Trump and his aides pressured state officials to change election results

The Jan. 6 committee argued in its fourth hearing on Tuesday that former President Trump and his top allies found no evidence of fraud in the 2020 election, but tried to pressure election officials in the GOP for them to push this false narrative anyway.

Why is this important: The pressure campaign has resulted in violent threats against election officials and has gone so far as to attempt to deliver physical copies of fake voter votes to Vice President Mike Pence.

The big picture: Through a mix of recorded testimony behind closed doors from Justice Department officials and public testimony from key election officials, the committee revealed the extent of the efforts of the Trump team – namely former Trump lawyers John Eastman , Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis – to get state officials to change election results.

  • The Trump campaign had a call script for appeals to lawmakers urging them to support the nomination of fraudulent pro-Trump voters in states where Biden won.
  • Meanwhile, state election officials testified that they repeatedly asked Trump’s attorneys to provide evidence for their fraud allegations – but never received it.
  • The committee also showed the human toll of false allegations disseminated by Trump and his team about election officials and election workers, which include death threats and home burglaries.

Driving the news: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the panel’s vice chair, opened the hearing by saying Trump knew his claims that the 2020 election was plagued by fraud were “absurd.”

  • “As you listen to these recordings, keep in mind what Donald Trump already knew at the time he made these calls — he had been told time and time again that his stolen election claims were nonsense,” Cheney said.
  • “Donald Trump didn’t care about the threats of violence. He didn’t condemn them, he made no effort to stop them; he made his false allegations anyway.”
Mark Meadow’s role in Georgia

In one of the biggest revelations of the hearingRep. Adam Schiff (D-California) said the committee received text messages that former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows wanted to send Georgia election investigators “a shit load of POTUS stuff, including coins, real autographed MAGA hats, etc.”

  • Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s chief operating officer, Gabriel Sterling, detailed his efforts to debunk Trump and his team’s false narrative.
  • Sterling said he “lost it” during a December appearance after learning of violent threats against his aides.
  • Sterling’s presser was heavily criticized by Trump and others.
  • Sterling testified on Tuesday: “It was frustrating. A lot of times I felt our information was coming out, but there was a reluctance from people who needed to believe it because the President of the United States, whom many admired and respected, told them it was not true despite the facts.”

The committee released the audio between Trump and Raffensperger, which showed how hard the former president pushed him to find cases of fraud in Georgia.

  • Trump rattled off a series of false claims, each of which Raffensperger debunked in real time while speaking with Trump, the audio showed. Trump could be heard asking Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes, which is one more than us.”
  • “Numbers are numbers and they don’t lie,” Raffensperger said. “Every claim we checked, we walked the rabbit trail to make sure our numbers were accurate.”

Raffensperger also testified that Trump supporters repeatedly threatened his life and family, and some eventually broke into his daughter-in-law’s house.

DOJ dismissed claims of voter fraud

Former Trump DOJ officials testified in taped depositions that they told Trump there was no widespread fraud in Georgia, but he pressured state officials to find anyway allegations of fraud.

  • Former Attorney General Bill Barr testified that he told Trump that allegations of voter fraud in Fulton County, Georgia, “had no basis”: “We saw no evidence of fraud in the Fulton County episode “, did he declare.
  • Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general, told the committee he said to Trump, “I said something like, ‘Sir, we’ve done dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews. The main claims are not supported by the evidence developed.
The Trump campaign lobbied Michigan’s Laura Cox
  • Former Michigan GOP chairwoman Laura Cox told the Jan. 6 committee that mock Republican voters plan to hide in Michigan’s Capitol building overnight to fulfill the requirement they fulfill in the chamber. of the State Senate: “I told him in no uncertain terms it was crazy and inappropriate.”
  • Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel testified privately that the Trump campaign asked her to help facilitate an alternative list of Michigan voters.
Moving testimony of Rusty Bowers

rusty arbors, The Arizona House Speaker and Republican testified publicly on Tuesday that he never told “anyone”, “nowhere”, “at no time” that the election was rigged.

  • Bowers pointed out that Trump’s statement earlier Tuesday that he had already told the then-president he won in Arizona “is also untrue.”
  • Bowers also said he demanded that Giuliani and Ellis provide proof of the fraud allegations he was peddling, but they never did. “We have a lot of theories, but we just don’t have the evidence,” Giuliani said, according to Bowers.
  • Bowers said he told Eastman he was being asked to do something illegal — something that had never happened in the country’s history. Eastman’s response, according to Bowers, who said he was paraphrasing: “Do it, and let the courts find out.”

Inside the room: Cheney hugged Bowers after his in-person testimony. Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) shook his hand.

Poll worker “Shaye” Moss recounts death threats

Wandrea’ ArShaye “Shaye” Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, election workers in Georgia, “have become the target of ugly lies propagated by President Trump,” said committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).

  • Moss testified in person that she received “a lot of threats wishing me dead, telling me I’d be in jail with my mom and saying things like ‘Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920′”.
  • Moss said she was still afraid to leave her house: “I don’t go grocery shopping at all. I haven’t been anywhere. I’ve put on about 60 pounds. I don’t do anything anymore. I don’t want to go nowhere.”
  • Freeman said in a closed-door deposition that she had to leave her home as Jan. 6 approached amid concerns about threats and violence.
  • “If the most powerful person in the world can drop the full weight of the presidency on an ordinary citizen just doing his job, with a lie as big and heavy as a mountain, who among us is safe? None of us. None of us,” Schiff said after questioning Moss.
Implications for Members of Congress

Separation line: Cheney appealed to fellow Republicans and voters at home who were skeptical about believing the January 6 committee’s findings.

  • “Don’t get distracted by politics. This is serious. We can’t let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence,” she said.

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