What to expect January 6 hearings day 4: Inside the state pressure campaign


The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol turns its attention on Tuesday to the campaign to pressure state officials to overturn the results 2020 elections.

The hearing will focus in particular on then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results in Arizona and Georgia – where Trump notoriously asked Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes whose he needed to win.

Committee aides said the hearing will also demonstrate how Trump and his allies concocted a scheme to submit fake voter lists.

Trump’s pressure campaign against state officials unfolded in many key states where he had lost to Joe Biden. The committee plans to focus on the steps taken by Trump to try to overturn the election as well as the roles played by his attorney Rudy Giuliani and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

CNN previously reported on the text messages Meadows exchanged between the election and Biden’s inauguration where he worked to coordinate Trump’s efforts to void the election.

Aides said the committee intended to show that the then president had been warned that his actions in falsely claiming that voter fraud and pressure on state and local authorities risked be violent, but he did it anyway.

Committee aides said witnesses testifying in person Tuesday from Arizona and Georgia will be able to talk about the White House’s lobbying campaign, as well as the backlash they’ve received from Trump supporters.

Witnesses from Georgia include Raffensperger and his chief operating officer, Gabe Sterling, who both faced relentless attacks from Trump after certifying the state’s election. Fulton County election worker Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, who was falsely accused by Trump of voter fraud, will also testify about the backlash she faced.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican, will testify about the pressure he received from Trump and Giuliani, according to committee aides.

The committee plans to show video testimony of depositions from officials in other states where Trump and his allies lobbied state-level officials to try to block Biden’s election victory.

Representative Adam Schiff, the committee member who will lead Tuesday’s hearing, told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that the hearing would show how Meadows had played an “intimate role” in efforts to pressure lawmakers and lawmakers. Georgia state election officials.

The California Democrat said the committee would release new text messages showing Meadows wanted to send autographed “Make America Great Again” hats to those conducting Georgia’s post-election audit.

Committee aides said the hearing would “demonstrate its involvement” in Georgia as Jan. 6 approaches.

Meadows contacted Raffensperger several times after the 2020 election, according to text messages obtained by CNN, and he participated in Trump’s January 2021 call where the former president asked Raffensperger to “find” the votes whose president at the time needed to win.

While that call was ongoing, Meadows was texting with the Assistant Secretary of State, who urged him to end the call that is now at the center of the Fulton County inquiry into whether the Any action Trump or his allies took regarding the Georgia election was criminal.

Witnesses will be able to testify first-hand on Tuesday about the impact of Trump’s lobbying campaign and misrepresentation on the election – as they have all been the victims of attacks and threats.

Aides said Bowers, the Arizona secretary of state, will be able to testify to the “campaign of harassment” he faced in the run-up to Jan. 6 and the months that followed.

Raffensperger and Sterling were attacked by Trump and his allies for certifying Georgia’s election. Sterling warned at a press conference in December 2020 that “everything has gone too far” after local election officials faced threats and harassment.

Moss, who was a Fulton County election worker in 2020, will testify how her mother and her life were turned upside down and they were forced into hiding after Moss was accused by Trump of staging a fake ballot, according to reports. committee help. She and another election worker sued Giuliani last year.

In her written testimony provided Monday, Moss said the false stories accusing her of participating in voter fraud led her to receive death threats.

Raffensperger testifies after easily defeating GOP Rep. Jody Hice in a Trump-backed main challenge last month.

Trump had made unseating Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp among his top priorities after Georgia GOP officials refuted his false allegations of fraud in the state’s 2020 election and certified Biden’s election. But Kemp and Raffensperger easily won their races, marking a rare case of Trump being defeated in his effort to oust Republicans who crossed paths with him after the election.

Interestingly, Georgia is holding a primary runoff on Tuesday, an election that Raffensperger and Sterling are apparently tasked with leading at the same time they testify before the House Select Committee.

In addition to the campaign to pressure state officials, the select committee plans to focus Tuesday’s hearing on the effort to present pro-Trump voter lists, which has emerged as a core tenet of the broader plan to cancel the 2020 elections.

CNN previously reported that Trump campaign officials oversaw efforts to nominate illegitimate voters in seven swing states that Trump lost. The idea was that when Congress meets to certify the election on Jan. 6, the states would have dueling voter lists so they weren’t automatically assigned to Biden.

Federal prosecutors are examining bogus Electoral College certifications created by Trump allies that falsely declared him the winner of seven states he lost in 2020. The fake certificates were sent to the National Archives in the weeks following the election and had no impact on the ballot. results.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Georgia, which is conducting a separate criminal investigation into Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 election, is examining the attempt to submit fake voter lists as part of its investigation.

Last week, the committee focused on the pressure campaign that then-Vice President Mike Pence faced from Trump and his allies in the days leading up to Jan. 6. Tuesday’s hearing will go back in time to examine what happened in the states – before Trump focused attention on Pence.

The out of order committee hearings are probably due to scheduling issues more than anything else. Last week, for example, the committee originally planned to hold its Justice Department hearing the day before Pence’s hearing. Now, that hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

The change means the committee is focusing its hearings on the various themes of the campaign to overturn the election, rather than telling a natural chronological story of the scheme that culminated in what happened on January 6.

Yet the final two hearings will focus on the day of the Capitol uprising: first on the extremists who attacked the Capitol, then on Trump’s response — or lack of response — inside the White House.

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