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Newton congressmen react to Trump phone call to Secretary of State
One calling for president's resignation, other wanting vote fraud investigation
U.S. Capitol

Newton County's two congressmen not surprisingly were far apart in their reactions to President Donald Trump's weekend call to Georgia's Secretary of State.

Trump asked Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger Saturday, Jan. 2, in an hourlong call to overturn the Nov. 3 election results in which challenger Joe Biden won Georgia by almost 12,000 votes.

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, on Monday called on Trump to resign because he violated the law with his request for Raffensperger to “recalculate” the vote to find enough votes in the General Election to allow the president to win the state and gain its 16 electoral votes.

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, defended Trump for the call and said he "had every right to be angry" about alleged voter fraud in Georgia.

Hice, whose 10th Congressional District includes eastern Newton County, said fraud was rooted in Raffensperger's move to send out absentee ballot applications in March to protect voters from COVID-19.

“The president is absolutely right. There are abundant votes out there that are fraudulent votes," Hice said.

“There's no doubt it was a disaster in Georgia,” he said. “I believe the election can be turned around if an authentic investigation is taking place.”

Johnson, whose 4th Congressional District includes western Newton, was joined by more than 90 other House members in supporting a resolution seeking to censure and condemn Trump "for attempting to overturn the results of the November 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia."

He tweeted that that president’s call to Raffensperger was "a violation of state and federal law."

"Tomorrow, I will introduce a resolution of Censure. Trump should resign NOW!" Johnson wrote on Twitter Monday.

A news release from Johnson's office stated that Trump called Raffensperger Saturday, Jan. 2, "and asked him to illegally fabricate the votes needed for him to win the Georgia vote count."

"Rep. Johnson moved quickly to condemn President Trump's criminal actions and denounce his flagrant attempts to defraud a legal, fair, and free election,” the release stated.

"The resolution also calls on President Trump to retract and disavow this unlawful and unconstitutional behavior and acknowledge President-elect Joseph R. Biden as the victor of the November 2020 presidential election."

The president and his supporters have shown no visible proof backing his allegations.

However, Hice, said in an interview on the Fox News Channel Sunday, "There is zero question in my mind that the election in Georgia was filled with fraud and it all started with the Secretary of State unilaterally making the decision to send applications for absentee ballots to everyone in the voter registration file.”

"He had zero authority to do so. The General Assembly is the only one who can make that decision but he did it himself," said Hice, who has been a regular guest on conservative TV news channels like NewsMax in recent months.

"And in so doing literally hundreds of thousands of applications for ballots went out to people who were illegal voters in Georgia,” Hice said.

Hice said both parties should be supportive of ways to ensure the General Election vote count was accurate. 

“The heart of our republic is free and fair elections,” he said.