After The Washington Post released damning audio of President Donald Trump trying to convince and even force Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger into “finding” enough additional votes to have won the election, one Democratic lawmaker from Georgia is calling him out for it.
.@realDonaldTrump's call to the Ga. SOS
was far from "perfect." In fact, it is a violation of state and federal law. Tomorrow, I will introduce a resolution of Censure. Trump should resign NOW! https://t.co/Jor1AmFDh0
— Rep. Hank Johnson (@RepHankJohnson) January 3, 2021
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) announced on Twitter that he would be seeking a censure vote against Trump as the result of the phone call. A censure is a formal declaration of disapproval by Congress and carries no legal or other tangible consequences. Under Georgia law, “a person commits the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the first degree when, with intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a felony under this article, he or she solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise attempts to cause the other person to engage in such conduct” and is a felony.
Johnson recommended that Trump just resign now.
‘@realdonaldtrump’s call to the Ga. SOS was far from “perfect.” In fact, it is a violation of state and federal law. Tomorrow, I will introduce a resolution of Censure. Trump should resign NOW!’
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) January 3, 2021
The rebuke stems from a leaked phone call between Trump and Raffensperger, which included audio of Trump saying that the Georgia secretary of state needed to “find” enough votes to put Trump over the top in a state election that has already been completed, recounted several times including hand counts, and verified by the Republican governor and Raffensperger. Electors are scheduled to cast their votes formally on January 6, 2021, which is the final step in certifying the elections before the president is inaugurated on January 20.
Trump appears to be spending all of his time until then trying to overturn a democratic election that he simply cannot admit he lost.
‘The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation in which Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims, at one point warning that Raffensperger was taking “a big risk.”
‘Throughout the call, Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel rejected Trump’s assertions, explaining that the president is relying on debunked conspiracy theories and that President-elect Joe Biden’s 11,779-vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate.’
In listening to this call I'm reminded of a remark the president made at a rally in Georgia last month:
"I've probably worked harder in the last three weeks than I ever have in my life," he said of his efforts to overturn the results. "Doing this."https://t.co/l59bBmA4rA
— Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) January 3, 2021
What appears to be a direct threat from Trump occurred at more than one point in the phone conversation, including a warning from the president that Raffensperger was taking “a big risk” in refusing to overturn the election. Whether Trump intended to threaten the secretary of state with legal consequences or a lost election with Trump working against him, the threat exists. The president is clearly desperate to change the outcome of the 2020 elections and should face consequences for his actions.
‘The rambling and at times incoherent conversation offered a remarkable glimpse of how consumed and desperate the president remains about his loss, unwilling or unable to let the matter go and still believing he can reverse the results in enough battleground states to remain in office.
‘“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” Trump said, a phrase he repeated again and again on the call. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”’
"Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong," Georgia Secretary Brad Raffensperger tells President Trump after he claims to have won the state — and asks the secretary to "find" 11,780 votes.https://t.co/WFlSJhovpB
— KXAN News (@KXAN_News) January 3, 2021