Republicans had an opportunity to remove Donald Trump from office a year ago.
Yet, despite incontrovertible evidence of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress leading to Trump being the third president to be impeached, the Senate GOP overwhelmingly decided he was still fit to hold the nation’s highest office.
Fast forward one year.
Donald Trump has two weeks left in office.
One of the very crimes for which was impeached–abuse of power–he has just committed yet again.
In an explosive audiotaped conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger this weekend that even Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein has called “far worse than Watergate,” Donald Trump is heard attempting to manipulate the final Georgia presidential election vote count.
“There’s no way I lost Georgia. There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes. You know what they did and you’re not reporting it. You know, that’s a criminal offense. And you know, you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan [Germany], your lawyer. That’s a big risk.”
He tried to appeal to the Secretary of State’s potential popularity with Georgia voters:
“You would be respected, really respected, if this can be straightened out before the election.”
Raffensperger’s steadfast response:
“Well, Mr President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.”
The impeached President of the United States has committed yet another impeachable offense.
University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias explained:
“[Trump might be] in legal jeopardy after Biden is inaugurated. For example, if the justice department or US attorneys believe that Trump violated federal law or if local prosecutors in states, such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin, where Trump may have engaged in similar behavior with state or local election officials, believe that Trump violated state election laws, the federal or state prosecutors could file suit against Trump.”
Richard H Pildes, New York University constitutional law professor, added:
“The president is either knowingly attempting to coerce state officials into corrupting the integrity of the election or is so deluded that he believes what he’s saying.”
Former Southern District of New York federal prosecutor said:
“Unless there are portions of the tape that somehow negate criminal intent, ‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’ and his threats against Raffensperger and his counsel violate 52 U.S. Code 20511.”
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics executive director Noah Bookbinder commented:
“The president of the United States has been caught on tape trying to rig a presidential election. This is a low point in American history and unquestionably impeachable conduct. It is incontrovertible and devastating. When the Senate acquitted President Trump for abusing his powers to try to get himself re-elected [in February 2020, regarding approaches to Ukraine for dirt on Biden], we worried that he would grow more brazen in his attempts to wrongly and illegally keep himself in power. He has…Congress must act immediately.”
Andrew Weissmann, former prosecutor with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, tweeted:
So many parts of the tape evidence Trump’s criminal intent:
-lies, and no facts, to support demands
-seeking to find the precise number of votes to win (vs impartial scrub of votes)
-reminding Secy he’s a Republican (how is that relevant?)
-reminding him of criminal consequences
— Andrew Weissmann (@AWeissmann_) January 4, 2021
“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.”
As former prosecutors, @RepKathleenRice and I believe @realDonaldTrump committed multiple crimes during the phone call in which he threatened GA SoS Raffensperger to “find 11,780” votes or to “recalculate.”
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 4, 2021
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. https://t.co/u4qJU7Kq0O
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 3, 2021
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) added:
Donald Trump once again abused the power of his office, demanded interference in our elections, betrayed this country, and attacked our democracy.
We must hold him fully accountable, even after he leaves office. There must be justice. https://t.co/fQ9lkW9GTA
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) January 4, 2021
The question is, will they hold him accountable?
He is stoking potential conflict with Iran.
He has granted clemency to loyal sycophants, financial con artists like himself, and murderers.
Yet Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling said, “This is all easily, provably false. Yet, the president persists.”