Tuesday, August 9, 2022

What we learned from the fourth January 6 hearing, where state election officials testified

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In its fourth hearing on Tuesday, the select House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack focused on Trump’s efforts to reverse and advance the 2020 election results in states, most notably Georgia and Arizona. working to bolster its last-ditch strategy to undermine the January 6 electoral count by offering alternative electoral rolls.

The hearing revealed new details about the scope of the latest plot in particular, which also included attempts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence and was deliberately based on falsehoods. Below are some tips from the hearing so far.

1) Ron Johnson’s List of Voters

Trump allies’ lobbying efforts in Congress to keep him in power continued until the joint Capitol session began on Jan. 6. Rusty Bowers, the Arizona House Republican speaker and the first witness to testify on Tuesday, said Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) lobbied him that morning to support decertifying the state voters whose votes would be counted that day.

The committee has delved into how much coordination the Trump campaign had done, across multiple states and working with party and state officials and members of Congress before Jan. 6 on its “alternative voter lists” scheme.

Those involved arranged for fake voters in states they wanted to contest to serve as replacements for the legitimate Electoral College representatives, who had already cast their votes for Biden. The idea was that, when Pence gave the floor, these prepared slates of false voters would somehow replace these legitimate electoral votes with ad hoc groups of Trump supporters who had falsely labeled themselves voters for various swing states.

In arguably the biggest revelation of the day, the committee released text messages between aides to Pence and Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) in which a Johnson staffer asked if his boss could give the vice president the paperwork of two sheets of fake voters on the Senate floor. Pence’s assistant responded succinctly, “don’t give them to him.”

Although the committee had previously revealed that at least one member of Congress, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who had asked for a pardon from Trump for his efforts to reverse the election, the hearing provided new details about what Republican elected officials were like. actively participate in Trump’s efforts.

2) Giuliani admitted there was no evidence of fraud

Trump and his top attorneys, Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis and John Eastman, were in repeated contact with Bowers, urging him to take several steps to nullify Biden’s victory in Arizona and declare Trump the winner instead. .

Bowers testified that despite his constant requests for evidence of voter fraud from the Trump campaign, they never provided such evidence. Trump’s team viewed Bowers’ support as necessary to undo the election there, because any attempt to replace the state’s legitimate voters would require a vote by the state legislature.

This culminated when Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani admitted to Bowers, “We have a lot of theories. We just don’t have any evidence.”

3) The Toll of Acting Against Trump

Bowers gave emotional testimony on Tuesday, especially when it came to why he refused to respond to repeated pleas from Trump and his lawyers to assist in their efforts to reverse the election. Bowers, a Mormon, cited his faith several times as the reason he refused to endorse Trump’s plot.

“It is a tenet of my faith that divinely inspired the Constitution, one of my most fundamental fundamental beliefs.” He added that taking actions contrary to the Constitution is “beyond my being”.

Bowers said he has been the victim of an ongoing campaign of harassment as a result of his refusal to go along. He testified that there are weekly protests at his house, with video trucks driving by labeling him as “a pedophile, a pervert. [and] a corrupt politician.”

Bowers was one of three Republican officials to testify before the commission on the first panel of witnesses, along with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his top aide, Gabriel Sterling.

The only witness on the second panel was Shaye Moss, a Georgia election officer who faced a barrage of threats over a Trump-propagated conspiracy theory about vote counting in the state.

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