OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The one year anniversary of supporters of former President Donald Trump forcing their way into the U.S. Capitol is on Thursday. So far, more than 725 individuals have been charged with various crimes in connection with the deadly Jan. 6 events. One state senator wants to make sure those charged don’t come through Oklahoma.
State Senator Nathan Dahm filed a bill for this upcoming legislative session that would stop the federal government from transporting what he calls “political prisoners” from the January 6th incident at the U.S. Capitol through Oklahoma, through our airspace or over our roads. But some are calling this bill a waste of time and straight political pandering.
“I’m not advocating or promoting any sort of violence, but I’m trying to protect the people of the state of Oklahoma and citizens of other states that are being politically prosecuted,” said Dahm.
The Republican from Broken Arrow is talking about his use of what some might call “inflammatory language” when describing Senate Bill 1166. He say preventing the transport and housing of those charged with January 6th crimes is a question of state rights.
“The feds believe that they can dictate how the states operate, how individuals operate, but that’s the opposite of how it’s supposed to be; they are supposed to work for us, not the other way around,” said Dahm.”Many of the people that entered the Capitol were patriots, many of them had the doors held open for them by law enforcement officers at the capitol building.”
“As if to say what happened last January 6th was not a crime, was tourist just going to our capitol – it’s very disturbing, Brent, what is taking place,” Senator George Young said to KFOR’s Brent Skarky.
The Democrat from Oklahoma City says this legislation is trying to change the narrative of what occurred in Washington, D.C. almost a year ago.
“It is politically motivated. It promotes the types of things that continues to divide us, and that’s what bothers me most,” said Young.
In a statement release on the bill, Dahm doubled down on his claim that the events at the U.S. Capitol were not an insurrection.
“Yes, there was some violence. There was some damage. I’m willing to admit that, but this is not an insurrection like it’s trying to be claimed. If it was an insurrection then the feds should charge people with insurrection,” said Dahm.
Dahm also says he will stand up for “patriots” in this country.
We asked, “Is everyone that went in a ‘patriot’?”
“I wouldn’t make the claim that everyone was because it seems that there was actually potentially some federal instigators and federal informants that were involved in causing some of these things, because there were quite a few people that were involved that have not been charged with federal crimes yet,” said Dahm.
“Looking at video, there was a lot of violence. People were killed, people were hurt. I don’t think there is any argument to say that this was JUST a peaceful demonstration,” said Michael Crespin, a political science professor at the University of Oklahoma.
Crespin says the language Dahm has used to describe this bill uses political buzzwords and is consistent with so called “messaging legislation.” Those are bills that are trying to pander to the electorate.
“It’s just trying to generate media coverage. It’s just trying to reach voters,” said Crespin.
We asked Dahm, “How much of this is what you truly believe and how much is what you think your constituents believe?“
“Both. I’ve heard this from quite a few people across the state of Oklahoma who are concerned about how people are being treated,” said Dahm.
Some estimate there was more than $1.5 million in damages caused on Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol. Lawmakers will be back at the State Capitol on Feb. 7.