Explainer: Why Critics Are Calling For Trump’s Impeachment Again, Two Weeks Before He Steps Down
Donald Trump has repeatedly refused the mandate of the American people and called the election rigged,. (AP)
Trump’s phone call to the Georgia secretary of state in which he pressured him to 'find votes' has drawn severe criticism, with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling it an attack on ‘our very election’.
- Last Updated: January 05, 2021, 17:12 IST
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US President Donald Trump is creating ripples even as he has only two weeks to leave office. A call he made to the Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger has his critics up in arms with Democrats calling for his impeachment, yet again.
As President-elect, Joe Biden is set to take office on January 20, but Trump has repeatedly refused the mandate of the American people, calling it a rigged election, while it has repeatedly been proven that he has been voted out.
Trump’s claims and Raffensperger’s rebuttal
Trump made a phone call to Raffensperger, the entire transcript of which has been published by The Washington Post, asking him to recalculate the votes.
The Week quoted Trump as saying during the phone call, “The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
Reports suggest that Trump, during the phone call, asked Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn his defeat, and said “I just want to find 11,780 votes”.
The US President took to Twitter, to speak about his phone call claiming, “I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the “ballots under table” scam, ballot destruction, out of state “voters”, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!”
However, Raffensperger’s rebuttal on Twitter sought to deny Trump’s claims. The Georgia Secretary of State tweeted, “Respectfully, President Trump: What you're saying is not true. The truth will come out.”
In further statements made by Raffensperger, he clarified, “But I did want to make my points that the data that he has is just plain wrong."
Much of the claims made by Trump, a BBC fact check report has found, are wrong.
Call for impeachment
A vocal critic of the Trump government, New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the outgoing US president's call pressuring the Georgia secretary of state to overturn his defeat in the state is an offense that merits impeachment.
The Independent quoted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as saying, "I absolutely think it's an impeachable offence, and if it was up to me, there would be articles on the floor quite quickly, but he, I mean, he is trying to — he is attacking our very election. He's attacking our very election.”
US Representative Ilhan Omar also issued a statement calling Trump’s action an impeachable offence.
“The President’s effort to openly overturn our election results by putting pressure on the Republican Secretary of State of Georgia is a crime, plain and simple. It is another flagrant act of sedition from a president dead set on undermining the bedrock of our democracy: our elections,” Omar said.
While Trump is on his way out, several experts have called for his impeachment. American political commentator Michael A. Cohen wrote in an opinion piece on The Boston Globe, “If ever a presidential act qualified for impeachment, it would be openly trying to reverse an election outcome. While it sounds almost bizarre to make such a suggestion when the president’s term is over in two months, the move would have a useful byproduct: The Senate could prevent Trump from running again in 2024.”
Other experts say that while the US Senate failed to remove him from power after he was impeached by the House of Representatives, it left Trump the opportunity to continue with his actions that are sometimes against the law.
David A. Graham, a staff writer at The Atlantic, wrote, “During impeachment, Trump’s critics, including me, warned repeatedly that if he were not impeached and removed, he’d feel empowered to commit the same offenses again. Trump’s current, shambling coup attempt is the price of the Senate’s failure to remove him.