This program was made possible by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you.
I am Judy Woodruff.
And welcome to this PBS NewsHour special live coverage of the January six hearings held by the Select Committee of the House of Representatives to investigate last year's attack on the United States Capitol.
This today is the fourth in a series of public hearings the committee is holding this month.
Today's hearing is expected to focus on the pressures former President Trump put on state legislators and election officials to change election results.
The most glaring examples being the former president's phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to, quote, find 11,780 votes.
Raffensperger will be one of several witnesses today, along with Gabriel Sterling, who is a chief operating officer in the Georgia Secretary of State's office and Arizona State House Speaker Rusty Bowers, along with Wandrea ArShaye "Shaye" Moss.
She is a former Georgia election worker.
She'll be part of a second panel.
You're seeing live pictures now from the hearing room.
Members of the January six select committee walking into the House committee hearing room.
They have made it a habit of getting started on time.
So we expect that they will do that today.
We know that there will be statements made not only by the committee chair, Congressman Bennie Thompson, but by also but also by the vice chair, Liz Cheney and Congressman Adam Schiff.
But let's listen now for the chairman, Congressman Bennie Thompson.
The Select Committee to investigate the January six attack on the United States Capitol will be in order.
Without objection, the Chair is authorized to declare the committee in recess at any point.
Pursuant to House Deposition Authority Regulation ten, the chair announces the committee's approval to release the deposition material presented during today's hearing.
In our last hearing, we told the story of a scheme driven by Donald Trump to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence to illegally overturn the election results.
We showed that when the pressure campaign failed and Mike Pence fulfilled his constitutional obligation, Donald Trump turned a violent mob loose on him.
We showed that the mob came within roughly 40 feet of the Vice President.
Today, we'll show that what happened to Mike Pence wasn't an isolated part of Donald Trump's scheme to overturn the election.
In fact, pressuring public servants into betraying their oath was a fundamental part of the playbook.
And a handful of election officials in several key states stood between Donald Trump and the upending of American democracy.
As we begin again today, it's important to remember when we count the votes for president, we count the votes state by state.
For the most part, the candidates who win the popular vote in a state wins all the state's electoral college votes.
And whoever wins a majority of the Electoral College votes, wins the presidency.
So when Donald Trump tried to overturn the election results, he focused on just a few states.
He wanted officials at the local and state level to say the vote was tainted by widespread fraud and throw out the results.
Even though, as we showed last week, there wasn't any voter fraud that could have overturned the election results.
And like Mike Pence, these public servants wouldn't go along with Donald Trump's scheme.
And when they wouldn't embrace the Big Lie and substitute the will of the voters with Donald Trump's will to remain in power, Donald Trump worked to ensure they faced the consequences.
Threats to people's livelihood and lives.
Threats of violence that Donald Trump knew about and amplified.
And in our other hearings, we can't just look backward at what happened in late 2020 and in early 2021, because the danger hadn't gone away.
Our democracy endured a mighty test on January 6th and in the days before we say our institutions held.
But what does that really mean?
Democratic institutions aren't abstractions or ideas.
They are local officials who oversee elections.
Secretaries of state.
People in whom we placed our trust that they will carry out their duties.
But what if they don't?
Two weeks ago, New Mexico held its primary elections.
One county commission refused to certify the results, citing vague, unsupported claims dealing with Dominion voting machines.
The court stepped in, saying New Mexico law required the commission to certify the results.
Two of the three members of the commission finally relented.
One still refuse, saying his vote, quote, isn't based on any evidence.
It's not based on any facts.
It's only based on my gut feeling and my own intuition.
And that's all I need.
By the way, a few months ago, this county commissioner was found guilty of illegally entering the Capitol grounds on January six.
This story reminds us of a few things.
First, as we've shown in our previous hearings, claims that widespread voter fraud tainted the 2020 presidential election have always been a lie.
Donald Trump knew they were a lie and he kept amplifying them anyway.
Everything we describe today, the relentless destructive pressure campaign on state and local officials, was all based on a lie.
Donald Trump knew it.
He did it anyway.
Second, the lie hasn't gone away.
It's corrupting our democratic institutions.
People who believe that lie are now seeking positions of public trust.
And as seen in New Mexico, their oath to be, to the people they serve will take a back seat to their commitment to the big lie.
If that happens, who will make sure our institutions don't break under the pressure?
We won't have close calls.
We'll have a catastrophe.
My distinguished colleague from California, Mr. Schiff, will present much of the select committee's finding on this matter.
First, I'm pleased to recognize our vice chair, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, for any opening statement she'd care to offer.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Today, we will begin examining President Trump's effort to overturn the election by exerting pressure on state officials and state legislatures.
Donald Trump had a direct and personal role in this effort, as did Rudy Giuliani, as did John Eastman.
In other words, the same people who were attempting to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to reject electoral votes illegally were also simultaneously working to reverse the outcome of the 2020 election at the state level.
Each of these efforts to overturn the election is independently serious.
Each deserves attention, both by Congress and by our Department of Justice.
But as a federal court has already indicated, these efforts were also part of a broader plan.
And all of this was done in preparation for January 6th.
I would note two points for particular focus today.
First, today, you will hear about calls made by President Trump to officials of Georgia and other states as you listen to these tapes.
