WASHINGTON, D.C. — Leaders in Washington are reacting to President Trump’s phone call with Georgia’s Secretary of State in which President Trump appeared to urge the head of the state’s elections to find the votes needed to overturn the election in his favor.
“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes,” President Trump said to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
“There’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated,” Trump said.
“Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong,” Raffensperger responded.
Georgia counted its vote three times before certifying the results for President-elect Joe Biden.
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) said he is pushing to censure the President.
“It is a violation of state and federal law,” Johnson tweeted. “Tomorrow, I will introduce a resolution of Censure. Trump should resign NOW!”
A censure doesn’t hold any legal power but it is the highest form of rebuke that Congress can give a president aside from impeachment.
Senate Democrats condemned the recorded conversation.
“President Trump’s lawsuits and phone call pressuring Georgia election officials to overturn the will of the American people and ‘find votes’ are the last desperate acts of a presidency that voters rejected in record numbers last November,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
“The President’s call constitutes an outrageous attempt to overturn the results of the election and undermine faith in our democracy,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire).
“The President’s refusal to accept the results of the election and the behavior of certain Republican lawmakers enabling his baseless claims are completely unacceptable, and frankly, dangerous,” said Sen. Jean Shaheen (D-New Hampshire).
“You don’t have to be a prosecutor to know this is a corrupt act,” said Sen. Boby Casey (D-Pennsylvania).
Most Republicans have stayed quiet about the call.
Vice President Mike Pence held a rally in Georgia Monday ahead of the Senate runoffs and made no mention of the recorded phone conversation.
Only a few Republicans have publicly condemned the President’s actions.
“It’s disgusting and quite honestly, it’s going to be interesting, all of these members of Congress that have now come out and said they’re going to object to the election, I don’t know how you can do that right now with a clear conscious,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois).
“President Trump’s call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger represents a new low in this whole futile and sorry episode,” said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania). “I commend Republican election officials across the country who have discharged their duties with integrity over the past two months while weathering relentless pressure, disinformation, and attacks from the president and his campaign.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is leading the Republican opposition to Wednesday’s vote on certifying the election results.
We have asked Cruz’s office if the recorded conversation will impact their objections and we have not yet received an answer to the question.