3 Oklahoma Congressional Delegation members defend decision to challenge Electoral College vote in wake of mob attack on U.S. Capitol

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WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: A Capitol police officer looks oout of a broken window as protesters gather on the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation’s capital during a joint session Congress to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (KFOR) – Some members of Oklahoma’s Congressional Delegation are defending their objection to the Electoral College vote, one day after a mob of Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol during the vote count.

The mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Complex on Wednesday, damaging property and injuring Capitol police officers as Vice President Mike Pence and a joint session of Congress were counting Electoral College votes during the process to confirm the election of President-elect Joe Biden.

Lawmakers who announced their decision to object to the electoral vote count were criticized, accused of emboldening those who participated in the mob violence.

Rep. Stephanie Bice (OK-05), who is starting her first term in Congress, challenged the Electoral College votes. She issued a statement on Thursday, defending her objection and criticizing the mob’s actions. That statement is as follows:

“What happened inside our nation’s Capitol yesterday was not a reflection of who we are as a country. Peaceful protests are the foundation of this nation, but yesterday’s acts were far from a peaceful demonstration. I do not condone what these rioters have done, and I hope to see them prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Many have questioned my decision to support challenging states’ electoral college votes. Let me be clear – my vote represented my desire to ensure the security of elections across the country, not to overturn an election. Any other reason for my support of challenging the certification of the votes is categorically false.

You may remember, Oklahoma’s election laws were jeopardized last year due to a Supreme Court decision to strike the notary requirement for absentee ballots. Had Oklahoma’s legislature not been in session to reinstitute the notary requirement, many would question the integrity of our state’s elections. Judicial or Executive decrees should not determine how elections are administered, state legislatures have that responsibility.

Thank you to those who prayed for our safety or reached out to confirm our wellbeing. I am incredibly thankful for the US Capitol Police and other coordinated law enforcement for their heroic efforts to ensure the safety of me and my staff. We are shaken but not deterred in our duty to continue the work for the people of the 5th District.”

Rep. Stephanie Bice

Rep. Kevin Hern (OK-01) also challenged the Electoral College vote. He issued this statement on Thursday:

“This was a sad day in our nation’s history. Our Capitol building has been a symbol of American freedoms and democracy around the world, yet it was invaded by law breakers seeking to undermine our republican form of government and erode those ideals. There is no excuse for the violent actions witnessed in the halls of Congress. This summer, when Antifa rioters burned American cities to the ground and held Portland hostage for over 100 days, I called for the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of those involved. I consider the crimes committed at the Capitol today to be of the same magnitude, and I support the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of those involved in the violent acts to the full extent of the law.

Despite the disruptive and dangerous acts of criminal rioters, I will not back down. The actions of those bad actors do not change the facts and questions surrounding the 2020 presidential election. I have a duty to stand firm with the millions of Americans across the country who share deep and legitimate concerns about the integrity of our election system and the unconstitutional changes to the election laws in certain states during the presidential election.”

This objection is important, regardless of who lives in the White House, because the sanctity of our elections is critical to the function of our government. This is not about any one man, or any one party. Nor is this unprecedented – Democrats in Congress have objected to the certification of electoral college votes over concerns with election integrity in multiple elections over the past few decades. This debate was about protecting our sacred right to vote and ensuring the security of our elections.

America has always been an inspiration to democracies around the world, yet millions of our own citizens have lost faith in the validity of their votes. We owe it to the American people to ensure without a shadow of a doubt that our elections are safe from fraud and have not been influenced by nefarious actors – whether foreign or domestic. I remain committed to working in Congress to take actions within our authority to protect our future elections.”

Rep. Kevin Hern

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) was in House chambers as the mob tried to break in on Wednesday.

Mullin challenged the Electoral College vote. KFOR anchor Kevin Ogle asked Mullin on Wednesday for his response to criticism that Trump and lawmakers, including Mullin, fanned flames that led to the violent mob action by objecting to certify the election.

“That’s absolutely ridiculous. Look, we’re all responsible for our own actions at the end of the day,” Mullin said.

Both Rep. Frank Lucas (OK-03) and Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04) objected to the electoral vote count. Neither released a statement on Thursday regarding their decision to object in the wake of the violent mob action.

Senator Jim Inhofe did not object to the electoral vote count. Senator James Lankford initially objected, but changed course following the mob attack on the Capitol.

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