Keep in mind what Donald Trump already knew at the time he was making those calls.
He had been told over and over again that his stolen election allegations were nonsense.
For example, this is what former Attorney General Bill Barr said to President Trump about allegations in Georgia.
We took a look, hard look at this ourselves.
And based on our review of and including the interviews of the key witnesses, the Fulton County allegations were, had no merit.
The, the ballots under the table were legitimate ballots.
They weren't in a suitcase.
They had been pre opened for eventually feeding into the machine all the stuff about the water leak and that there was some subterfuge involved.
We felt there was some confusion, but, but there was no evidence of a subterfuge to create an opportunity to feed things into the count.
And so we didn't see any evidence.
Fraud in the in the Fulton County episode.
And Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donohue told Donald Trump this.
And I said something to the effect of, sir, we've done dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews.
The major allegations are not supported by the evidence developed.
Told by his own advisers that he had no basis for his stolen election claims, yet he continued to pressure state officials to change the election results.
Second, you will hear about a number of threats and efforts to pressure state officials to reverse the election outcome.
One of our witnesses today, Gabriel Sterling, explicitly warned President Trump about potential violence on December 1st, 2020, more than a month before January 6th.
You will see excerpts from that video repeatedly today.
It'd all gone too far.
All of it.
Joe diGenova today asked for Chris Krebs, a patriot who ran CISA to be shut.
A 20 something tech.
In Gwinnett County today has death threats and a noose put out saying he should.
Be hung for treason.
Because he was transferring a report on.
Batches from an EMS to a county computer so he could read it.
It has to stop.
Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language.
Senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions.
This has to stop.
We need you to step up.
And if you're gonna take a position of leadership, show some.
My boss, Secretary Raffensberger.
His address is out there.
They have people doing caravans in front of their house.
They've had people.
Come on to their property.
It has to stop.
This is elections.
This is the backbone of democracy.
And all of you.
Who have not said a damn word are complicit in this.
The point is this: Donald Trump did not care about the threats of violence.
He did not condemn them.
He made no effort to stop them.
He went forward with his fake allegations anyway.
One more point.
I would urge all of those watching today to focus on the evidence the committee will present.
Don't be distracted by politics.
This is serious.
We cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence.
Finally, I want to thank our witnesses today for all of your service to our country.
Today, all of America will hear about the selfless actions of these men and women who acted honorably to uphold the law, protect our freedom, and preserve our Constitution.
Today, Mr. Chairman, we will all see an example of what truly makes America great.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I yield back.
Without objection, the chair recognizes the gentleman from California, Mr. Schiff, an opening statement.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And Madam Vice Chair.
On November 3rd, 2020, Donald Trump ran for reelection to the office of the presidency and he lost.
His opponent Joe Biden finished ahead in the key battleground states of Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia and elsewhere.
Nevertheless, and for the first time in history, the losing presidential candidate fought to hold on to power.
As we have seen in previous hearings, he did so through a variety of means.
On Election Day, he sought to stop the counting of the vote, knowing that the millions of absentee ballots elections officials would be counting on Election Day and thereafter would run strongly against him and deliver a victory to Joe Biden.
Next, and when he could not stop the counting, he tried to stop state legislatures and governors from certifying the results of the election.
He went to court and filed dozens of frivolous lawsuits, making unsubstantiated claims of fraud.
When that, too failed, he mounted a pressure campaign directed at individual state legislators to try to get them to go back into session and either declare him the winner, decertify Joe Biden as the winner, or send two slates of electors to Congress, one for Biden and one for him, and pressure Vice President Pence to choose him as the winner.
But the state legislatures wouldn't go along with this scheme, and neither would the vice president.
None of the legislatures agreed to go back in the special session and declare him the winner.
No legitimate state authority in the states Donald Trump lost would agree to appoint fake Trump electors and send them to Congress.
But this didn't stop the Trump campaign either.
They assembled groups of individuals in key battleground states and got them to call themselves electors, created phony certificates associated with these fake electors, and then transmitted these certificates to Washington and to the Congress to be counted during the joint session of Congress on January 6th.
None of this worked.
But according to federal District Judge David Carter, former President Trump and others likely violated multiple federal laws by engaging in this scheme, including conspiracy to defraud the United States.
You will hear evidence of the former president and his top advisers direct involvement in key elements of this plot, or what Judge Carter called a coup in search of a legal theory.
Or as the judge explained, President Trump's pressure campaign to stop the electoral count did not end with Vice President Pence.
It targeted every tier of federal and state elected officials.
Convincing state legislatures, he said, to certify competing electors was essential to stop the count and ensure President Trump's reelection.
As we have seen in our prior hearings, running through this scheme was a big lie, that the election was plagued with massive fraud and somehow stolen.
You'll remember what the president's own attorney general, Bill Barr, said.
He told the president about these claims of massive fraud affecting the outcome of the election.
And I told him that the stuff that his people were shoveling out to the public were, was bullshit.
I mean that the claims of fraud were bullshit.
The President's lie was and is a dangerous cancer on the body politic.
If you can convince Americans that they cannot tru.st their own elections, that any time they lose it is somehow illegitimate, then what is left but violence to determine who should govern.
This brings us to the focus of today's hearing.
When state elections officials refused to stop the count.
