Oklahoma Senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe on Saturday both voted to acquit former President Donald Trump.
They joined 43 other Republicans in the vote to acquit, which led to the Senate falling 10 votes short of conviction. Conviction requires two-thirds of the Senate, which in this Congress required 67.
Inhofe and Lankford each released statements following Saturday’s vote that maintained a stance of impeachment for a former office holder is unconstitutional.
“My plain reading of Article II, Section IV of the Constitution led me to believe that the Founders did not intend for us to impeach and try former presidents, which is why today I voted to acquit former President Trump,” reads Inhofe’s statement. “Just as we cannot impeach and convict former Presidents Carter, Bush, Clinton or Obama today for anything they did during their presidency, we cannot, based on my reading of the Constitution, convict former President Trump.
“However, what was undisputable on January 6 and was reiterated over the last few days, was the criminal, horrific violence that took place that day. It was tragic for our nation and for our democracy—and I will always be grateful to all law enforcement, especially Capitol Police, who placed their lives on the line to protect us.”
Both Inhofe and Lankford voted earlier in the week on the constitutionality of the vote, siding with the majority of the Republicans in a no vote.
During this week’s trial, Lankford was reportedly unsettled while watching previously unreleased video of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Lankford, unlike Inhofe, was planning to challenge election results on Jan. 6, but changed his mind after the attack.
“I cannot support removing someone from office who is no longer in office.,” Lankford wrote in a release following the vote. “An impeachment trial after someone has left office is unconstitutional.”