Hearings January 6: Focus shifts to pressure campaign in states
The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol turned its attention on Tuesday to a campaign to pressure state officials to overturn the election results. 2020.
The hearing will specifically focus on then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results in Arizona and Georgia, where Trump infamously asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes he needed to win. gain.
Committee aides said the hearing will also demonstrate how Trump and his allies devised a plan to submit fake voter lists.
Trump’s pressure campaign against state officials has played out in many key states, where he lost to Joe Biden. The committee plans to focus on actions Trump took to overturn the election as well as the roles his attorney Rudy Giuliani and then White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows took.
CNN previously covered the text messages Meadows exchanged between the election and Biden’s inauguration, where he worked to coordinate Trump’s effort to overturn the election.
Aides said the committee intended to show that the then-President had been warned of actions he was taking fraudulently by claiming electoral fraud and pressuring the state and local officials risked violence but he did so anyway.
Committee aides said eyewitnesses testifying in person Tuesday from Arizona and Georgia will be able to speak to the pressure campaign coming from the White House, as well as the backlash they’ve received from those Trump supporters.
Witnesses from Georgia include Raffensperger and his chief executive, Gabe Sterling, who both faced relentless attacks from Trump after confirming the state’s election. Fulton County Elections Officer Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, who is accused by Trump of ballot fraud, will also testify about the backlash she has faced.
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican, will testify about pressure he has received from Trump and Giuliani, according to committee aides.
The committee plans to show video testimony about deposits from officials in other states, where Trump and his allies pressured state officials to try to thwart his election victory. Biden.
Representative Adam Schiff, the committee member who will lead Tuesday’s hearing, told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that the hearing will show how Meadows played a “close role” in the effort. pressured Georgia state legislators and election officials.
The California Democrat says the committee will release new text messages indicating that Meadows wants to send “Make America Great Again” autographed hats to those conducting the post-election audit. of Georgia.
Commission aides said the hearing would “prove his involvement” in Georgia running through January 6.
Meadows had multiple contacts with Raffensperger after the 2020 election, according to text messages obtained by CNN, and he joined Trump’s January 2021 call where the former President asked Raffensperger “to find ” the number of votes the then President needed to win.
While that call was in progress, Meadows texted the deputy secretary of state, who urged him to end the call that is now at the center of the Fulton County investigation into whether there was any action that Trump or his allies made in connection with the election of Georgia or not. criminal.
CHECK FROM WHO BRINGS CASH FROM TRUMP’S DISPLAYS
Witnesses will be able to testify in person on Tuesday about the impact of Trump’s pressure campaign and false claims about the election – as they have all been attacked and threatened.
Aides said Bowers, the Arizona secretary of state, would be able to testify about the “campaign of harassment” he was subjected to in the run-up to January 6 and beyond.
Raffensperger and Sterling have been attacked by Trump and his allies for certifying Georgia’s election. Sterling warned in a December 2020 press conference that “it’s all gone too far” after local election officials were threatened and harassed.
Moss, who served as a Fulton County election officer in 2020, will testify how her mother and her life were turned upside down and they were forced to go into hiding after Moss was accused by Trump of carrying out a scheme. fake voting scheme, according to committee aides. She and another election worker sued Giuliani last year.
In her written testimony provided on Monday, Moss said false stories accusing her of participating in voter fraud led to her receiving death threats.
RAFFENSPERGER’s LAP VICTORY
Raffensperger is testifying after he easily defeated GOP Representative Jody Hice in a Trump-backed preliminary challenge last month.
Trump has made Raffensperger and Governor Brian Kemp among his top priorities after Georgia GOP officials denied his allegations of fraud in the 2020 state election and certified the election for Biden. . But Kemp and Raffensperger easily won their race, marking a rare instance where Trump was defeated in an attempt to topple the Republicans who had overtaken him after the election.
Interestingly, Georgia will hold a primaries on Tuesday, an election in which Raffensperger and Sterling are ostensibly in charge and at the same time they are testifying before the House selection committee.
In addition to the campaign to put pressure on state officials, the selection committee plans to focus on Tuesday’s hearing on efforts to devise pro-Trump electoral options, which have emerged. as a core tenet of a broader plan to overturn the 2020 election.
CNN previously reported that Trump campaign officials oversaw efforts to bring out illegal voters in seven states that Trump lost. The idea is that when Congress meets to certify the election on January 6, the states will duel the electors so that they are not automatically awarded to Biden.
Federal prosecutors are looking into fake electoral college certificates created by Trump’s allies that falsely claimed he was the winner of the seven states he lost in 2020. Fake only was sent to the National Archives in the weeks following the election and had no impact on election results.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s office in Georgia, which is conducting a separate criminal investigation into Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election, is looking into the effort to bring in fake groups of electors as part of the campaign. of the investigation.
LISTENING IS NOT GETTER
Last week, the committee focused on the pressure campaign that then Vice President Mike Pence faced from Trump and his allies in the days leading up to Jan. 6. Tuesday’s hearing. will turn back the clock to scrutinize what happened in the states – before that Trump’s attention was focused on Pence.
The committee hearings are more likely to be due to scheduling issues than anything else. For example, last week, the committee originally planned to hold a hearing at the Justice Department the day before the Pence hearing. Now that hearing is expected this Thursday.
The switch around means the committee is focusing its hearings on various topics in the campaign to overturn the election, rather than telling a story that follows the natural chronology of the plan. built for what happened on January 6th.
However, the final two hearings will focus on the day of the uprising on the Capitol: first on the extremists who attacked the Capitol and then the response – or lack thereof – from Trump inside the White House. .