Donald Trump Faces Calls Of Impeachment And FBI Investigation Over Leaked Call
Donald Trump is facing calls of impeachment and a FBI investigation over a leaked call that has caused condemnation across the US.
In a recording released by the Washington Post, the outgoing US President asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to 'find 11,780 votes' to overturn the election.
Raffensperger can be heard telling Trump that his state's results were correct.
The President double downed and insisted that he won the election in Georgia, and said there was 'nothing wrong with saying you have recalculated'.
Since the audio leaked, there have been widespread concerns from lawyers, politicians, and members of the public.
Democratic New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said: 'I absolutely think it's an impeachable offence, and if it was up to me, there would be articles on the floor quite quickly."
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement: "While the logistics of holding impeachment proceedings in the final two weeks of a presidency are admittedly hard to pull off, if this isn't impeachable conduct, then literally nothing is. Congress must act immediately."
Congressman Ted Lieu and Congresswoman Kathleen Rice have written to FBI Director Christopher Wray to open an investigation into the issue.
They said: "As Members of Congress and former prosecutors, we believe Donald Trump engaged in solicitation of, or conspiracy to commit, a number of election crimes. We ask you to open an immediate criminal investigation into the President."
To explain just how outrageous this call is in the history of American politics, it's being dubbed worse than the Watergate scandal that saw Richard Nixon resign as US President.
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The investigative journalist that helped uncover Nixon's role in the 1972 scandal, Carl Bernstein, reckons this is much more problematic.
"It's not deja vu. This was something far worse than occurred in Watergate," the veteran reporter told CNN.
"We have both a criminal president of the US in Donald Trump and a subversive president...at the same time in this one person subverting the very basics of our democracy and willing to act criminally in that subversion."
Mr Bernstein added that the call is the 'ultimate smoking gun tape' and showed 'what this president is willing to do to undermine the electoral system and illegally, improperly and immorally try to instigate a coup in which he remains the president of the US'.
Since the 3 November vote, Trump has claimed there has been widespread electoral fraud. However, he has been unable to provide any evidence for the foul play he alleges.
Joe Biden won Georgia, along with other swing states, after winning 306 college votes to Trump's 232.
In the excerpts from the leaked call, Trump alternated between cajoling and pressuring Raffensperger.
At one point he spoke of a rumour that ballots had been shredded and voting machinery removed from Fulton County in the state, which Raffensperger's lawyer said was not the case.
Threatening Raffensperger and his lawyer with the possibility of legal action, Trump said: "You know what they did and you're not reporting it. That's a criminal offence. You can't let that happen. That's a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer."
He also ordered Raffensberger to re-examine the result in the state, telling him: "You can re-examine it, but re-examine it with people who want to find answers, not people who don't want to find answers."
Raffensperger responded: "Mr President, you have people who submit information and we have our people that submit information and then it comes before the court and the court has to make a determination.
"We have to stand by our numbers, we believe our numbers are right."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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