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Point of View: Continued silence from Lankford, Inhofe is no longer an option

For nearly two months, soon-to-be-former President Donald Trump and some of his supporters have filed numerous challenges contesting the 2020 presidential election results. Each challenge has failed. No evidence of fraud has been proven. At this point, Trump’s continued spurious attacks on the election do not amount to valid challenges but rather represent the orchestration of a dangerous constitutional crisis intended to subvert our election process.

And yet, Oklahoma Sens. James Lankford and Jim Inhofe remain silent as Trump continues his efforts to subvert the election results and illegally exclude the votes of millions of Americans by:

• refusing to accept the validity of ballot recounts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona, each of which reaffirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

• filing more than 50 unsuccessful lawsuits in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

• requesting Republican legislative leaders in Michigan and Pennsylvania illegally overturn their states’ election results.

• requesting Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia illegally overturn their states’ election results.

• rejecting Attorney General William Barr’s admission that no evidence of election fraud existed.

Most recently and disturbingly, Trump discussed imposing martial law and deploying military troops across the country in an illegal attempt to change the election results and remain in power. And yet, Oklahoma’s senators said nothing.

They said nothing after all 50 states certified their election results and the Electoral College confirmed Biden as president elect, and after Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulated Biden on this victory.

Their silence in the face of Trump’s ongoing and baseless attack on our system of governance and our democratic electoral process is disgraceful. Leadership requires a willingness to do what is right, not hide behind political hypocrisy and expediency. Yes, some Trump supporters will be angered by a decision to follow the law, but surely leadership demands honesty and integrity. Indeed, Lankford and Inhofe’s oath of office requires that they defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

The senators’ continued silence no longer is an option. The threat to our country is real. They can either act courageously and defend the Constitution or act cowardly and subvert our democratic form of government. Their legacies as U.S. senators will be defined by their actions.

Kelly lives in Oklahoma City.