperity to the world than at any other time in history.”

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West Virginia State Rep Derrick Evans also resigned after livestreaming himself attacking the US Capitol the day of the insurrection.

“I feel it’s best at this point to resign my seat in the House and focus on my personal situation and those I love,” he said. “I take full responsibility for my actions, and deeply regret any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends, constituents and fellow West Virginians.”

Members of the Trump administration have also resigned in the wake of the insurrection.

Former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos resigned the day after the insurrection.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is married to Sen. Mitch McConnell, also resigned from her position.

On Monday, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf announced he would also step down from his position.

Mick Mulvaney, the US special envoy to Northern Ireland and former White House Chief of Staff resigned as well, citing the riot.

Matthew Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser, resigned, as did Tyler Goodspeed, the acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff and press secretary to first lady Melania Trump.

John Costello, deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and security at the Commerce Department, Sarah Matthews, White House deputy press secretary, and Rickie Niceta, the White House social secretary, also resigned. 

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