As calls for the impeachment of President Donald Trump continue to grow across the nation, lawmakers from Oklahoma are approaching the issue from different angles.
Although no member of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation has voiced support for impeachment proceedings against Trump, some have been less supportive than others.
Representatives Kendra Horn and Tom Cole have expressed a willingness to examine the evidence against the president before making a final decision about whether to vote for articles of impeachment.
Before any articles of impeachment reach the Senate for trial, the House of Representatives has to vote to approve the charges contained within them, which will put every member of the House on record as voting yea, nay or abstaining from bringing charges against Trump.
The other five members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation are either avid opponents of the impeachment inquiry or did not respond to requests for comment.
Representative Markwayne Mullin, a Republican from the 2nd District, falls into the former category. In a statement from Mullin’s office, he said that the inquiry is the latest attempt by “Pelosi Democrats” to oppose the president.
“They have wasted time and taxpayer dollars on investigation after investigation, and now they’re taking it a step further with a baseless impeachment investigation,” the statement reads. “Will they ever stop this witch hunt?”
Representative Kevin Hern, a Republican from the 1st District, did not respond to requests for an interview but indicated in a press release Sept. 24 that the goal of the left was to “call for impeachment first, and sort through the facts later.”
Taking a more moderate approach, Cole, a Republican from the 4th District, did not condemn the investigations into Trump with the ferocity of his colleagues. When asked for a statement about his stance on impeachment, Cole’s office responded with a YouTube video uploaded Sept. 27.
In the video, Cole expressed concerns about the secondhand nature of the information detailed in the whistleblower complaint and a belief that the White House has been “very cooperative” in the matter. Toward the end of the video, Cole called for a measured approach to the impeachment process at hand.
“I would just caution everyone not to rush to any judgements,” Cole said. “Let the hearings proceed, let the information come out, and then make a considered judgement.”
Horn, a Democrat from the 5th District, is one of only 11 Democrats in the House of Representatives yet to support an impeachment inquiry, according to reporting from The New York Times. At a Town Hall event Sept. 30, Horn addressed impeachment during a 30-minute media availability away from the 100 constituents in attendance.
“I think that it is important that when we are facing very serious challenges as a nation, and as lawmakers, that we approach them very thoughtfully and intentionally,” Horn said. “The allegations that have been made are serious, they involve our national security, and at the same time, we have to make sure the process is transparent. This is not about politics; it should never be about politics.”
If the House were to approve articles of impeachment, then the trial would be held in the Senate, where senators would serve as the jury, deciding whether to convict the president. Senators James Inhofe and James Lankford, Republicans, would then have their chance to weigh in on the allegations against Trump.
Lankford’s office responded to requests for statements or an interview with an NPR interview published Sept. 30.
"...One of the main facts that everyone seems to be missing is the Ukrainian President Zelensky is actually the one who brought the issue up,” Lankford said in the interview.
It is unclear whether Lankford is specifically responding to the transcript of the phone call between Trump and Zelensky. In that transcript, Trump asked “for a favor” before Zelensky brought up the fired Ukrainian prosecutor but after Zelensky indicated interest in buying weapons from the United States.
Inhofe and Representative Frank Lucas, a Republican of the 3rd District, did not respond to requests for interviews or statements by the time of publication.