COLUMBUS, Ohio — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a story published on November 13, 2020.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R) has released a statement saying he will not seek to challenge the highly-politicized election results certification on January 6.
Portman shared his thoughts in a public press release Monday afternoon, arguing that he believes that Congress does not have the right to override the will of the people, even though the candidate that he supported did not win.
“I voted for President Trump, campaigned for him as one of his Ohio co-chairs, and believe his policies are better for Ohio and America," Senator Portman said in his statement. "Like nearly half the country, I was disappointed in the election results."
The Ohio senator also acknowledged that despite widely circulated inaccuracies on election fraud, including from President Trump himself, investigations and recounts have yet to find any substantial fraud that could change the result of the 2020 presidential election.
"Following the election, I supported the Trump campaign’s right to pursue recounts and legal challenges. There were instances of fraud and irregularities, as there are in every presidential election, and those who engaged in that conduct should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Portman wrote. "But after two months of recounts and legal challenges, not a single state recount changed a result and, of the dozens of lawsuits filed, not one found evidence of fraud or irregularities widespread enough to change the result of the election."
Portman compared the current challenges to the 2004 election, in which multiple senators objected to the certification of the results for George W. Bush (R) over John Kerry (D).
"I stood in opposition to Democrats then, saying Congress should not ‘obstruct the will of the American people.’ I was concerned then that Democrats were establishing a dangerous precedent where Congress would inappropriately assert itself to try to reverse the will of the voters," Portman writes. "I cannot now support Republicans doing the same thing."
Portman said he does believe, however, that Congress should establish a bipartisan panel to look into issues with the 2020 election.
As of January 4, nearly 140 Republican members of the House and a dozen Senators have said they plan to object to the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.