Focus shifts to Trump pressuring state election officials

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Focus shifts to Trump pressuring state election officials

Former President Donald Trump’s role in pressuring state officials to reverse the results of the 2020 election will be the focus of the House select committee’s hearing Tuesday afternoon.

The panel said it will present testimony that showed Trump and his allies attempted to submit fake electors in battleground states or force state election officials to reject ballots to scuttle Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.​

The campaign was fueled by Trump’s claim that the election was marred by rampant voter fraud. ​​

Among those scheduled to testify are Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger, ​Gabriel Sterling, Raffensberger’s deputy, Arizona state House Speaker Rusty Bowers, and Wandrea “Shay” Moss, a former Georgia election worker who said she and her mother faced harassment after being accused by Trump associates of “rigging” the election.

A video exhibit plays as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings.
A video exhibit plays as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings.
AP
President Trump and his family on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021.
President Trump and his family on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021.
Reuters

Raffensberger stoked Trump’s ire when he released ​the contents of a phone call between him and the former president on Jan. 2, 2021.

Trump endorsed a candidate to challenge him in Georgia’s Republican primary election last month but Raffensberger easily defeated Rep. Jody Hice. 

​In the call, Trump claimed to Raffensberger that ballots were being shredded and machines were being removed, potential criminal activity that was Raffesnberger’s duty to stop.

Wandrea "Shay" Moss, a former Georgia election official, is set to testify on Tuesday.
Wandrea “Shay” Moss, a former Georgia election official, is set to testify on Tuesday.
REUTERS
The panel said it will present testimony that showed Trump and his allies attempted to submit fake electors in battleground states.
The panel said it will present testimony that showed Trump and his allies attempted to submit fake electors in battleground states.
AFP via Getty Images

“And you can’t let it happen, and you are letting it happen. You know, I mean, I’m notifying you that you’re letting it happen. So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state,”​ Trump told him in the call. ​​

Bowers told the Arizona Republic​ that he received a phone call from Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s attorney, in late November 2020 before the vote count had been certified about a purported state law that allowed the legislature to pick electors and override the results. 

Bowers responded by saying he had never heard of the law. ​

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (center)
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger enraged Trump when he released a phone call between the two from Jan. 2021.
AP
Raffensperger's deputy, Gabriel Sterling
Raffensperger’s deputy, Gabriel Sterling, is also set to testify.
EPA

“You are giving me nothing but conjecture and asking me to break my oath and commit to doing something I cannot do because I swore I wouldn’t. I will follow the Constitution,” Bowers responded.

Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the panel, in his opening statement will say Trump pressured state election officials to decertify the results and when they refused ramped up the pressure against them. ​

“This pressure campaign brought angry phone calls and texts, armed protests, intimidation, and, all too often, threats of violence and death. State legislators were singled out. So too were statewide elections officials. Even local elections workers, diligently doing their jobs, were accused of being criminals, and had their lives turned upside down​,” the California Democrat will say, according to a copy of the statement obtained by Punchbowl News.

Donald Trump delivers remarks to supporters prior to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
Donald Trump delivers remarks to supporters prior to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
EPA
Arizona House Speaker Randy Bowers
Arizona House Speaker Randy Bowers is also among those set to testify Tuesday.
AP

“As we will show, the president’s supporters heard the former president’s claims of fraud, and the false allegations he made against state and local officials, as a call to action​,” Schiff will say. 

The panel will hold its fifth hearing on Thursday. 

With Post wires

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