Donald Trump and his campaign tried to put pressure on them.
When state executive officials refused to certify him the winner of states he lost, he applied more pressure.
When state legislators refused to go back into session and appoint Trump electors.
He amped up the pressure yet again.
Anyone who got in the way of Donald Trump's continued hold on power after he lost the election was the subject of a dangerous and escalating campaign of pressure.
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.
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.
Stop the steal.
Stop the steal.
Stop the steal.
You're a threat to democracy.
You're a threat to free and honest election.
We love America.
We love our right to our freedom.
You are a tyrant.
You're a felon.
And you must turn yourself into the authorities immediately.
And then about 45 minutes later, we started to hear the noises outside my home.
And that's why my stomach sunk.
And I thought, it's me and they're...and then it's just.
We don't know.
What's going to...the uncertainty of that was what was the fear.
Are they coming with guns?
Are they going to attack my house?
I'm in here with my kid.
You know, I'm trying to put him to bed.
And so it was yeah, that was the scariest moment, just not knowing what was going to happen.
This pressure campaign against state and local officials spanned numerous contested states, as you will see in this video produced by the select committee.
My name is Josh Rosenman.
I'm an investigative counsel for the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol.
Beginning in late November 2020.
The president and his lawyers started appearing before state legislators, urging them to give their electoral votes to Trump even though he lost the popular vote.
I represent President Trump along with Jenna Ellis, and this is our fourth or fifth hearing.
This election has to be turned around because we won Pennsylvania by a lot and we won all of these swing states by a lot.
This was a strategy with both practical and legal elements.
The Select Committee has obtained an email from just two days after the election in which a Trump campaign lawyer named Cleta Mitchell asked another Trump lawyer, John Eastman, to write a memo justifying the idea.
When do you remember this coming up as an option in the post-election period for the first time.
Right after the election.
It might have been before the election.
Eastman prepared a memo attempting to justify this strategy, which was circulated to the Trump White House, Rudy Giuliani's legal team and state legislators around the country.
And he appeared before the Georgia state legislature to advocate for it publicly.
You could also do what the Florida legislature was prepared to do, which is to adopt a slate of electors yourself.
And when you add in the mix of the significance statistical anomalies in sworn affidavit and video evidence of outright election fraud, I don't think it's just your authority to do that.
But quite frankly, I think you have a duty to do that to protect the integrity of the election here in Georgia.
But Republican officials in several states released public statements recognizing that President Trump's proposal was unlawful.
For instance, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp called the proposal unconstitutional, while Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers wrote that the idea would undermine the rule of law.
The pressure campaign to get state legislators to go along with the scheme intensified when President Trump invited delegations from Michigan and Pennsylvania to the White House.
Either you or Speaker Chatfield.
Did you make the point to the President that you were not going to do anything that violated Michigan law?
I believe we did.
Whether or not was those exact words or not, we're I think the words that I would have more likely use as we are going to follow the law.
Nevertheless, the pressure continued.
The next day, President Trump tweeted, quote, Hopefully the courts and or legislatures will have the courage to do what has to be done to maintain the integrity of our elections and the United States of America itself.
The world is watching.
He posted multiple messages on Facebook.
Listing the contact information for state officials and urging his supporters to contact them to, quote, demand a vote on decertification.
In one of those posts, President Trump disclosed Mike Shirkey's personal phone number to his millions of followers.
All I remember is receiving over just shy of 4000 text messages over a short period of time.
Calling to take action.
It was a loud noise.
Loud, consistent cadence of you know, we hear that that the Trump folks are calling in asking for changes in the electorate.
And you guys can do this.
Well, you know, they were they were believing things that were untrue.
These efforts also involved targeted outreach to state legislators.
My name is Angela McCallum.
I'm calling from Trump campaign headquarters in Washington, DC.
You do have the power to reclaim your authority and send us a slate of electors that will support President Trump and Vice President Pence.
From President Trump's lawyers and from Trump himself.
And I've become friendly with legislators that I didn't know four weeks ago.
Another legislator, Pennsylvania House Speaker Brian Cutler, received daily voicemails from Trump's lawyers in the last week of November.
Mr. Speaker, this is Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis.
We're calling you together because we like to discuss, obviously, the election.
Hello, Mr. Speaker.
This is Jenna Ellis, and I'm here with Mayor Giuliani.
Hey, Brian, it's Rudy.
I really have something important to call to your attention that I think really changes things.
Cutler felt that the outreach was inappropriate and asked his lawyers to tell Rudy Giuliani to stop calling.
But Giuliani continued to reach out.
I understand that you don't want to talk to me now.
I just want to bring some facts to your attention and talk to you as a fellow Republican.
On December 30th, Trump ally Steve Bannon announced a protest at Cutler's home.
We're getting on the road and we're going down to Cutler.
We're going to start going to offices.
And we have to we're going to go to homes and we're going to let them know what we think about them.
There were multiple protests.
I actually don't remember the exact number.
There was at least three, I think, outside either my district office or my home.
And you're correct, my son, my then 15 year old son was home by himself for the first one.
All of my personal information was doxxed online.
It was my personal email, my personal cell phone, my home phone number.
In fact, we had to disconnect our home phone for about three days because it would ring all hours of the night and would fill up with messages.
Brian Cutler, we are Outside.
