Sen. James Lankford speaks to Congress.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, said in a speech to Congress Wednesday (Jan. 6) that he feels supporters of President Trump are being told not to voice their concerns about the 2020 election.
In a joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College votes, Lankford said in a debate on opposing Arizona’s Electoral College vote results, “In America, we settle our differences through elections. What happens when you can’t trust election statistics, or when you’re concerned that many courts, within hours of filing thousands of pages of evidence, dismiss or reject lawsuits?”
He added: “The reason we have a Congress is to resolve the divisions in our country. And the rules of the Senate will ensure that every opinion in our country is heard so that issues like this can be resolved. And right now, the constitutional crisis in our country is that millions of Americans are being told, ‘Sit down! Shut up!’ But in reality their opinions matter.”
Lankford was one of 13 senators who raised objections to the vote’s outcome during a joint session of Congress. He and 10 others also called for the creation of an elections commission to review allegations of irregularities. They said they would oppose voting in certain states if congressional leaders did not establish such a commission. That commission has not yet been established.
Lankford rebutted accusations made against them by fellow Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. They accused those opponents of trying to overturn the election results in order to give President Trump a victory over Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
In response to the accusations, Lankford retorted, “The U.S. Constitution does not allow me to appoint a different elector for a state, nor should it. The U.S. Constitution does not give the vice president of the United States the option to unilaterally decide which states should be counted or excluded, nor should it. Each state, through its people, determines its electors. But a small group of senators, myself included, have made the demand that we not ignore the issues raised by millions of people about our country. Therefore, we have proposed a solution that is constitutional.”
He later added, “We need to do something about it.”
Lankford had five minutes to make his case, but the Capitol was then violently attacked by protesters, interrupting his speech. Members of Congress were evacuated by law enforcement.
Lankford’s remarks were preceded by statements from several other senators, including Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D).
Sinema said Arizona’s elections were a success and that “our system works and our laws are upheld.”
She said, “I cannot and will not accept the suggestion that we should violate existing laws to change the outcome of the vote. Eight challenges to Arizona’s elections have been filed in federal and state courts. But all eight have been vacated or dismissed, including a unanimous ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court.”
She added, “The chief justice wrote, ‘This challenge fails to provide evidence of any misconduct or illegal voting, much less any level of fraud or a sufficiently high error rate to affect the correctness of the election results.'”
She added, “Today, we have important work to do. Defeat this epidemic and revitalize our economy. I urge my colleagues to follow the example of Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and many others. Reject this worthless challenge and uphold the will of Arizona voters.”