House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said on Tuesday that he hopes state and local governments in Georgia will pursue “criminal charges” against President Donald Trump.
The comments come after multiple news outlets published audio tapes revealing that Trump had pressured a top elections official in Georgia to “find” enough ballots to declare him the winner of the battleground state.
Pursuing impeachment over Trump's Georgia call "would be a waste of our time here in the House," @WhipClyburn says.
He urged lawmakers to instead prepare for the new administration "to deliver for the American people so that we can get beyond this pandemic" pic.twitter.com/CNCHdzCdEn
— New Day (@NewDay) January 5, 2021
“There could very well be criminal charges brought by state and local governments down there in Georgia,” Clyburn told CNN’s John Berman during an interview on Tuesday morning when asked about the tapes.
In audio first published by the Washington Post, Trump can be heard on the phone with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) urging the state official to help him find enough votes to overturn his loss to President-elect Joe Biden in the state’s razor-thin election.
“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said on the hour-long call in which he pressured Raffensperger to announce the votes had been “recalculated.”
Clyburn said that while he did not share the opinion of some Democrats who have suggested impeachment following the release of the tapes, calling it a “waste of time” as Trump is set to leave the White House in just over two weeks, he did support potentially advancing criminal charges against the president.
A Democrat on Georgia’s state election board on Sunday had also called on Raffensperger to launch an investigation into the president for the leaked phone call.
“That is something that can be pursued even after January 20th,” Clyburn added, calling for the House to focus its current efforts on preparing for the incoming Biden administration and the COVID-19 vaccine roll out “so we can get beyond this pandemic.”