Clerks facing felony charges and Michigan poll watchers denied access.
These ads were another element in the effort.
The Trump campaign spent millions of dollars running ads online and on television.
The evidence is overwhelming.
Call your governor and legislators.
Demand they inspect the machines.
Public pressure on state officials often grew dangerous in the lead up to January 6th.
Let us in!
Let us in!
We'll light the whole shit on fire.
What are we going to do?
What can you and I do to a state legislators besides kill him?
Although we should not do that.
I'm not advising that.
But I mean, what else are you gonna do, right?
The punishment for treason is death.
The state pressure campaign and the danger posed to state officials and the state capitols around the nation was a dangerous precursor to the violence we saw on January six at the US Capitol.
Today you will hear from Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives.
He will tell us about his conversations with the president, with Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, and what the president's team asked of him and how his oath of office would not permit it.
You will then hear from Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state of Georgia, who Trump directed to, quote, find 11,780 votes that did not exist, but just the exact number of votes needed to overtake Joe Biden.
You will also hear from Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer, his chief operating officer, about the spurious claims of fraud in the elections in Georgia and who, responding to a cascading set of threats to his elections team, warned the president to stop that someone was going to get killed.
And you'll hear from Wandrea Shaye Moss, a former local elections worker in Fulton County, Georgia, about how all of the lies, about the election impacted the lives of real people who administer our elections and still do.
You'll hear what they experienced when the most powerful man in the world, the president of the United States, sought to cling to power after being voted out of office by the American people.
The system held, but barely.
And the system held because people of courage, Republicans and Democrats like the witnesses you will hear today put their oath to the country and constitution above any other consideration.
They did their jobs as we must do ours.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I yield back.
I now welcome our first panel of witnesses.
We're joined today by a distinguished legislator from Arizona.
Rusty Bowers, who's a Republican speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives.
Mr. Bowers was first elected to the state legislature in 1993 and has served as speaker since 2019.
Welcome Speaker Bowers.
Brad Raffensperger is a 29th secretary of State of Georgia, serving in this role since 2019 as an elected official and a Republican.
Secretary Ratzenberger is responsible for supervising elections in Georgia and maintaining the state's public records.
Welcome, Mr. Secretary.
Gabriel Sterling is a chief operating officer in the Georgia secretary of state's office.
Mr. Sterling was the statewide voting systems implementation manager for the 2020 election in Georgia, responsible for leading the Secretary of State's response to the COVID pandemic and rolling out modernized voting equipment.
I will swear in witnesses.
Witnesses will please stand and raise their right hand.
Do you swear upon, upon penalty of perjury that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.
Please be seated.
Let the record reflect that the witnesses answered in the affirmative.
Speaker Bowers, thank you for being with us today.
You're the speaker of the Arizona House and a self-described conservative Republican.
You campaigned for President Trump and with him during the 2020 election.
Is it fair to say that you wanted Donald Trump to win a second term in office?
And is it your understanding that President Biden was the winner of the popular vote in Arizona in 2020?
Pursuant to Section 5c8 of House Resolution 503, the Chair recognizes the gentleman from California, Mr. Schiff, for questions.
Speaker Bowers, thank you for being with us today.
Before we begin with the questions that I had prepared for you, I want to ask you about a statement uh that former President Trump issued, which I received just prior to the hearing.
Have you had a chance to review that statement?
My counsel called from Arizona and read it to me.
In that statement, I won't read it in its entirety.
Former President Trump begins by calling you a RINO Republican in name only.
He then references a conversation in November 2020 in which he claims that you told him that the election was rigged and that he had won Arizona.
To quote the former president during the conversation, he told me the election was rigged and that I won Arizona, unquote.
Did you have such a conversation with the president?
I did have a conversation with the president.
That's certainly, isn't it?
But there were parts of it that are true, but there are parts that are not, sir.
And the part that I read you.
Uh is that false?
Anywhere, anyone, any time has said that.
I said the election was rigged.
That would not be true.
And when the former president in his statement today claimed that you told him that he won Arizona, is that also false?
That is also false.
Mr. Bowers, I understand that after the election, and I don't know whether this is the conversation the former president is referring to.
But after the election, you received a phone call from President Trump and Rudy Giuliani in which they discussed the result of the presidential election in Arizona.
If you would, tell us about that call and whether the former president or Mr. Giuliani raised allegations of election fraud.
I had him.
My wife and I had returned from attending our church meetings.
It was on a Sunday and we were still in the driveway.
And I had received a call from a colleague telling me that the White House was trying to get in touch with her.
And then she said, Please, if you get a call, let's try to take this together.
Immediately I saw that the White House on my Bluetooth was calling and I took the call and was asked by the I would presume the operator at the White House if I would hold for the president, which I did.
And he Mr. Giuliani came on first.
Then Mr. Trump, President Trump.
Then President Trump came on and we initiated a conversation.
During that conversation, did you will ask Mr. Giuliani for proof of these allegations of fraud that he was making.
On multiple occasions?
And when you asked him for evidence of this fraud, what did he say?
He said that they did have proof.
And I asked him, do you have names?
For example, we have 200,000 illegal immigrants, some large number of five or 6000 dead people, etc.. And I said, do you have their names?
Will you give them to me?
The president interrupted and said, give the man what he needs Rudy!
