LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - In an exclusive interview on Monday, southern New Mexico's newly-elected GOP congresswoman told ABC-7 she has no plans to resign from office and will vote against impeaching the president on Wednesday.
"I am here to represent the people of New Mexico and I am just going to stay grounded in my faith," said Yvette Herrell, the Alamogordo Republican and vocal supporter of President Donald Trump.
Herrell described Jan. 6 as "one of the most frightening days of her life."
The freshman Congresswoman, who was just sworn-in in recent days, said she does not believe the president's words or actions incited violence from the mob that resulted in the deaths of five people on Capitol Hill.
"Just looking at the big picture of where we are as a nation, I really don't personally feel that we can hold President Trump accountable for all of this," Herrell said. "We've seen such unrest all over the nation."
In a speech last week, Herrell objected to counting the electoral votes from Pennsylvania and Arizona, saying the actions "disenfranchised" her constituents.
On Monday, she did not explicitly state whether she agrees with President Trump's unfounded claims that the election was "stolen."
"I feel that the electoral votes were counted and they were certified by Congress and we will have a new president in office on January 20th," Herrell said.
She also said she anticipates a peaceful transition of power to the Biden administration and that she does plan on attending the inauguration, as long as security and virus protocols allow for it.
"It is my responsibility to roll up my sleeves and work with his administration," Herrell said.
The lawmaker distanced herself from her longtime supporter, Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, who attracted national attention for his remarks that there could be "blood running out of that building" in future protests.
"I'm very disappointed in Couy Griffin's comments," Herrell said. "Again, I don't think anybody should be inciting or even talking about violence on our Capitol Hill."
As the leader of the group "Cowboys for Trump," Griffin has been the subject of several controversies, including in his comment last year that "the only good democrat is a dead democrat."
She called Griffin's comments at the U.S. Capitol "reckless," but said 'Cowboys for Trump' "is built up of a number of great patriots."
When asked if Griffin should resign, Herrell said she is "just focused on trying to do (her) new job as a new member of Congress."
In the past few days, Herrell has also faced calls to resign, including from the non-profit organization Common Cause New Mexico, which wrote that "she voted to overturn the will of people."
"I understand that there may be issues that we disagree on, but my job is to do the very best that I can and protect New Mexicans, America and our constitution," Herrell said.