Senator James Lankford, who was among the 11 Senators standing with Cruz to object to electoral votes from certain states if they didn’t create a commission to investigate voter fraud, is now profusely apologizing for his role in objecting:
DC EXAMINER – Sen. James Lankford apologized for questioning the Electoral College vote and planning to object to certifying Arizona’s electoral votes.
Ahead of Congress’s joint session to count the Electoral College votes from each state, the Oklahoma Republican was among a group of 11 Republican senators and more than 100 in the House who said they would object to certifying Arizona’s 11 electoral votes.
“When I announced my support for an Electoral Commission to spend 10 days auditing the results of the 2020 Presidential Election, it was never my intention to disenfranchise any voter or state,” Lankford wrote in a letter obtained by Tulsa World. “It was my intention to resolve any outstanding questions before the inauguration on January 20.”
But after pro-Trump protesters stormed Capitol Hill in an attack that left five dead, several senators, including Lankford and outgoing Sen. Kelly Loeffler, recanted their support for the measure and voted to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. As a result of the attack, the House on Wednesday voted to impeach President Trump a second time on charges that he incited an insurrection.
“My action of asking for more election information caused a firestorm of suspicion among many of my friends, particularly in Black communities around the state,” wrote Lankford, who is up for reelection in 2022. “I was completely blindsided, but I also found a blind spot. What I did not realize was all of the national conversation about states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, was seen as casting doubt on the validity of votes coming out of predominantly Black communities like Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Detroit.”
He added: “After decades of fighting for voting rights, many Black friends in Oklahoma saw this as a direct attack on their right to vote. I can assure you, my intent to give a voice to Oklahomans who had questions was never also an intent to diminish the voice of any Black American.”
“I should have recognized how what I said and what I did could be interpreted by many of you,” Lankford concluded. “I deeply regret my blindness to that perception, and for that I am sorry.”
I get that these Senators are embattled right now in the wake of the riot, but if it was right to stand up and object beforehand, it’s still right. I refuse to accept that members of Congress objecting had anything to do with instigating the riots.
I much prefer the unapologetic stance that Josh Hawley is taking in all of this. Here’s what he wrote yesterday about his objections:
Last week I objected during the Joint Session count of electoral votes in order to have a debate on the issue of election integrity. My objection proceeded according to the letter of the statute, which specifically permits for objections and debate, and followed the traditions of Congress. In fact, dozens of Democratic members of Congress have lodged objections in precisely the same forum over the last three decades. To be specific, Democrats objected after the elections of 2000, 2004, and 2016–in other words, every time a Republican has won the White House in the last thirty years. And they were within their rights to do so. The Joint Session is the forum where concerns about an election can be raised, debated, and ultimately resolved with a vote.
The difference between those past instances and this year, however, is striking. In the past, when Democrats objected, they were praised for standing up for democracy. In 2005, when Democrats objected to counting Ohio’s electoral votes, Nancy Pelosi praised the objections, saying, “This debate is fundamental to our democracy” and “we are witnessing democracy at work.”
This time around, anyone who objected has been called an “insurrectionist.” Sadly, much of the media and many members of the Washington establishment want to deceive Americans into thinking those who raised concerns incited violence, simply by voicing the concern. That’s false. And the allegation itself is corrosive and dangerous.
Let me say again, as I have said before: the lawless violence at the Capitol last week was criminal. There can be no quibbling about that. Those who engaged in it should be prosecuted and punished. Lawless violence undermines the democratic process by which we settle our disputes and threatens our democratic life. That applies to mobs of any and all political persuasions. Mob violence is always wrong.
As to my specific objection: I objected with regard to Pennsylvania because the state failed to follow its own constitution. The Pennsylvania constitution has been interpreted by the state’s courts for over a century to prohibit mail-in voting, except in clearly stated circumstances. But last year, Pennsylvania politicians adopted universal mail-in voting anyway. To make matters worse, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court then changed the rules for when mail-in ballots could be returned. And when Pennsylvania citizens tried to go to court to object, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the case on procedural grounds, in violation of its own precedent. To this day, no court has found the mail-in voting scheme to be constitutional, or even heard the merits of the case.
I also objected to point out the unprecedented interference of the Big Tech corporations in this election in favor of the Biden campaign, not just in Pennsylvania but everywhere. Their interference in our democratic process has only accelerated in recent days.
Some wondered why I stuck with my objection following the violence at the Capitol. The reason is simple: I will not bow to a lawless mob, or allow criminals to drown out the legitimate concerns of my constituents.
Amen and amen. Hawley clearly has a lot more backbone than some in his conference.