He said, I will.
And that happened on at least two occasions.
That interchange in the conversation.
So Mr. Giuliani was claiming in the call that there were hundreds of thousands of undocumented people and thousands of dead people who had purportedly voted in the election.
And you asked him for evidence of that?
And did he ever receive did you ever receive from him that evidence?
Either during the call, after the call or to this day?
What was the ask during this call?
He was making these allegations of fraud, but he had something or a couple of things that they wanted you to do.
What were those?
The ones I remember were first the that we would hold that I would allow an official committee at at the Capitol so that they could hear this evidence and that we could take action thereafter.
And I refused.
I said up to that time, the circus I called a circus had been brewing with lots of demonstrations, both at the counting center at the Capitol and other places.
And I didn't want to have that in the House.
I did not feel that the evidence granted in its absence merited a hearing.
And I didn't want to be used as a pawn.
If there was some other need that the that the committee hearing would fulfill.
So that was the first ask that we hold an official committee hearing.
And what was his second task?
I said, to what end?
To what end?
The hearing, he said, Well, we have heard by an official high up in the Republican legislature that there is a legal theory or a legal ability in Arizona that you can remove the.
The electors of President Biden and replace them.
And we would we would like to have the legitimate opportunity through the committee to come to that end and and remove that.
And I said that's that's something that's totally new to me.
I've never heard of any such thing.
And he pressed that point and I said, Look, you are asking me to do something that is counter to my oath when I swore to the Constitution to uphold it.
And I also swore to the Constitution and the laws of the state of Arizona.
And this is totally foreign as a an idea or a.
Theory to me, and I would never do anything of such magnitude without deep consultation with qualified attorneys.
And I said, I've got some good attorneys and I'm going to give you their names, but you're asking me to do something against my oath and I will not break my oath.
And I think that was up to that point.
During the conversation.
And you heard, I think, when we played a snippet of Mr. Giuliani calling other state legislators and saying that he was calling as essentially a fellow Republican.
Did he make a similar appeal to you or bring up the fact that you shared a similar party.
Whether it was in that call or in a later meeting?
He did bring that up more than once.
And how would he bring that up?
He would say, aren't we all Republicans here?
I would think we would get a better reception.
I mean, I would think you would listen a little more open to my suggestions that we're all Republicans.
Um and this this evidence that you asked him for that would justify this extraordinary step.
I think you said they never produced.
Why did you feel either in the absence of that evidence or with it, what they were asking you to do would violate your oath to the Constitution.
First of all, when the people in in Arizona, I believe some 40 plus years earlier, the legislature had established the manner of electing our officials or the electors for the presidential race.
Once it was given to the people, as in Bush v Gore, illustrated by the Supreme Court, that becomes a fundamental right of the people.
So as far as I was concerned, for someone to ask me in the I would call it a paucity.
There was no no evidence being presented of any strength.
Evidence can be hearsay evidence.
It's still evidence, but it's still hearsay.
But strong judicial quality evidence.
Anything that would say to me, you have a doubt.
Deny your oath.
I will not do that.
On more than.
On more than one occasion throughout all this that has been brought up.
And it is a tenet of my faith.
That the Constitution is divinely inspired.
Of my most basic foundational beliefs.
And so for me to do that because somebody just asked me to.
Is foreign to my very being.
I will not do it.
During that conversation.
Did you ask him if what he was proposing had ever been done before?
And what did he say?
He said, well, I'm not familiar with Arizona law or any of the laws, but I. I don't.
I don't think so.
And that also was brought up in other conversations both with him and with John Eastman and others.
I understand that a week after that call, Mr. Giuliani appeared with others associated with President Trump's effort to overturn the result of the election at a purported legislative hearing in a hotel ballroom in Phenix.
Was this an official hearing of the state legislature?
It was not.
And why was it not a real or official hearing of the legislature?
A legislator can hold a group meeting.
You can call it a hearing.
But when they ask me to have an official hearing, we establish it by protocols, public notice, etc..
It's typically held at the Capitol but doesn't need to be.
We can authorize a hearing off campus.
And in this case, I had been asked on several occasions to allow a hearing.
I had denied it, but said, you're free to hold a meeting, any meeting you want to the person who asked and which he ultimately did.
I think he was a little frustrated that he ultimately did this.
This meeting was the same day, I believe, that the governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, certified Biden as the winner of the presidential election in Arizona.
Did you meet with Mr. Giuliani and his associates while they were in Phoenix sometime after that purported legislative hearing at the hotel?
Yes, I did, sir.
And at that meeting, did Mr. Giuliani raise any specific allegations of election fraud again?
His initial comments were, again, the litany of groups of illegal individuals or people deceased, etc., and he had brought that up.
And I wasn't alone in that meeting.
There were others and other members of the Senate aggressively questioned him.
And then I proceeded to question him on the proof that he was going to bring me, etc..
He did bring those up.
And these other legislatures, legislators were also Republican members of the Senate.
And did they also press him for proof of these allegations?
And they pressed him very strongly.
Two of them especially very strongly.
And at some point, did Mr. Giuliani ask one of the other attorneys on his team to help him out with the evidence?
He asked Jenna Ellis, who was sitting to his right.
One thing was, it was more to the point of was there sufficient evidence or action that we could justify the recalling of the electors?
