WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continued their public hearings on Tuesday with the focus on former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Tuesday saw testimony from three Republican officials: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, his deputy Gabe Sterling and Arizona House of Representatives Speaker Rusty Bowers. All three testified they were unwilling to help Trump overturn the election and stay in power.
Here are four main takeaways from the fourth public January 6 hearing:
All witnesses tie Trump to fake elector’s plot
Trump’s former attorney Rudy Giuliani played a key part in getting the fake elector plot off the ground but Tuesday shed new light on just how involved Trump himself was. The first witness of the day was Bowers, who testified that he received a call from Trump and Giuliani to urge him to go along with a plan to put forward illegitimate, pro-Trump electors in place of those who voted for Joe Biden.
“I told them I did not want to be used as a pawn,” Bowers said on Tuesday.
Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel testified that she received a call from Trump and his lawyer John Eastman about getting the electors in place.
“Essentially, he turned the call over to Mr. Eastman, who then proceeded to talk about the importance of the RNC helping the campaign gather these contingent electors in case any of the legal challenges that were ongoing change the result of any dates,” McDaniel said.
Arizona Republicans quote tweet Trump live
Prior to the questioning, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) read a statement from the former president about Bowers telling him the Arizona election was rigged and Trump actually won. Bowers said under oath Tuesday that Trump lied about him in that statement, refuting his claims in real-time.
In the statement, Trump said, “during the conversation, he told me that the election was rigged and that I won Arizona.” Trump added, “Bowers should hope there’s not a tape of the conversation.”
“There are parts of it that are true, but there are parts of it that are not,” Bowers said. “Anywhere, anyone anytime who has said that I said the election was rigged – that would not be true.”
Members of Congress were in on Trump’s plan
Several members of Congress were in on Trump’s plan and Tuesday saw the committee put another name out in the open on who that was.
Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs and Sen. Ron Johnson played roles in assisting Trump with his efforts to overturn the election and get his own January 6 electors in place to do it. Bowers testified that Biggs urged him to get on board with the plan of the decertification of electors.
The committee also showed text messages between an aide to Johnson, Sean Riley, and Vice President Mike Pence’s head of legislative affairs. In those messages, Johnson wanted to place new electors in Michigan and Wisconsin to give to Pence on Jan. 6.
The senator had no involvement in the creation of an alternate slate of electors and had no foreknowledge that it was going to be delivered to our office. This was a staff to staff exchange. His new Chief of Staff contacted the Vice President’s office.
— alexa henning (@alexahenning) June 21, 2022
A spokesperson for Johnson’s office declined the senator had any involvement in the attempt to overturn the election.
“The senator had no involvement in the creation of an alternate slate of electors and had no foreknowledge that it was going to be delivered to our office,” the spokesperson said. “This was a staff-to-staff exchange.”
Trump’s lies ruined lives
The final witness of the day highlighted just how much Trump’s lies about the 2020 election had on those working in several states. Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman were election workers in Atlanta during the 2020 election and detailed how their lives were affected by Trump and his allies.
After getting threats from Trump supporters, Moss said she felt “helpless,” gained 60 pounds, and stopped giving out her business card because “I don’t want anyone knowing my name.”
Her mother, Ruby, said she gets “nervous when I have to give food orders,” because someone who believes Trump’s lies about the election might recognize her name.
“I have lost my sense of security, all because of a group of people, starting with (Trump) and his ally Rudy Giuliani, decided to scapegoat me, and my daughter, Shaye, to push lies about how the election was stolen,” Freeman said.
“The President of the United States targeted me. Lady Ruby, a small business owner, a proud American city, who stood up to help Fulton County run an election during the middle of a pandemic,” she added.