A Texas lawyer has filed the first lawsuit challenging Canada-born presidential hopeful Ted Cruz’s eligibility — and the senator’s archrival Donald Trump is reveling in the “birther” moment, according to The New York Daily News. “Ted Cruz was born in Canada and was a Canadian citizen until 15 months ago. Lawsuits have just been filed with more to follow. I told you so,” the bombastic billionaire tweeted early Saturday.
Trump gleefully followed up with a second attack alluding to new accusations that Cruz failed to disclose nearly $1 million in loans during his Senate campaign. “Based on the fact that Ted Cruz was born in Canada and is therefore a “natural born Canadian,” did he borrow unreported loans from C banks?” he asked.
Earlier this week, Cruz insulted Trump and his “New York values” — a dig that infuriated local politicians and inspired Daily News to declare “Drop Dead, Ted” on its Friday front page. Houston-based attorney Newton Schwartz filed a 28-page complaint Thursday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if Cruz, who was born in Alberta to an American mother and Cuban father, can legally become President.
“This 229-year question has never been pled, presented to or finally decided by or resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court,” the 85-year-old lawyer wrote. “Only the U.S. Supreme Court can finally decide, determine judicially and settle this issue now.” The U.S. Constitution states that “no Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”
The Texas senator has maintained that because his mother is American, he became a U.S. citizen at birth. Cruz, who moved from Calgary to Houston when he was 4, said he didn’t realize he still had Canadian citizenship until the Dallas Morning News raised the question in 2013. He renounced his Canada ties in 2014. Trump has brought up Cruz’s Canadian birthplace repeatedly as the two Republicans battle it out in pre-primary polls. Earlier this week, Trump suggested a lawsuit was on the line.
“The Democrats are going to bring a lawsuit if he’s the nominee,” Trump said. “Because he was born in Canada. He was a Canadian citizen until 15 months ago — which is hard to believe, a lot of people don’t even believe that but he was a U.S.-Canadian — and he’s got a real problem.”
In his Thursday complaint, Schwartz asked his birther case be expedited since “time is of the essence” as the Feb. 1 Iowa caucus rapidly approaches. “The long and short of it is we just want a decision” he said.
In addition to eligibility questions, Cruz has faced scrutiny over a New York Times report that he had failed to disclose in Federal Ethics Commission filings almost $1 million in loans from Citibank and Goldman Sachs, where his wife works.
Cruz called the story a “hit piece” — but his opponents have not let the issue slide. “Ted Cruz said he “didn’t know” that he was a Canadian Citizen. He also FORGOT to file his Goldman Sachs Million $ loan papers. Not believable,” Trump tweeted. “Goldman Sachs owns him, he will do anything they demand. Not much of a reformer!”