Five of the six Republican members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation sided with President Donald Trump on Wednesday night in an attempt to stop President-elect Joe Biden taking office.
Sen. John Kennedy and Reps. Steve Scalise, Mike Johnson, Clay Higgins and Garret Graves each issued public statements condemning the actions of the pro-Trump mob that overran the Capitol on Wednesday attempting to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral college victory. Hours later each of these members cast votes to do just that.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican, and Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Democrat, were the only members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation who voted to affirm the election results in both of those states.
Scalise, Johnson and Higgins objected to the electoral college ballots in the swing states of Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Kennedy objected only to the electoral votes in Arizona. He was one of six senators to do so. Graves only objected to the votes in Pennsylvania.
In a written statement issued Thursday, Kennedy described the breach of the Capitol as “despicable and shameful” but stood by his decision to continue to contest the election.
“I joined several Senate colleagues in calling for a bipartisan commission to inspect election issues raised across the country,” Kennedy said. “Our proposal was not successful, but our goal to ensure full confidence and transparency in our elections — for all Americans — is a noble one, and I’ll keep pursuing it.”
Higgins, repeating arguments struck down by the state Supreme Court, questioned the constitutionality of the election process in Pennsylvania on the House floor.
“The strength of our American republic is not just the peaceful transfer of power. It is the peaceful transfer of lawful power,” Higgins said. “Within the parameters of our oath indeed is our duty to inquire if we suspect that perhaps our elections have been compromised.”
Graves repeated and built upon many of his colleague’s repeatedly-debunked claims in a lengthy Facebook post made at 2:31 a.m. on Thursday.
Graves said he did not object to the election results in Arizona because “the Republican governor certified the state’s election results and there was no substantive objection by their legislature.”
In appearances on Fox News and Fox Business, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, the highest-ranking member of the Louisiana delegation, called for an “unequivocal condemnation of violence” from President Trump. Scalise made no mention of his objection to the Electoral College votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania during the interviews or in multiple statements on his website.
Similarly, Mike Johnson, one of the earliest advocates for President Trump’s various legal challenges of election results, has not addressed his votes in the public statements or press appearances he has made since the rampage at the capitol. He gave a live interview to Fox News Wednesday while sheltering at an undisclosed location on capitol grounds.
No member of the congressional delegation who challenged the results of the election commented on accusations from the public and their own colleagues that publicly questioning the security of the election led to the violence at the capitol Wednesday.
Cassidy to this point is the only Republican member of the state’s congressional delegation to acknowledge that President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Trump in a fair election. As he evacuated the capitol Wednesday, Cassidy tweeted a video of himself criticizing those who attempted to disrupt the “peaceful transfer of power.”
“This is wrong,” a masked Cassidy said into the camera. “It is absolutely wrong. It is un-American. Period. They should stop. Period. This is about our country. It’s not about hooligans.”
Richmond, who is leaving his seat for a job in the Biden White House, sent his letter of resignation to Gov. John Bel Edwards earlier this week. His resignation does not take effect until Jan. 15.
Rep. Ralph Abraham, who did not seek reelection last year, did not vote. His term ended Sunday. Congressman-elect Luke Letlow was set to replace Abraham on Jan. 3, but Letlow died last month from complications of COVID-19 before he could be sworn in.
Special elections to replace Richmond and Letlow have been scheduled for March 20, with possible runoffs slated for April 24.