Calls for President Donald Trump's impeachment have been renewed following the release of an audio recording from his phone call with Georgia's Republican Secretary of State, during which he pressured Brad Raffensperger to overturn Joe Biden's election win. Just hours after the Sunday release of the hour-long recording, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called for Trump's second impeachment, accusing the president of attempting to "rig a presidential election."
In a statement shared to CREW's website, executive director Noah Bookbinder said the call was "a low point in American history" and was an example of "unquestionably impeachable conduct." Bookbinder said the call "is incontrovertible and devastating." He also reflected on how after Trump was acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, "we worried that he would grow more brazen in his attempts to wrongly and illegally keep himself in power. He has."
"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," the statement added. "If you believe in America, and the ideals for which it stands, you can no longer stand by President Trump in his attempt to end it. Congress must act immediately."
In the audio recording, published by The Washington Post, Trump could be heard pressuring Raffensperger into finding votes to overturn Biden's win in the state. At one point in the call, he can be heard stating, "I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state." He also said, "there's nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you've recalculated." Raffensperger and Ryan Germany, his office's general counsel, repeatedly dismissed Trump's allegations.
The recording has sparked calls for impeachment from more than just CREW, with a number of leading Democrats echoing the demand. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 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." Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, meanwhile, said the tape "merits nothing less than a criminal investigation."
Although it is unclear if articles of impeachment will be brought forth —something that seems unlikely with just days left in Trump's presidency — if they were to be, they would be history-making, with Axios reporting that no president has been impeached twice. At this time, the White House has not responded to the tape.