Inhofe Declines To Join Lankford, Says Objecting To Electoral Votes Violates Senate Oath Of Office

Jan 5, 2021

Oklahoma's senior U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe said in a Tuesday statement that he will not join fellow Republican Okla. Sen. James Lankford and other Republicans in objecting to the certification of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden's victory in a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.

“My job on Wednesday is clear, and there are only two things I am permitted to do under the Constitution: ensure the electors are properly certified and count the electoral votes, even when I disagree with the outcome," Inhofe said. “To challenge a state’s certification, given how specific the Constitution is, would be a violation of my oath of office—that is not something I am willing to do and is not something Oklahomans would want me to do."

Lankford, meanwhile, has signed onto an effort led by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz to attempt to interfere with Congress's ministerial duty to certify the results of the Electoral College votes, which Biden won decisively with 306 votes to outgoing President Donald Trump's 232. 

"Many of these questions have been reviewed by state leaders and courts, but questions still persist," Lankford said in a statement, referring to uncertainty among some Americans caused by baseless claims of widespread election fraud. "These are not questions that exist in the dark corners of the internet, but ones I hear at the grocery store, the gas station, through text messages, and on phone calls."

Neither senator's office has responded to requests for comment on their reaction to Trump's Saturday phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, in which the president shared debunked claims of fraud and pressured officials in the state to "find" the votes needed to overturn his loss there.