Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, former Elections Department worker in Fulton County, Georgia, testifies, as her mother, Georgia election employee Ruby Freeman looks on, in the course of the fourth public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to analyze the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S. June 21, 2022.
Pool | Reuters
The House select committee probing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot focused its fourth public hearing on how former President Donald Trump and his allies pressured officials within the critical swing states of Georgia and Arizona to challenge President Joe Biden’s victories within the 2020 election.
Tuesday’s hearing revealed recent information on how Trump, his team and a handful of Republican lawmakers worked behind the scenes to attempt to remove electors and replace them with a slate of pro-Trump ones picked by his team and the Republican National Committee. The panel also heard emotional testimony from state election officials who recalled in chilling detail the violent threats and intimidation a lot of them endured within the wake of the 2020 election.
Listed here are the major takeaways:
Witnesses testified under oath to Trump’s direct involvement in efforts to reverse elections in key states by either decertifying Biden’s win or sending an alternate slate of pretend pro-Trump electors to solid ballots within the electoral college.
“Trump had a direct and private role on this effort,” said committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
Arizona Republican House Speaker Rusty Bowers said he refused to cede to Trump and Rudy Giuliani after they asked him to carry an official committee hearing on the Arizona capitol to prop up their claims of election fraud. Bowers said they wanted the hearing to justify arguments to remove and replace the electors.
“I didn’t feel that the evidence, granted in its absence, merited a hearing, and I didn’t need to be used as a pawn,” Bowers said.
He recalled telling them: “You are asking me to do something against my oath, and I won’t break my oath.”
Bowers also said Trump lawyer John Eastman asked him in a separate call to carry a vote to decertify Arizona’s electors.
“Just do it and let the courts sort it out,” Bowers recalled Eastman as saying.
Bowers said he replied: “You are asking me to do something that is never been done in history — the history of the USA — and I will put my state through that without sufficient proof? And that is going to be adequate with me?”
The committee also said that the RNC was involved in helping the Trump campaign organize fake slates of electors at Trump’s “direct request.”
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel told congressional investigators that Trump, during a phone conversation, “turned the decision over to Mr. Eastman, who then proceeded to speak concerning the importance of the RNC helping the campaign gather these contingent electors, in case any of the legal challenges that were ongoing modified the results of any of the states,” in accordance with a replay of a part of her taped deposition.
McDaniel said the RNC’s role was “more just helping them reach out and helping them assemble them, but my understanding is the campaign did take the lead and we just were helping them in that role.”
The committee revealed recent information that put two Republican members of Congress, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, within the highlight.
On Jan. 6, 2021, a staffer for Johnson texted an aide to Pence, stating that Johnson wanted to offer the then-vice president an “alternate” slate of electors from Michigan and Wisconsin. The texts got here minutes before Pence was set to preside over a joint session of Congress to substantiate Biden’s electoral victory.
Pence’s aide replied: “Don’t give that to him.”
A spokeswoman for Johnson tweeted Tuesday afternoon: “The Vice President’s office said not to offer it to him and we didn’t. There was no further motion taken. End of story.”
Bowers also testified before the committee that Biggs called him on the morning of Jan. 6, asking if he “would support the decertification of the electors.”
“And I said I’d not,” Bowers testified.
Multiple state election officials described “disturbing” threats, harassment and other types of retaliation after being targeted in lies concerning the election being spread by Trump and his allies.
“Up until even recently, it’s a pattern in our lives to fret what’s going to occur on Saturdays,” Bowers testified.
He said groups of Trump supporters driving video-panel trucks with “blaring loudspeakers” would drive by his house accusing him of being a pedophile, a pervert and a corrupt politician. Bowers said that they’d start arguments with neighbors, recalling one instance where the protestor brandished a gun.
Visibly emotional, Bowers said the harassment outside his home also “upset” his daughter, who on the time was gravely sick and died in late January.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he began receiving texts from all around the country after the election because Trump supporters publicly shared his private cellphone number, a harassment tactic called doxxing. Then, he said, his wife became a goal and began receiving “sexualized attacks, which were disgusting.
“After which some people broke into my daughter-in-law’s home and my son has passed and he or she’s widow and has two kids. And so we’re very concerned about her safety also,” he said.
Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election employee, cried as she described how her life has been turned “the other way up” after Giuliani falsely accused her and her mother of election tampering.
“I have never been anywhere in any respect. I’ve gained about 60 kilos. I just, don’t do nothing anymore,” she said. “It’s affected my life in a serious way. In every way. All due to lies. From me doing my job, the identical thing I have been doing without end.”
The committee played clips of testimony from Ruby Freeman, Moss’ mother, who said she was also tarred with false election-fraud claims.
“I’ve lost my name, and I’ve lost my status. I’ve lost my sense of security. All because a gaggle of individuals, starting with number 45, and his ally, Rudy Giuliani, decided to scapegoat me and daughter, Shaye, to push their very own lies about how the presidential election was stolen,” Freeman said.
The select committee has made clear that the seven public hearings it has planned for June represent just its initial findings from the nearly year-long investigation of the Capitol riot.
The panel last week said that it wants to listen to from more witnesses, including Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
At the top of Tuesday’s hearing, Cheney called on former White House counsel Pat Cipollone to talk with the investigators.
It’s certain that “Trump doesn’t want Mr. Cipollone to testify here,” Cheney said, since the evidence shows that he and his office “tried to do what was right.”
“We expect the American people should hear from Mr. Cipollone personally,” she said, adding that the panel is “working to secure his testimony.”