January 6 committee witnesses testify that lives are “upside down” over Trump’s election fraud allegations

The House Committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday outlined Donald Trump’s relentless pressure to cancel the 2020 presidential election, with the aim of proving that it provoked widespread personal threats to election workers and to local officials who defended their efforts.

The panel resumed focusing on Trump’s efforts to undo Joe Biden’s victory by relying on key battlefield state officials to reject ballots directly or to present alternative voters for the final bill in Congress. The pressure was fueled by the false statements of the defeated president of electoral fraud which, according to the panel, directly provoked the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol.

“A handful of election officials in several key states stood between Donald Trump and the vertigo of American democracy,” said Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the committee.

The hearing opened with creepy accounts of the onslaught of attacks facing local, mostly Republican, elected officials, including a Michigan lawmaker whose personal phone number was tweeted by Trump to his millions. of followers and another in Pennsylvania who had to disconnect the family home phone line. , which received calls at all hours of the night.

“It has to stop,” Gabriel Sterling, head of operations for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, pleaded in a 2020 video clip that was shown to the audience.

Deputy Liz Cheney, vice chair of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 bombing of the U.S. Capitol, made the opening remarks in Washington on Tuesday. (J. Scott Applewhite / The Associated Press)

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, the panel’s vice president, urged Americans to pay attention to the evidence presented at the hearings.

“Trump didn’t care about the threats of violence. He didn’t condemn them, he didn’t make any effort to stop them,” Cheney said. “This is serious. We can’t let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and bullying violence.”

Rusty Bowers, president of the Arizona State House, said Tuesday. (Jacquelyn Martin / The Associated Press)

The public hearing, the fourth in the panel this month, stemmed from its one-year investigation into Trump’s unprecedented attempt to stay in power, an expansive plan that the January 6 committee chairman he compared it to a “coup attempt.”

He reviewed how Trump was repeatedly told that his pressure campaign could cause violence against local officials and their families, but he persecuted him anyway.

Harassment, defamation

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Deputy Sterling and Arizona Republican State Speaker Rusty Bowers were key witnesses, along with Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a former worker. Georgia voter who, with his mother, said they were facing such a serious audience. harassment by Trump’s allies who felt unable to live a normal life.

Bowers, the first to testify, recounted the pressure he faced. Despite being a staunch supporter of Trump, Bowers told the committee that he acknowledged that Biden won the November 2020 presidential election.

He said there was no “solid, judicial and quality evidence” to convince him to deny his oath and give in to efforts to overturn the election results.

Ruby Freeman, right, hears her daughter Wandrea ‘Shaye’ Moss testify about the harassment they both suffered after the 2020 presidential election. (Michael Reynolds / Pool Photo via The Associated Press)

“It’s a principle of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired by the most basic fundamental beliefs. And so doing it because someone just asked me is strange to my own being. I won’t,” Bowers said. dit.

Bowers detailed how not only was his office “saturated” with messages and texts to the point of not being able to work, but he also had to deal with people who intimidated him and his family at home. he drove around his neighborhood with loudspeakers, threatening his neighbors. and making false claims that Bowers is a “pedophile” or a “pervert.”

The bullying had an additional toll on Bowers, who described his “seriously” ill daughter, now dead, as upset by what was happening outside the home.

Moss, a former election worker, said she and her family suffered harassment, racism and threats after a video of her and her mother, Ruby Freeman, a temporary election worker, was used to spread the word. false statements of Trump fraud.

The lies told about both, Moss stated, “have changed [her] life upside down “.

The video, of the couple counting votes, was posted by Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who, in a December 2020 call with lawmakers in the state of Georgia, accused them of “illegal activity. “Legal ambush,” the committee heard.

TARGET | Moss describes security threats:

The FBI advised the former Georgia election worker to leave home for safety

Ruby Freeman, a former Fulton County, Ga, election worker, said the FBI warned her to leave her home until after Joe Biden took office because of the threats she had received.

