Like people across the country, Oklahomans are still divided regarding what transpired at the U.S. Capitol last January.
Six Oklahomans have been charged in connection with the breach of the U.S. Capitol.
State Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, announced Tuesday he had submitted a bill that would classify U.S. citizens arrested in connection with the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 as political prisoners and prohibit federal authorities from transporting them through Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford has come under attack from some in his party for voting to certify the results of the electoral college after previously saying he would vote to reject the results.
Lankford had already objected to Arizona’s electoral votes and was speaking on the Senate floor when the chamber was evacuated after protesters breached the Capitol. He changed his position upon returning to the floor after the building was secured.
“The people in my state, in Oklahoma, want their questions answered but they don’t want this, what happened today. They want to do the right thing and they also want to do it the right way,” Lankford said. “ … Obviously the commission that we have asked for is not going to happen at this point, and I understand that.”
He cited election security as an issue that still needed to be resolved but vowed that the members of Congress would work together peacefully in the days ahead.
Lankford joined Sen. Jim Inhofe, who had already said he would not challenge the Electoral College votes in voting to certify the election, saying that doing so would violate his oath to uphold the Constitution.
All five of Oklahoma’s Representatives – Stephanie Bice, R- Oklahoma City; Tom Cole, R-Moore; Kevin Hern, R-Tulsa; Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne and Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville – voted to reject the electoral college results.
The Senators faced criticism from some in their party but Inhofe said not voting to certify the Electoral College results would have been a violation of his oath of office to support and defend the Constitution.
In July Oklahoma’s Republican State Committee considered a non-binding resolution to censure the Senators that called for them to resign. It was defeated 122-93.
The Senators shared their thoughts with USA Today ahead of the anniversary of the Capitol riot.
Lankford said he's not sure of its long-term significance.
"It's a really terrible day for the country that everyone has very strong emotions on still. I still don't see it as this key date In history as some people seem to identify it," Lankford said. "I just don't think it'll be seen the same way 50 years from now. History will tell."
Inhofe thinks it will be used by some for their political benefit.
“People are taking advantage of the fact that it happened at a time that they can downgrade ... Trump," he said. "There’s perceived ammunition that can be used, and they will take full advantage of it."