But at that part of the conversation, I know he referred to someone else, but he did ask, Do we have the proof to Jenna, Ms. ellis?
And she said, yes.
And I said, I want the names.
You have the names?
Do you have how have they voted?
We have all the information.
I said, can you get to me that information?
Did you bring it with you?
She said no.
Both Mr. Giuliani asked her, and I asked generally if they'd brought it with them.
She said, No, it's not with me, but we can get it to you.
And I said, then you didn't bring me the evidence, which was repeated in different iterations for some period of time.
At some point, did one of them make a comment that they didn't have evidence, but they had a lot of theories.
That was Mr. Giuliani.
And what exactly did he say and how did that come up?
My recollection, he said, we've got lots of theories.
We just don't have the evidence.
And I don't know if that was a gaffe or maybe you didn't think through what he said, but both myself and others in my group, the three in my group and my my counsel both remembered that specifically.
And afterwards we kind of laughed about it.
And know, getting back to the asking, that phone call that preceded this meeting.
He wanted you to have the legislature dismiss the Biden electors and replace them with Trump electors on the basis of these theories of fraud.
He did not say it in those exact words, but he did say that he that Arizona law, according to what he understood, that that would be allowed and that we needed to come into session to take care of that which initiated a discussion about, again, what I can legally and not legally do.
And I can't go into session in Arizona unilaterally or on my sole prerogative.
In this meeting or at any other later time.
Did anyone provide you with evidence of election fraud sufficient to affect the outcome of the presidential election in Arizona?
No one provided me ever such evidence.
The Select Committee has uncovered evidence in the course of our investigation that it stopped the steal protests at state capitols across the country.
There were individuals with ties to the groups or parties involved in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
One of those incursions took place in the Arizona House of Representatives building, as you can see in this footage.
This is previously undisclosed video of protesters illegally entering and refusing to leave the building.
One of the individuals prominently shown in this video is Jacob Chansley.
Perhaps better known as the Q and on Shaman.
This writer entered the Capitol on January 6th, was photographed leaving a threatening note on the dais in the US Senate chamber and was ultimately sentenced to 41 months in prison after pleading guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding.
Other protesters who occupied the Arizona House of Representatives building included included proud boys, while men armed with rifles stood just outside the entrance.
I understand these protesters were calling for you by name, Speaker Bowers.
Is that correct?
That is correct.
Did the president call you again in late, later in December?
He did, sir.
Did you tell the president in that second call that you supported him, that you voted for him, but that you were not going to do anything illegal for him?
I did, sir.
Nevertheless, his lawyer, John Eastman, called you some days later, on June 4th, 2000, 2021.
And he did have a very specific ask that would have required you to do just what you had already told the president.
You wouldn't do something that would violate your oath.
Is that correct?
It wasn't just me.
I had my counsel and others on the on the on the call.
And what did Dr. Eastman want you to do?
That we would, in fact, vote to take a vote to um overthrow.
Or I shouldn't say overthrow.
That we would decertify the electors and that because we had plenary authority to do so.
You cited Article two, Section one, I think it's clause two.
And said that in his opinion, that gave us the authority if there was.
I don't recall him saying sufficient evidence, but there was some call or some strong reason to do so that we or justification to do so that we could do that.
And that he was asking that we he says suggestion was that we would do it.
And I said.
I took an oath.
For me to take that.
To do what you do would would be counter to my oath.
I don't recall if it was in that conversation.
We talked more about the oath, but I said, What would you have me do?
And he said, Just do it and let the courts sort it out.
And I said, You're asking me to do something that's never been done in history, the history of the United States.
And I'm going to put my state through that.
And that's going to be good enough with me.
That I would I would put us through that my state that I swore to uphold, both in constitution and in law.
He said, Well, that's my suggestion would be.
Just do it and let the courts.
Figure it all out.
And I didn't use that exact phrase, but.
That was what he his meaning was.
And I declined.
And I believe that was close to the end of our phone call.
And again, this took place after you had recently spoken with President Trump and told him that you wouldn't do anything illegal for him.
Is that right?
It wasn't days after, obviously was days after, but a few days had gone by.
But you had told President Trump you would not do anything illegal for him?
I did both times.
And you told Dr. Eastman that you did not believe there was legal support to justify what he was asking, but he still wanted you to do it and effectively let the courts work it out.
I've been warned.
Don't say things, you think?
Maybe he said.
But I do remember him saying that the authority of the legislature was plenary and that you can do it.
I said, then you should know that I can't even call the legislature into session without a two thirds majority vote.
We're only 30 plus one.
There's no way that could happen.
But in your view, what he was asking you to do would have violated your oath to the Constitution, both the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the state of Arizona.
Did you also receive a call from U.S. Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona on the morning of January 6th?
And what did Mr. Biggs ask you to do?
I believe that was the day that the the vote was occurring to each state to have certification.
Or to declare that the certification of the electors.
And he asked if I would sign on both to a letter that had been sent from my state and or that I would support the decertification of the electors.
And I said I would not.
Mr. Speaker, on December 4th, 2020, shortly after your meeting with Rudy Giuliani and other allies of President Trump, you released a statement publicly addressing, quote, calls for the legislature to overturn the 2020 certified election results.
