Senator Rob Portman said Monday that he sees no evidence of voter fraud sufficient to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential victory and called on the Trump administration to begin cooperating with the former vice president’s transition team.
“I have supported the Trump campaign’s right to count every lawful vote, request state recounts and pursue lawsuits regarding election fraud or other irregularities,” Portman wrote in an op-ed published Monday in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The Ohio Republican said there were “instances of fraud and irregularities in this election, as there have been in every election,” and while it is good that such wrongdoing has been exposed, “there is no evidence as of now of any widespread fraud or irregularities that would change the result in any state.”
Portman, who served as a co-chair of the Trump campaign in Ohio, said he voted for the incumbent and believes Trump’s policies would be better for Ohio and the country.
“But I also believe that there is no more sacred constitutional process in our great democracy than the orderly transfer of power after a presidential election. It is now time to expeditiously resolve any outstanding questions and move forward,” the senator wrote.
Portman also called on the administration to begin cooperating with Biden’s transition team, which the General Services Administration, the agency responsible for overseeing a presidential transition, has been stonewalling since the election. The transition preparations involve the administration releasing millions of dollars to the Biden team and providing access to federal agencies and office space in Washington.
Biden should also be granted intelligence briefings and briefings on the coronavirus vaccine distribution plan, Portman recommended. Biden has said he is currently not receiving the daily classified briefing on security threats that a president-elect is typically given.
“In the likely event that Joe Biden becomes our next president, it is in the national interest that the transition is seamless,” Portman said.
Portman is the latest of a growing group of Republican senators who have called on the administration to accept the election results as Trump’s legal team suffers defeats in battleground states that were called for Biden and the December 8 “safe harbor” deadline for states to certify their electors approaches.
Senator Mitt Romney last week criticized one of Trump’s recent strategies to overturn the election results that relies on appealing to Republican legislators in swing states to appoint loyal electors in defiance of the election results. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, another Republican critical of Trump’s approach, urged the public to tune out the noise and look at the actual claims the president’s lawyers have made, which do not include widespread fraud.