Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Wednesday night it was “past time” for President Trump to accept the results of the presidential election and called on him to “quit misleading the American people.”
And he demanded that lawmakers withdraw their objections to the election results.
“The senators and representatives who fanned the flames by encouraging the president and leading their supporters to believe that their objections could reverse the election results should withdraw those objections,” he wrote in a statement.
Congress was holding a joint session to count and certify the electoral college results when protesters forced them into recess. Over 100 House members and 13 senators promised to object to the certification process for a number of states’ results.
Cotton was the source of an “open revolt” at the New York Times this summer after the Times published his op-ed calling for the military to quell protests amid the unrest following George Floyd’s death at the hands of law enforcement.
“Last summer, as insurrection gripped the streets, I called to send in the troops if necessary to restore order,” Cotton said. “Today, insurrectionists occupied our Capitol. Fortunately, the Capitol Police and other law-enforcement agencies restored order without the need for federal troops. But the principle remains the same: no quarter for insurrectionists. Those who attacked the Capitol today should face the full extent of federal law.”
Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the joint session, earlier echoed Cotton’s sentiments. “Peaceful protest is the right of every American but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he wrote on Twitter.
Cotton, a staunch Trump ally, announced earlier this week he would not be among a group of his like-minded lawmakers who promised to contest the electoral college results favoring President-elect Joe Biden.
Cotton said Sunday the plan oversteps Congress’ largely ceremonial role, warning that if Republicans prevailed it “would essentially end presidential elections and place that power in the hands of whichever party controls Congress.”
Congress was locked down Wednesday, and lawmakers evacuated to an undisclosed location in a shocking and violent breach of security that left one person dead.
The chaos broke out after a pro-Trump rally the president had addressed, vowing he would “never concede” and would continue his fight to “stop the steal.”
Meanwhile, Congress was holding a joint session to count and certify the electoral college results. Pence was presiding over the ceremony.