The statement is very straightforward in explaining the, quote, breathtaking request, unquote, made by representatives of President Trump, quote, that the Arizona legislature overturn the certified results of last month's election and deliver the state's Electoral College votes to President Trump, unquote.
Why did you believe, as you wrote in this statement, that the rule of law forbid you from doing what President Trump and his allies wanted you to do?
I should be saying, Mr. Chairman.
Representative Schiff, the um.
There's two sides to the answer.
One is, what am I allowed to do?
And what am I forbidden to do?
We have no legal pathway both in state law, nor to my knowledge and federal law for us to execute such a request.
And I am not allowed to walk or act beyond my authority if I'm not specifically authorized as a legislator, as a legislature.
Then I cannot act.
To the point of calling us into session.
Some say that just a few legislators have plenary without authority, and that is come as part of all of this discussion, I'll call it.
But so too, to not have authority and be forbidden to act beyond my authority on both counts.
I am not authorized to take such action.
And that would deny my oath.
In your statement, you included excerpts from President Ronald Reagan's inaugural address in 1981.
The newly inaugurated president told the country, quote, The orderly transfer of authority is called for in the Constitution, routinely takes place and is as it has for almost two centuries.
And few of us stop to think how unique we really are in the eyes of many in the world.
This every four year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.
Tell us, if you would, Mr. Speaker, why did you include President Reagan's words in your public statement?
Mr. Chairman, Representative Schiff, because I have a lot of admiration for Ronald Reagan.
Had the opportunity of going through his home with one other person and walking through and.
I have a lot of admiration for him.
When he pointed out, um which is a I have lived in other country for a period of time and have visited a few countries and during election times.
The fact that we allow an election, support an election and stand behind the election.
Even in the past, when there have been serious questions about the election and then move on.
Without disturbance and with acceptance that we choose.
We choose to follow the outcome of the will of the people.
It means a lot to me and I know it meant a lot to him.
And so we included that.
Thank you, Speaker Bowers and I want to look even more deeply at the fake elector scheme.
Every four years, citizens from all over the United States go to the polls to elect their president under our Constitution.
When we cast our votes for president, we are actually voting to send electors pledged to our preferred candidate to the Electoral College in December.
The electors in each state meet, cast their votes and send those votes to Washington.
There is only one legitimate slate of electors from each state.
On the sixth day of January, Congress meets in a joint session to count those votes, and the winner of the Electoral College vote becomes the president.
In this next segment, you'll hear how President Trump and his campaign were directly involved in advancing and coordinating the plot to replace legitimate Biden electors with fake electors not chosen by the voters.
You'll hear how this campaign convinced these fake electors to cast and submit their votes through fake certificates, telling them that their votes would only be used in the event that President Trump won his legal challenges.
Yet when the president lost those legal challenges, when courts rejected them as frivolous and without merit, the fake elector scheme continued.
At this point, President Trump's own lawyers, so-called Team Normal, walked away rather than participate in the plan, and his own White House counsel's office said that the plan was not legally sound.
Let's play the following video produced by the Select Committee.
My name is Casey Lucier.
I'm an investigative counsel for the House Select Committee to investigate the January six attack on the United States Capitol.
On November 18th, a lawyer working with the Trump campaign named Kenneth Cheesebro wrote a memo arguing that the Trump campaign should organize its own electors in the swing states that President Trump had lost.
The Select Committee received testimony that those close to President Trump began planning to organize fake electors for Trump in states that Biden won in the weeks after the election.
Who do you remember being involved in those early discussions around the Thanksgiving time um regarding having alternate electors meet.
Several Mr. Giuliani's associates, Mr. Meadows.
Members of Congress, although it's difficult to distinguish if the members I'm thinking of were involved during Thanksgiving or if they're involved as we progress through December.
At the president's direct request, the RNC assisted the campaign in coordinating this effort.
What did the president say when he called you?
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 of eight.
I think more just helping them reach out and assemble them.
But my understanding is the campaign did take the lead and we just were helping them in that in that role.
As President, Trump and his supporters continue to lose lawsuits, some campaign lawyers became convinced that convening electors in states that Trump lost was no longer appropriate.
I just remember you either replied or called somebody saying, unless we have litigation pending this like in these states, like I don't think this is appropriate or, you know, this isn't the right thing to do.
I don't remember how I phrased it, but um I got into a little bit of a back and forth and I think it was the Ken Cheesebro where I said, All right, you know.
I mean, you just get after it like I'm out.
At that point, I had Josh Finley email, Mr. Cheesebro politely to say this is your task.
You are responsible for the Electoral College issues moving forward.
And this was my way of taking that responsibility to zero.
The committee learned the White House counsel's office also thought the plan was potentially illegal.
And so, to be clear, did you hear the White House counsel's office say that this plan to have ultimate electors meet and cast votes for Donald Trump in states that he had lost was not legally sound.
And who was present for that meeting that you remember.
It was in our offices Mr. Meadows, Mr. Giuliani and a few Giuliani's associates.
The Select Committee interviewed several of the individual fake electors, as well as Trump campaign staff who helped organize the effort.
We were just, you know, kind of kind of useful idiots or rubes at that point.
You know, a strong part of me really feels that it's just kind of as the road continued, as that was failure or failure or failure that that that got formulated as what we have on the table um let's just do it.
