Jan 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

"Impeachable offense": Democrats react to Trump's Georgia call

President Donald Trump speaks at the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit on December 08

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Leading Democrats accused President Trump Sunday of corruption, "abuse of power" and committing an "impeachable offense" for urging Georgia's Republican Secretary of State in a phone call to overturn Joe Biden's election win.

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by House Democrats in December 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for pressing Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden, before being acquitted in the GOP-controlled Senate.

  • No president has been impeached twice. But after the Washington Post obtained Trump's recorded comments to Brad Raffensperger, several Democrats made that call.

What they're saying:

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris told reporters Trump's actions represented "a bald-faced, bold abuse of power by the president."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told reporters, "I absolutely think it's an impeachable offense, and if it was up to me, there would be articles on the floor quite quickly. ... He's attacking our very election."

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who was lead House impeachment manager during Trump's impeachment trial, tweeted: "Trump’s contempt for democracy is laid bare. Once again. On tape. Pressuring an election official to “find” the votes so he can win is potentially criminal, And another flagrant abuse of power by a corrupt man who would be a despot, if we allowed him. We will not."

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted, "This is clearly an impeachable offense and I believe there is nothing under the law giving Trump immunity from criminal process and indictment for this conduct. The law and order party is a farce."

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) tweeted, "Ever notice this forever impeached president cannot help but project himself with others? "Rigged" elections, "highly improper," and "extraordinarily" corrupt all can be adjectives for this disgraced and outgoing president."

Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) tweeted WashPost's report on Trump's hourlong call with a comment quoting her remarks as a House impeachment manager last February for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress: "President Trump's constitutional crimes, his crimes against the American people and the nation, remain in progress."

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) joined Democrats in denouncing the president, telling CNN Sunday after reading a transcript of the call: "You see threats made, threatening in essence a crime."

Of note: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told her caucus in a statement on Sunday that Democrats should aim "to convince more of the American people to trust in our democratic system" during the Jan. 6 vote to certify Biden's victory, and not use the forum to debate Trump's presidency.

For the record: The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington noted in a statement Sunday calling for Trump's impeachment that "the logistics of holding impeachment proceedings in the final two weeks of a presidency" are "hard to pull off."

  • But the group added: "if this isn't impeachable conduct, then literally nothing is."
  • The White House did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper: More Republicans denounce GOP plans to challenge election results

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