Democrat Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said in an interview with CNN that it “would be a waste of our time” to pursue impeachment over President Donald Trump’s phone call with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger since Inauguration Day is only two weeks away.
“I do believe with only 14 or 15 days left in this presidency it would be a waste of our time here in the House to pursue impeachment,” said Clyburn on Tuesday. “I suspect, if all that I heard on this tape is to be investigated, there could very well be criminal charges brought by state and local governments down there in Georgia, both the state and of course Atlanta, and I would hope that that would be pursued. That is something that can be pursued even after January 20.”
He continued to say that the House should concentrate on dealing with the pandemic.
“We have got to do something within the first 90 to 100 days to get people vaccinated, to get people comfortable with the vaccinations,” he said.
Additionally, he said that if Vice President Mike Pence has aspirations for the future, he should “carry out his responsibilities in a way that’s becoming of a vice presidency which would be a tremendous contrast to the way our president is carrying out his duties and responsibilities.”
David Shafer, chairman of the Republican Party of Georgia, wrote on Twitter that the call was about two pending lawsuits Trump has filed against Raffensperger.
“President [Trump] has filed two lawsuits—federal and state—against [Raffensperger]. The telephone conference call @GaSecofState secretly recorded was a ‘confidential settlement discussion’ of that litigation, which is still pending,” wrote Shafer.
Trump also took to Twitter to say that he had called Raffensperger about Fulton County’s alleged election fraud situation.
“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!” wrote Trump.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2021
Raffensperger then responded to the president’s post, saying that Trump’s claims are false.
“Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out,” wrote the Georgia Secretary of State.
Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out https://t.co/ViYjTSeRcC
— GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (@GaSecofState) January 3, 2021
According to the state’s contested certified results, Biden won the state with a razors-edge lead of just 11,779 votes—0.24 percent of almost 5 million.
Some media outlets attacked Trump over the call, and on Monday, vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris suggested it was a “bold abuse of power.”
A full transcript of the call shows that Trump had made the following fraud allegations:
“We have at least two or three—anywhere from 250,000 to 300,000 ballots were dropped mysteriously into the rolls. Much of that had to do with Fulton County, which hasn’t been checked. We think that if you check the signatures—a real check of the signatures going back in Fulton County—you’ll find at least a couple of hundred thousand of forged signatures of people who have been forged,” the president said during the call.
“We had, I believe it’s about 4,502 voters who voted but who weren’t on the voter registration list, so it’s 4,502 who voted, but they weren’t on the voter registration roll, which they had to be. You had 18,325 vacant address voters. The address was vacant, and they’re not allowed to be counted. That’s 18,325,” he continued.
“You had out-of-state voters. They voted in Georgia, but they were from out of state, of 4,925. You had absentee ballots sent to vacant, they were absentee ballots sent to vacant addresses. They had nothing on them about addresses, that’s 2,326.”