The House Select Committee that investigated the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol in its hearing on Tuesday detailed threats aimed at state lawmakers, election officials and workers in Arizona and Georgia, while President Donald Trump and his allies were trying to get them to overturn the election results in their states.
The committee tried on Tuesday to uncover the seriousness of the threat to democracy in the days and weeks following the election, given the enormous and persistent pressure from the president and Rudy Giuliani on American officials and municipalities to promote the “big lie” that Trump had won the election. The ability of these Americans to withstand that pressure has come at a great personal cost.
“Our democracy has endured because brave people like you heard today put their oath to the constitution above their loyalty to a man,” said committee member Rep. Adam Schiff.
“The system has held up but barely and the question remains, will it hold up again?”
The hearing exposed the plan devised by Trump and his allies in Arizona to replace Biden’s bona fide voters with bogus ones. The false voters gathered in Arizona, which Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers called a “tragic parody.” Bowers refused to be involved in Giuliani’s bogus electoral plan.
Texts shown by Schiff revealed that Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin could also play a role in the false voting scheme. The texts, between Johnson’s chief of staff and an aide to Pence, showed Johnson’s aide informing Pence’s aide that the senator was prepared to hand over fraudulent votes to Pence. “Don’t give it to him,” Pence’s assistant replied.
Bowers said that “a tenet of my faith is that the Constitution is divinely inspired” and that what he was asked to do was “foreign to my own being.”
The speaker from Arizona House also described what his personal life has been like since the election. In emotional testimony, Bowers claimed that until “very recently” his family had begun to fear Saturdays, when Trump supporters drove around his neighborhood and falsely announced that he was a “pedophile” and a corrupt politician. . He recounted an argument between a neighbor and a man with a gun and also talked about his family’s reactions.
“At the same time, on some of these, we had a daughter who was seriously ill who was shocked by what was happening outside and my wife, who is a brave person, a very strong, quiet, very strong woman,” he said. , growing emotional. “So it was creepy.” Bowers did not mention that in early 2021 her daughter died after her illness.
Fulton County election worker Wandrea Arshaye (“Shaye”) Moss, who was falsely accused, along with her mother, of implementing a bogus election plan and called them professional vote scammers, allegations that led to threats of death and intimidation, and forced them into hiding, committee aides said. The committee showed the video of Moss’s mother, Ruby Freeman, testifying that she “lost my name” after all the threats.
Moss said his life had been turned upside down by the election.
“I haven’t been anywhere at all – I’ve gained about 60 pounds, I don’t do anything anymore, I guess everything I do,” Moss said. “It has influenced my life in a major way, in every way. All because of the lies to me that I do my job, the same thing I have always done.”
Moss said she and none of her Fulton County colleagues still work there.
The committee’s vice chair, Representative Liz Cheney, said Trump “didn’t care about these threats of violence” and said, “We can’t let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and delinquent violence.”
The chairman of the committee, Representative Bennie Thompson, said in his opening statement that “pressuring civil servants to betray their oaths was a key part” of Trump’s “playbook”.
Thompson said Trump’s pressure on these election officials was based on the “big lie”. “The lie hasn’t gone away. It’s corrupting our democratic institutions,” Thompson added, noting in particular that a New Mexico County official refused to certify the recent primary findings.
The committee also heard testimony from two Republicans in Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and, chief operating officer of the secretariat of state. Raffensperger and Sterling detailed how they were pushed by Trump to find more votes in their states.
“I think sometimes moments require you to stand up and make the shots – you are doing your job,” said Raffensperger. “And that’s all we did. We just followed the law and the constitution. In the end, President Trump failed.”
The commission will hold its next public hearing on Thursday at 3pm