The violence and destruction that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was completely unacceptable and unpatriotic, and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. It was a sad day for our nation, and it was an unwelcome reminder that our democracy is fragile.
I extend my sincere gratitude to all the law enforcement officers who worked to keep all congressional members and staff safe during the breach. My deepest sympathies are with the family, friends and colleagues of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick who gave his life defending our U.S. Capitol and our democracy. We must never forget his sacrifice and work to quickly bring to justice those responsible for his death and the harm caused to other law enforcement officers. My heart also goes out to the family and friends of Officer Howard Lieebengood who died on Jan. 9 after serving as a Capitol police officer for 15 years.
On Jan. 5, I released the following statement regarding the joint session of Congress to count the results of the Electoral College:
“I am a conservative Republican. Therefore, I must strictly adhere to the United States Constitution. The Constitution clearly limits the role of Congress with respect to presidential elections to the counting of electoral votes that have been certified by the states. The states, consistent with the principles of federalism and a limited national government, possess the sole authority to determine and submit their electors. To vote to reject these state-certified electoral votes would be to act outside the bounds of the Constitution, which I will not do.
“President Trump had every right under the Constitution to challenge the results of the election in the courts, and I publicly supported his right to do so given the allegations and reports of irregularities and fraud. But in every instance, the judgments were clear, and no judge or Supreme Court justice—including those appointed by President Trump—determined there was evidence sufficient to change the results of the election.
“Support of the institutions and legal processes established in the Constitution by those who founded this exceptional American Republic are necessary to preserve our most cherished American values. Voting to object to the electoral process without a constitutional basis to do so may be expedient and lead to short-term political benefits for some, but would risk undermining our democracy—which is built upon the rule of law and separation of powers. No victory for one’s cause today can be worth what we would lose tomorrow.”
On Wednesday evening, following the events and violence that befell the U.S. Capitol during these constitutionally mandated proceedings, my Senate colleagues and I returned to the House chamber to finish the counting of the Electoral College votes. At 3:40 a.m. EST, Vice President Pence announced the state of the vote for the 2020 Presidential election, certifying President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election.
—U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran is a Kansas Republican.