President Donald Trump returns early on Marine One from their Florida vacation, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. on December 31. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Two House Democrats called for a criminal investigation Monday into President Donald Trump after leaked call to Georgia officials allegedly soliciting election fraud.
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray to request the probe after Trump was heard on the call leaked to the public Sunday asking Georgia's Secretary of State to "find" votes to overturn the presidential election results in the state.
"The president of the United States, in an approximately one-hour long phone call, threatened and berated Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find 11,780 votes to overturn the president's defeat in the state," the letter read.
"Mr. Trump also made a number of other statements soliciting election fraud, such as telling Mr. Raffensperger: 'And there's nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you've recalculated.'"
During the leaked phone call with Raffensperger, a Republican, and his office's general counsel, Ryan Germany, obtained by The Washington Post and NBC News, Trump called for Raffensperger to overturn the election results, citing unfounded claims of fraud, or face potential legal and political consequences.
Trump also suggested Raffensperger's failure to adhere to his demands would hurt the chances of Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the runoff election against Democratic challengers Tuesday that will determine the balance of the Senate.
Raffensperger told Trump that the data his election challenge was based on "is wrong" and Germany told Trump repeatedly that voting machines had not been tampered with.
"The evidence of election fraud by Mr. Trump is now in broad daylight," Lieu and Rice wrote in the letter to Wray, citing U.S. and Georgia codes prohibiting criminal solicitation to commit election fraud and refusing to count accurate votes.
President-Elect Joe Biden was certified as the winner of the election in the state following a statewide recount and audit of the election, resulting in 16 electoral votes for Biden, with 306 votes overall, surpassing the 270 needed to win, compared to Trump's 232.
Congress will meet Wednesday to formally count the electoral votes.