The House of Representatives committee investigating the Capitol Hill attack has tried to deconstruct Donald Trump’s pressure campaign on state and local officials to reverse the 2020 presidential defeat.
During the fourth hearing of the month, the panel investigating the January 6, 2021, attack examined how Trump has focused on a few key states, directly urging officials to cancel President Joe Biden’s victory or find additional votes for him. the republican.
These actions were part of a larger scheme that also involved dozens of lawsuits, pressure on Justice Department officials, and eventually lobbying Vice President Mike Pence to reject Biden’s electoral triumph in the Jan. 6 congressional count.
“Pressing public officials to betray their oath was a key part of the playbook,” said investigative commission chairman Bennie Thompson, referring to Trump and allies.
“A handful of election officials in several major states stood between Donald Trump and the fall of American democracy,” he added.
The commission’s hearings held this June follow a year-long investigation and more than 1,000 interviews.
The panel has presented live and video witnesses, including interviews with many of Trump’s closest advisers who tried to dissuade him from his efforts to stay in power, as well as videos of that day’s onslaught, some of which had never been seen before. seen before.
The deadly attack on the United States Capitol came after unfounded allegations by Donald Trump about electoral fraud and the mogul called on a crowd of supporters to prevent Biden from certifying his election victory.
Currently, the investigative commission has presented arguments to show the American public that Trump’s efforts to avoid his defeat led directly to the violence on Capitol Hill.
This Tuesday, the witnesses at the hearing were all public officials who were directly pressured by Trump or who received threats for doing their jobs.
Arizona House Republican Speaker Rusty Bowers, who testified in person Tuesday, addressed calls from Trump and allies with requests that he decertify Arizona’s legitimate voters and replace them.
Bowers revealed that he repeatedly asked Trump’s lawyers to show evidence of widespread election fraud, but they never provided any.
Other state officials told similar stories in videotaped depositions.
Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler said he received repeated calls from Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani and other Trump aides but refused to respond.
The pressure exerted by Trump was most intense in Georgia, where Biden narrowly won after years of presidential victories for the Republican Party in that state.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his deputy Gabe Sterling testified that they became two of the then President’s main targets for refusing to give in to pressure while Trump launched conspiracy theories.
The commission played audio of a call in which Trump asked local officials to “find 11,780” votes that could change the course of the state’s election and prevent Biden’s triumph.
“There were no votes to find,” Raffensperger maintained.
It was also analyzed how Trump’s threats put state officials in danger.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson explained how she felt when she heard the noise of protesters outside her home one night after the election after putting her son to sleep.
Another Michigan official, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, testified to the commission that he received 4,000 text messages after Trump posted his cell phone number online.
The chairman of the investigation commission, Bennie Thompson, warned this Tuesday that “the lie has not disappeared”.
Thompson gave an example of a stalemate in New Mexico, where members of the Republican Party have refused to certify a county election in recent weeks, due to unspecified concerns about Dominion’s voting systems (voting machines).
“[A mentira] It is corrupting our democratic institutions. People who believe that lie are now running for positions of public trust. And, as we saw in New Mexico, their oath to the people they serve will take a back seat to the ‘Big Lie’.”