Sen. Lankford Says He Will Intervene if Trump Doesn’t Begin Transition by Friday

Senator James Lankford (R., Okla.) questions Chad Wolf, acting Secretary of Homeland Security, who appears before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in Washington D.C., August 6, 2020. (Toni Sandys/Reuters)

Senator James Lankford (R., Okla.) on Wednesday said it’s important for people who voted for President Trump to have “all of their questions answered” regarding unfounded claims of voter fraud, though he issued assurance that there would be a peaceful transition of power, and vowed to intervene if the administration doesn’t begin cooperating with the transition.

“It is important for the 71-million plus people that voted for President Trump that at the end of it, they know all of their questions were answered,” Lankford told KRMG, “And that there is a president that was actually duly elected.”

President Trump has repeatedly vowed to contest election results in a number of battleground state won by President-elect Joe Biden. In Georgia, a recount is being undertaken by hand. However, election officials from both parties in a number of states have said they have not seen any evidence of widespread voting irregularities.

The junior senator from Oklahoma told KRMG despite the recount it is unlikely that the projected results will be overturned.

He also told the radio station that he would intervene if the Trump administration has not given Biden access to presidential daily intelligence briefings by week’s end.

“There is no loss from him getting the briefings and to be able to do that,” said Lankford, who is on the Senate Oversight Committee.

If no progress has been made by Friday toward the President-elect receiving the highly classified intelligence briefings on national security issues, he says he plans to step in and say, “This needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task.”

On Monday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the Democrat has not received the briefing because the election has not been definitively called by the General Services Administration yet. For his part, Biden has said that the daily briefings “would be useful, but it’s not necessary.”

Lankford defended both Trump’s legal actions against unfounded allegations of voter fraud and Biden’s ability to receive the briefings in saying, “Joe Biden can continue to be able to function and say, ‘I’m the president-elect,’ and great if you want to say that, go do it, and to be able to do your preparation work. The President can say, ‘Not so fast. I’ve got questions to answer.’ Great, go ask them.”

Regardless of the final result, Lankford said is confident in the election system and does not anticipate there will be violence.

“I can assure you there will be a peaceful transition of power in the United States,” Lankford said.

Republican Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas made similar statements to Lankford’s on Tuesday, and Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said Wednesday that the transition should be allowed to begin since “we’re on a path it looks likely Joe Biden is going to be the next president of the United States.”

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