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GOP senator confronted by Trump supporters over electoral challenge: 'The law matters'

Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher Young'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack US Chamber of Commerce to stop supporting some lawmakers following the Capitol riots GOP senator confronted by Trump supporters over electoral challenge: 'The law matters' MORE (R-Ind.) pushed back on Wednesday against pro-Trump protesters as they urged him to lodge a challenge to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE’s Electoral College victory, arguing that he was duty-bound to certify the vote.

“My opinion doesn’t matter,” a visibly frustrated Young told a group of protesters outside the Russell Senate Office Building. “And you know what? When it comes to the law, our opinions don’t matter. The law matters.”

One protester then argued that Democrats “haven’t followed the law,” echoing a claim by President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE that the election results in a handful of states were marred by voter fraud and other nefarious activities.

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“I value your opinion. I actually share your concerns. I share your conviction that President Trump should remain president. I share that conviction,” Young continues. “But the law matters. I took an oath under God — under God — I took an oath. Do we still take that seriously in this country?”

The confrontation between Young who was, until recently, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, comes as Congress meets to formally certify last month’s Electoral College vote affirming Biden’s status as president-elect.

Trump has continued to assert that the presidential race was “rigged” against him and should be overturned. 

However, federal election officials as well as former Attorney General William BarrBill BarrActing attorney general condemns Capitol riots, warns 'no tolerance' for violence at Biden inauguration Barr, White House counsel told Trump not to self-pardon: report Trump condemns riots, says he will focus on transition in taped remarks MORE have stated that there is no substantial evidence of widespread voter fraud. In November, a coalition of election officials and voting equipment manufacturers stated that the election was one of the safest in U.S. history. 

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Dozens of the president’s allies in the House and several in the Senate have said they will formally challenge the election results in a handful of states, though those objections almost certainly will have no effect on the outcome of the presidential race.

Trump has also put pressure on Vice President Pence, who is charged with presiding over the joint session of Congress, to reject “fraudulently chosen electors.” Pence's role in the session is largely ceremonial, and he does not have the legal authority to invalidate their votes.

In a statement released shortly after his run-in with the protesters on Wednesday, Young vowed to “certify the will of the states as presented,” noting that, “the people voted and the Electoral College voted. Congress must fulfill its role in turn.” 

"Like so many of my patriotic constituents and colleagues, I too wish the results of this election were different. I strongly supported President Trump and his agenda the last four years. I campaigned hard for him,” Young said. “But upon assuming this office, I took a solemn, inviolable oath to support and defend our Constitution, just as I did as a United States Marine. I will not violate that oath.”

Updated at 12:41 p.m.