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Roger Marshall acknowledges Biden as president-elect after Electoral College objection

Andrew Bahl
Topeka Capital-Journal
U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., was one of six senators to object to Arizona's Electoral College votes, despite rioting among pro-Trump demonstrators in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. [November 2020 file photo/The Capital-Journal]

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., acknowledged Thursday that Joe Biden is the president-elect.

"Joe Biden is the President-Elect and we must and will have a peaceful transition of power on January 20th. Anything less is not an option. To be explicitly clear – Joe Biden will be our next President," he said on Facebook. 

Despite rioting that broke out in the halls of the U.S. Capitol, Marshall was one of six senators to vote to object to Arizona's Electoral College votes Wednesday.

Marshall, along with 10 of his colleagues, indicated over the weekend that he would object to results certifying President-elect Joe Biden's victory unless a commission was launched to investigate unsubstantiated reports of voter fraud in several key states.

Many lawmakers reconsidered, however, after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, causing top lawmakers to be ushered off the floor and others to shelter in their respective chambers as police attempted to respond to the chaos.

A woman shot inside the Capitol later died, Washington, D.C., police said. Dozens were arrested in what U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said was a day that would "live in infamy" in American history.

The U.S. Senate resumed its debate on the Electoral College certification shortly after 7 p.m. Marshall took the microphone to condemn the rioting and said the nation "must and will have a peaceful transition to power."

"I am sickened and angered by the violence that unfolded at our nation’s Capitol yesterday," Marshall said on Facebook later Thursday. "To all those who destroyed any chance we had for peaceful discussion and debate on restoring and ensuring confidence in this and all future elections: Your actions were despicable and each of you — the rioters, vandals, and trespassers — should be prosecuted to the fullest extent."

But he maintained his call for the commission to investigate the results, even as one of his colleagues, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., admitted that such a panel wouldn't be forthcoming.

But Marshall maintained that courts and legislatures in several swing states undermined election laws and procedures.

"I rise in hopes of improving the integrity of the ballot to hold states accountable to the time-proven constitutional system of the Electoral College," Marshall said.

Trump has sued repeatedly over the results in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and other states and his lawsuits have been rebuffed on each occasion after failure to provide evidence of fraud.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran voted to uphold the Arizona results, as he said he would do in an op-ed Tuesday.

In the House, U.S. Reps. Ron Estes, Jake LaTurner and Tracey Mann all voted to object to Arizona's Electoral College certification.

The three lawmakers said in a statement over the weekend that they planned to dispute the certification.

Estes defended the move in an interview with PBS Newshour.

"This was a process," Estes said. "We should have been able to go through that process peacefully."

The lone Democrat in the state's congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, voted to certify the results.

In a tweet, she said Trump should be impeached for inciting the insurrection but "because of the time constraints and inaction of Senate Republicans, I urge the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment" to remove the president from office.

"We will have a new President on January 20th, but we cannot trust Donald Trump to uphold his oath of office over the next 14 days," she said in the post. "Our democracy, safety, and security is at stake."

Kansas' six electoral votes were certified for Trump without issue.

This story was updated Thursday by reporter Titus Wu after Marshall said Biden is the president-elect.