“That results of that call is bringing a hailstorm of criticism,” mentioned a state senator, Kevin L. Matthews, founder and chairman of the 1921 fee. In an interview, he mentioned he personally didn’t imagine Mr. Lankford ought to resign from the fee, however that some members believed it was inconsistent along with his drive to invalidate the election outcomes. “There are lots of people that really feel like you possibly can’t stand for each.”
Mr. Lankford and different Republicans had claimed that by difficult the election outcomes, they had been exercising their independence and performing within the pursuits of constituents who had been demanding solutions. In an interview the morning of Jan. 6, he sought to tell apart his argument from Mr. Trump’s false claims that the election might be overturned, saying he had been clear that there was no constitutional method to subvert the need of a majority of American voters.
“Everyone’s received their very own motives on this, to have the ability to clear up this,” he mentioned. “For me, long run, we’ve received to have the ability to discover a constitutional means to have the ability to resolve a few of these points.”
Lower than 4 hours later, Mr. Lankford can be interrupted in his opening argument by the Senate’s sudden adjournment, as an aide whispered to him that the mob was contained in the Capitol constructing.
In a safe location on Capitol Hill, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, recalled pleading with Mr. Lankford and Senator Steve Daines, Republican of Montana, to reverse course and support the counting of votes. The pair later launched a joint assertion calling on “the complete Congress to come back collectively and vote to certify the election outcomes,” and saying the lawlessness and chaos had precipitated them to alter their minds.
“We disagree on lots of issues, and we have now lots of spirited debate on this room,” Mr. Lankford mentioned that night. “However we speak it out, and we honor one another — even in our disagreement.”
Reporting was contributed by Astead W. Herndon and Jim Rutenberg from New York, Reid J. Epstein and Luke Broadwater from Washington, and Mike Ives from Hong Kong.