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

Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators The 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill MORE (R-Ind.) pushed back on Wednesday against pro-Trump protesters as they urged him to lodge a challenge to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions 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 TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' 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 BarrTrump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Native Americans are targets of voter suppression too 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.