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Clyburn says pursuing Trump impeachment 'would be a waste of our time'

Clyburn says pursuing Trump impeachment 'would be a waste of our time'
© Bonnie Cash

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Tuesday poured cold water on the idea of pursuing impeachment proceedings against President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE over a phone call between him and Georgia's secretary of state, but said officials in Georgia should bring criminal charges against the president after he leaves office.

Speaking with CNN's "New Day," Clyburn indicated that he thought the president's request for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to "find" more than 11,000 votes he would need to overturn President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE's victory in the state was illegal.

"It would be a waste of our time here in the House to pursue impeachment. I suspect if all that I've 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 ... and I would hope that that would be pursued," he said.

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"I would hope that the House of Representatives would spend its time concentrating on getting ready for this new administration and getting this House in order ... so that we can get beyond this pandemic," Clyburn continued. "That's where I think our energy ought to be."

Audio of the phone call was made public by The Washington Post on Sunday. Democrats immediately condemned the call but few have gone as far as calling for impeachment in the waning days of Trump's presidency.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate New York AG sues NYPD over excessive force at Black Lives Matter protests Pressley's chief of staff said her office's panic buttons 'had been torn out' before Capitol riot MORE (D-N.Y.), however, did call for Trump to face immediate impeachment proceedings on Sunday.

"I absolutely think it's an impeachable offense, and if it was up to me, there would be articles on the floor quite quickly, but he, I mean, he is trying to — he is attacking our very election. He's attacking our very election," Ocasio-Cortez told reporters on Monday.

On the roughly hourlong call, the president could be heard repeating a number of conspiracy theories about the elections in Georgia ranging from ballots being supposedly shredded in Fulton County, home to Atlanta, and claims about Dominion voting machines that have been sharply denied by the company itself.

Raffensperger refused on the call to bow to the president's wishes and overturn his election defeat.