U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler said she couldn’t in “good conscience” reject the certification of electors for Georgia — reversing a decision she announced just two days before the tumultuous scene that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
“When I arrived in Washington this morning, I fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes,” Loeffler, R-Ga., said in remarks from the Senate floor. “However, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider and I cannot now, in good conscience, object.”
Loeffler’s comments came just hours after rioters stormed the halls of Congress, smashed windows, and engaged in violent confrontations with law enforcement. One woman died after being shot in the Capitol by a police officer.
“The violence, the lawlessness, and siege of halls of Congress are abhorrent and stand against the very institution,” Loeffler said. “My objection was intended to protect the sanctity of the American democratic process.”
Loeffler had asserted there were significant irregularities during the general election that allowed Democrat Joe Biden to defeat President Trump. But she said that didn’t excuse the behavior of rioters.
“I pray that America never suffers such a dark day again,” she said.
As of Wednesday morning, mulitple outlets had called Loeffler’s Senate race for Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock. In the lead-up to Tuesday’s runoffs, Loeffler and fellow Georgia incumbent Sen. David Perdue joined other Republicans in offering their support for President Trump as he challenged November’s results.
Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also pledged to object — earning them criticism from many in the aftermath of Wednesday’s events.
Both Trump and other GOP leaders called for an end to the violence — although many have criticized Republicans like Trump for provoking the type of clash that occurred.
The Senate reconvened later Wednesday to certify the results as President Trump was suspended from both Twitter and Facebook. Earlier in the day, he had accused Vice President Pence of cowardice for refusing to reject the Electoral College results.
In the wake of riots, Trump said, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”