Concerns over Trump’s call pressuring Georgia election official to find votes l |

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and for more on this let’s bring in abc news political director rick klein and brandeis university american history professor and abc news contributor leah wright regor thank you both for being here rick i want to start with you why isn’t the white house saying anything about this phone call with the president well there isn’t much good to say the audio is all out there and it’s pretty clear that the president is at times berating cajoling even potentially threatening the secretary of state all in the service not of an accurate count but in changing the electoral results now the best that some of the president’s allies might say about this is that it’s in the context of a legal disagreement because there are lawsuits against the state of georgia although that isn’t backed up by the audio but mostly the president’s allies are attacking the secretary of state for leaking this audio for putting it out there publicly but that only happened once the president went out and tweeted about the conversation misleadingly saying that raffensburger didn’t wasn’t able to provide evidence for the claims that he was making leah how surprising is it for a president to make the kinds of requests and accusations that we heard on this call have we seen this before so it’s incredibly surprising for a president to make these kinds of accusations and to make these kinds of demands but i would say that it’s not surprising for somebody like donald trump we’ve seen this already we saw this with you know the ukrainian president we’ve seen this with other elections we’ve seen this with trump in in person you know essentially making demands of people so that’s not so surprising i’d say the closest thing that we have to this would be something like richard nixon and watergate but this makes watergate look like a cakewalk there is there is essentially this is unprecedented in modern times for a president to make these kind of demands to make these kinds of ass and it’s not just toeing the line of legality it’s also towing the line of decency and fairness and of democracy and rick president trump was impeached a year ago accused of pressuring a foreign leader to dig up dirt on his political opponent how does this situation compare well i think pretty clearly based on the tax it is something that uh would be worthy of consideration of of impeachment i think some democrats have already said as much of course the president only has two weeks left in his term so it’s not clear what that would uh accomplish but i’ll tell you for someone who’s had conversations with president trump over over the years this sounds like him uh and particularly for people that have talked to him in recent weeks exactly what he has been saying that he believes these things that he uh he has been told a whole lot of different things and uh his his negotiating style of of some flattery some kind of vague threats that is classic trump and i think that is a through line through the ukraine phone call as well as this phone call that seems very similar and very familiar to a lot of people around the president that doesn’t make any of it right doesn’t make any of it acceptable and i think it puts a lot of pressure on republicans who are challenging election results to try to explain how they can back the president when he is saying this as explicitly as he has i think in another context though impeachment would definitely be on the table and leah more than 150 republicans in congress now say they plan to object to the election results when the electoral votes are counted how historic would that objection b again another historic moment for all the wrong reasons and i do want to point out that there are a number of republicans very prominent republicans in congress in the senate uh in the house outside former politicians who have all rejected this right we can point to somebody like liz cheney who is has enormous amount of control who has said that this is the wrong the absolutely wrong message but i think one of the things that we should point out is that republicans that are doing this and this kind of really big display of loyalty even in the face of being overwhelmingly wrong are doing this not necessarily out of fear of donald trump i think that ship has sailed what they’re doing this is because they’re interested in and they want uh donald trump’s voters they want those 74 million voters who cast ballots for donald trump so we’re seeing a lot of negotiating we’re seeing a lot of spectacle we’re seeing a lot of pomp and circumstance uh around the uh contesting the election uh contesting the election and i think one thing to point out is there are very very few paths um in which this works out in favor of the republicans and so a lot of this is spectacle and is a big display and show of loyalty to the republican base that doesn’t make it any less dangerous and it doesn’t make it any less wrong and this is all playing out ahead of tomorrow’s critical runoff elections in georgia that will decide control of the senate now senator david perdue is standing behind president trump saying what he said in the recording is no different than what he’s been saying for the last two months he also calls the fact that a republican recorded and leaked this conversation or would do that disgusting so rick how do you see this issue affecting those elections well i’ll tell you the big concern among republicans in georgia is that the president’s rhetoric and unfounded allegations about the november election could dampen turnout in this january runoff the control of the senate is at stake tomorrow it’s never happened before you have these two runoffs these two senate seats and the democrats win the both they control the senate it’s just that simple so they the republicans need their voters to turn out they need them to turn out on election day with the president and vice president biden president-elect biden both in the state today the stakes literally could not be any higher and this is at best a distraction at worst it could be a devo motivating factor if republicans actually believe what the president is saying that the election was rigged that election officials have it out against republicans it’s just one less reason to go vote uh here on this on this first tuesday in january and leah there’s now talk from both parties about changing election law for future elections given how and why these laws were founded what’s the likelihood of that happening and do you think it’s advisable so i think one of the things that we saw is that you know in that tape that hour-long conversation tape one of the people that donald trump is incredibly afraid of was stacey abrams and is stacey abrams and he says you know she has essentially taken us to the closet and part of that is because she understands the way that elections work in the way that the people that people vote why they come out what motivates them to come out and how to both work within the law but also how to push back against laws that they think that people feel are unjust and so i think what we’re going to see at least is that uh particularly on the democratic side of thing a lot of pushback against laws that people feel are unjust but the other thing to point out and i think the secret georgia secretary of state pointed this out in the conversation is that many of the laws that the trump people are upset about are laws that republicans put in place or signed off on happily when it benefited them so you know will we actually see some changes highly doubtful but we may see some pushback in ensuing years all right rick klein and leah wright roger always a pleasure having you both thank you thank you thank you hi everyone george stephanopoulos here thanks for checking out the abc news youtube channel if you’d like to get more videos show highlights and watch live event coverage click on the right over here to subscribe to our channel and don’t forget to download the 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