Jan. 6 hearing examines Trump's pressure on state election officials

·Senior Writer
·2-min read

The House select committee’s series of public hearings resumed Tuesday as the panel presented the findings stemming from its investigation of the events surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The committee focused on former President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure state officials in Arizona and Georgia to reverse his 2020 election loss.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testified that Trump and Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, had asked him to replace Biden electors with Trump electors. Bowers, a Republican, refused, and told the committee, "I do not want to be a winner by cheating."

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger testified about a recorded phone call in which Trump demanded he “find” enough votes to overturn his loss there.

Rusty Bowers, Brad Raffensperger and Gabriel Sterling are sworn in before testifying at the hearing.
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Georgia Secretary of State Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Sterling are sworn in at Tuesday's hearing. (Michael Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

“All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said during the hourlong call. “There’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”

Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer at the Georgia secretary of state's office, told the committee that claims by Trump and Giuliani of a "suitcase of votes" were baseless, and that the suitcase in question was a standard container used by election workers to keep ballots secure.

Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, testified that she and her mother, Ruby Freeman, a temporary election worker, were the target of “lies” spread by Trump and Giuliani — which led to vicious harassment and death threats against them.

Wandrea Moss looks down as her mother, Ruby Freeman, in red, looks over her shoulder at the desk where she is seated at the hearing.
Wandrea "Shaye" Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, at the House select committee hearing on Tuesday. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Moss said her son also received threats and that at one point, people went to her grandmother's house and tried to make a "citizen's arrest."

Freeman, whom Trump referred to by name as a "professional vote scammer and hustler" in his call with Raffensperger, said she was forced to go into hiding after the FBI told her it would not be safe for her to remain at her home around the time of the vote certification on Jan. 6, 2021.

"Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you? The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American — not to target one," Freeman told the committee in prerecorded testimony. "But he targeted me."

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