He explained that he had received “many threats. Wishing me death. He told me I would be in prison with my mother and told me things like, ‘Glad it’s 2020 and not 1920.'”

Trump also targeted Moss and Freeman in a recorded call with Raffensperger, calling Raffensperger a “professional voter scammer” and a “scammer,” the committee heard.

Freeman did not speak at Tuesday’s hearing, but the panel heard his previously recorded testimony.

She was known as “Lady Ruby” and wore a T-shirt on election night with that name, she said. He no longer wears the T-shirt and worries that other people will even call him by his nickname.

“I’ve lost my name and my reputation. I’ve lost my sense of security. All because a group of people starting with [Trump] and his ally, Rudy Giuliani, decided to make me and my daughter a scapegoat, “he said.

The FBI, before January 6 and the day of the inauguration, recommended to Freeman that he leave his home for 21 years for his own safety. He ended up not returning home for about two months.

“There’s no place where I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know how it feels when the President of the United States appoints you?” he said in another clip.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, during a press conference on December 14, 2020 in Atlanta, spoke at the panel about an effort by Donald Trump and his allies to deny Joe Biden an election victory in Georgia. (John Bazemore / The Associated Press)

‘Criminal offense’

Georgia’s secretary of state Raffensperger said in a phone call with Trump that he was asked to “find 11,780” votes that could turn his state upside down and prevent Biden’s election victory.

During the call, days before the Jan. 6 attack, Trump repeatedly cited denied allegations of fraud and raised the possibility of a “criminal offense” if Georgia officials did not change the state’s count. The state had counted its votes three times before certifying Biden’s victory by a margin of 11,779.

Raffensperger appeared before a special grand jury in Georgia earlier this month to investigate whether Trump and others tried to intervene illegally in the 2020 state election.

He has previously said he took at least one of Trump’s statements during his phone call as “a threat.”

TARGET | Witnesses explain, dispel the claims of “fake voters”:

Panel presents video on Trump’s plan for “fake voters”

The committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack showed a video that contained testimonies of Donald Trump’s plan to replace “fake voters” who are expected to vote for Joe Biden.

Electoral scheme under control

Conservative lawyer John Eastman pushed the idea of ​​fake voters during the weeks leading up to the election. Trump and Eastman summoned hundreds of voters in a January 2, 2021 call, encouraging them to send alternate tables from their states where the Trump team was claiming fraud.

The idea was designed to pose a challenge on Jan. 6, when Congress met in a joint session, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding over what is usually a ceremonial role in accepting state vote counts. But the effort collapsed as Pence rejected Trump’s repeated demands that he simply stop certifying Biden’s victory, a power he believed he did not possess.

At least 20 people in connection with the fake voter plan were cited by the House panel. The committee says it will also show that it has gathered enough evidence through its more than 1,000 interviews and tens of thousands of documents to connect the various efforts to annul the election directly with Trump.

No credible allegations of widespread electoral fraud in 2020 were made in dozens of cases that went to court and were later dismissed. The Trump administration’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency described the election in a statement as “the safest in U.S. history.”

In December 2020, William Barr, then the attorney general, told The Associated Press that nothing had been discovered “on a scale that could have produced a different election result.” Barr, in more recent interviews with the House committee, ridiculed some of the allegations of fraud filed by Trump and his allies.

The committee is expected to prepare a report by the end of the year on its next year’s investigation. He has no power to prosecute, but the U.S. Department of Justice is expected to follow the proceedings closely.

Trump’s allies, Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro, have been accused by the Justice Department of refusing to cooperate with the congressional committee.

TARGET | The Pence Pressure Campaign is presented:

The Jan. 6 committee examines Trump’s pressure on Pence

The U.S. Congress committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot turned its attention to Vice President Mike Pence. Witnesses in Donald Trump’s inner circle told the committee that the former president knew that asking Pence to annul the election results was illegal, but that he still did so anyway.

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