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Oklahoma Congressional Delegation Appears OK After Pro-Trump Extremists Storm US Capitol

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Oklahoma’s congressional delegation appeared to be OK late Wednesday after an invasion of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump extremists as the House and Senate debated a group of Republican lawmakers’ challenge to Electoral College votes.

Oklahoma Senator James Lankford was giving a speech to justify his objection to election results from Arizona when the mob forced its way into the building.

"The constitutional crisis in our country right now is that millions of Americans are being told to sit down and shut up. Their opinions matter," Lankford said shortly before being interrupted and senators told to clear the chamber.

All members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation released statements or tweeted that they were safe, they opposed the violence at the capitol or both. Rep. Markwayne Mullin was photographed near a standoff in the House chamber where law enforcement had guns drawn and pointed at a barricaded door extremists were trying to break down. He told ABC News he was trying to keep members of the mob from getting shot, but officers did shoot one that came through the door. Mullin believes those individuals did not represent everyone at the capitol.

"Some of the ones that were there, unfortunately, was just looking for a fight. That's what it was, unfortunately. They were there to antagonize the crowd. That doesn't represent the rest of the crowd, but some of them were and they were antagonizing, they brought them along," Mullin said.

Multiple outlets reported capitol police had shot and killed an unarmed woman. It is not clear whether that's what Mullin witnessed.

Mullin told NBC News Wednesday evening he still plans to object to the Electoral College votes when the House returns.

Sen. Jim Inhofe and Rep. Frank Lucas were the only members of Oklahoma’s all-Republican delegation who did not say they would object to the Electoral College votes on Wednesday. Inhofe said Tuesday doing so would violate his constitutional duty. 

Lucas’ words against Wednesday's invasion were perhaps the strongest.

"I unequivocally condemn the violence and riots seen today in and around the Capitol, and I pray for the restoration of peace," Lucas tweeted.

There were reportedly no major issues during a pro-Trump rally at the Oklahoma capitol Wednesday that involved a few hundred people. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol had additional troopers in the area, which is not unusual, and one person was arrested for attempted arson and assault.

House Majority Leader Jon Echols said he did not hear of additional problems. Minority Leader Emily told members and staff to go home out of an abundance of caution.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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