House Jan. 6 committee focuses on “fake electors” and threats to public servants amid Trump pressure campaign

The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol during Tuesday’s hearing detailed threats made against state lawmakers, election officials and workers in Arizona and Georgia, while that President Donald Trump and his allies were trying to get them to overturn the election results in their states.

The commission on Tuesday sought to highlight the seriousness of the threat to democracy in the days and weeks following the election, given the enormous and persistent pressure exerted by the president and Rudy Giuliani on officials and ordinary Americans to promote the “big lie”. that Trump had won the election. The ability of these Americans to resist this pressure came at a high personal cost.

“Our democracy held because brave people like you heard today swore an oath to the constitution above their loyalty to one man,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, a committee member.
“The system held but barely and the question remains, will it still hold?”

The hearing exposed the plan hatched by Trump and his allies in Arizona to replace bona fide Biden voters with bogus voters. Fake voters rallied in Arizona in what Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers called a “tragic travesty.” Bowers refused to get involved in the fake voter scheme pushed by Giuliani.

Texts shown by Schiff revealed that Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin may also have played a role in the bogus voter scheme. The texts, between Johnson’s chief of staff and a Pence aide, showed Johnson’s aide informing Pence’s aide that the senator was willing to deliver fraudulent ballots to Pence. “Don’t give him that,” Pence’s aide replied.

Capitol Riot Investigation
Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, testifies as the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal findings from a year-long investigation , at the Washington Capitol on Tuesday, June 21. , 2022.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Bowers said a “principle of my faith is that the Constitution is divinely inspired” and that what he was asked to do was “alien to my very being”.

The Arizona House speaker also described his personal life since the election. In moving testimony, Bowers said that until ‘very recently’ his family had begun to dread Saturdays, when Trump supporters drove through his neighborhood and falsely advertised that he was a ‘pedophile’ and a politician. corrupt. He recounted an argument between a neighbor and a man with a gun, and also spoke of his family’s reactions.

“At the same time, on some of them, we had a seriously ill daughter who was upset about what was going on outside and my wife, she’s a valiant person, a very strong, calm, very strong woman. “, did he declare. increasingly emotional. “So it was disturbing.” Bowers did not mention that in early 2021 her daughter died from her illness.

Fulton County election worker Wandrea Arshaye (“Shaye”) Moss, who was falsely accused, along with her mother, of staging a fake ballot and branded them professional voting con artists, allegations that led to death threats and intimidation, and forced them into hiding, said committee aides. The committee showed video of Moss’ mother, Ruby Freeman, testifying that she had “lost my name” after all the threats.

Moss said his life has been turned upside down since the election.

“I haven’t gone anywhere at all — I’ve gained about 60 pounds, I’m not doing anything anymore, I’m questioning everything I do,” Moss said. “It affected my life in a major way, in every way. All because of lying to me while doing my job, the same thing I’ve been doing forever.”

Moss said she and none of her Fulton County colleagues still work there.

The committee’s vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney, said Trump “doesn’t care about these threats of violence” and said, “we can’t let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and violence. thugs”.

Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson said in his opening statement that “pressuring officials to betray their oaths was a fundamental part” of Trump’s “playbook.”

Thompson said Trump’s pressure on those election officials was based on the “big lie.” “The lie has not gone away. It corrupts our democratic institutions,” Thompson added, noting specifically that a New Mexico county official refused to certify recent primary results.

The committee also heard testimony from two Georgia Republicans, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Gabriel Sterling, Chief Operating Officer of the Office of the Secretary of State. Raffensperger and Sterling detailed how Trump pressured them to find more votes in their states.

“I think sometimes moments require you to get up and take pictures — you’re doing your job,” Raffensperger said. “And that’s all we did. We just followed the law and followed the constitution. In the end, President Trump failed.”

The commission will hold the next public hearing Thursday at 3 p.m.

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