And now, after what we've told you today about the committee's investigation, about the conclusion of the professional lawyers on the campaign staff just to clerk Matt Morgan and Josh Finley about their unwillingness to participate in the convening of these electors.
Um how does that contribute to your understanding of these issues?
I'm I'm angry.
I'm angry because I think I think in a sense, you know, no one really cared if if.
People were potentially putting themselves in jeopardy.
Would you have not wanted to participate in this any further as well?
I absolutely would not have had.
I know that the three main lawyers for the campaign that I've spoken to in the past and were leading up more were not on board.
Yeah, I was told that these would only count if a court ruled in our favor.
So that would have been using our electors?
Well, we would have been using our electors in ways that we weren't told about and we wouldn't have supported.
Documents obtained by the Select Committee indicate that instructions were given to the electors in several states that they needed to cast their ballots in complete secrecy because the scheme involved fake electors.
Those participating in certain states had no way to comply with state election laws like where the electors were supposed to meet.
One group of fake electors even considered hiding overnight to ensure that they could access the state capital as required in Michigan.
Did Mr. Norton say who he was working with at all on this effort to have electors meet?
He said he was working with the president's campaign.
He told me that the.
Michigan Republican electors were planning to meet in the Capitol and hide overnight so that they could fulfill the role of casting their vote in per law in the Michigan chambers.
And I told him in no uncertain terms that that was insane and inappropriate.
In one state, the fake electors even asked for a promise that the campaign would pay their legal fees if they got sued or charged with a crime.
Ultimately, fake electors did meet on December 14th, 2020 in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada and Wisconsin at the request of the Trump campaign.
The electors from these battleground states signed documents falsely asserting that they were the, quote, duly elected electors from their state and submitted them to the National Archives and to Vice President Pence in his capacity as president of the Senate.
Here is what some of the fake electors certificates look like as compared to the real ones.
But these ballots had no legal effect.
In an email produced to the Select Committee, Dr. Eastman told a Trump campaign representative that it did not matter that the electors had not been approved by a state authority.
Quote, The fact that we have multiple slate of electors demonstrates the uncertainty of either that should be enough.
He urged that Pence act boldly and be challenged.
Documents produced to the Select Committee show that the Trump campaign took steps to ensure that the physical copies of the fake electors electoral votes from two states were delivered to Washington for January 6th.
Text messages exchanged between Republican Party officials in Wisconsin show that on January 4th, the Trump campaign asked for someone to fly their fake electors documents to Washington.
A staffer for Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson texted a staffer for Vice President Pence just minutes before the beginning of the joint session.
This staffer stated that Senator Johnson wished to hand-deliver to the vice president the fake electors votes from Michigan and Wisconsin.
The vice president's aide unambiguously instructed them not to deliver the fake votes to the vice president, even though the fake electors slates were transmitted to Congress and the executive branch.
The vice president held firm in his position that his role was to count lawfully submitted electoral votes.
Joseph Biden, Jr of the state of Delaware has received 306 votes.
Donald J. Trump of the State of Florida has received 232 votes.
Which is what he did when the joint session resumed on January six after the attack on the Capitol on 538.
Well, we just heard in that video was an aide to the White House chief of staff telling this committee that the White House counsel's office felt that this fake electors plan was not legally sound.
Nevertheless, the Trump campaign went forward with the scheme anyway.
Speaker Bowers Were you aware that fake electors had met in Phenix on December 14th and purported to cast electoral votes for President Trump?
I was not.
When you learned that these electors had met and sent their electoral votes to Washington, what did you think?
I thought of the book The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight and.
I just thought.
This is a.
This is a tragic parody.
Mr. Bowers, I understand that as you flew from Phenix to Washington yesterday, you reflected upon some passages from a personal journal that you were keeping in December 2020 while all of this was taking place.
With your permission, I'm wondering if you would be willing to share one passage in particular with us.
Thank you very much.
It is painful to have friends who have been such a help to me.
Turn on me with such rancor.
I may, in the eyes of men, not hold correct opinions or act according to their vision or convictions.
But I do not take this current situation in a light manner, a fearful manner, or a vengeful manner.
I do not want to be a winner by cheating.
I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to.
With any contrived desire towards deflection.
Of my deep, foundational desire to follow God's will.
As I believe he led my conscience to embrace.
How else will I ever approach him?
In the wilderness of life.
Knowing that I ask this guidance only to show myself a coward.
In defending the course he let me take.
He led me to take.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Those are powerful words.
I understand that taking the courageous positions that you did following the 2020 election in defense of the rule of law and protecting the voters of Arizona, resulted in you and your family being subjected to protests and terrible threats.
Can you tell us how this impacted you and your family?
Well as others in the videos have mentioned.
My secretaries would say in excess of 20,000 emails and.
Tens of thousands of voicemails and texts which.
Saturated our offices and we were unable to work, at least communicate that at home.
Up till even recently.
It is the new pattern or a pattern in our lives to worry what will happen on Saturdays because we have.
Various groups come by and.
They have had.
Video panel trucks with videos of me proclaiming me to be a pedophile and a pervert and a corrupt politician.
And blaring loudspeakers in my neighborhood.
Leaving literature both on my property, but arguing and threatening with neighbors and with myself.
And I don't know if I should name groups, but there was a one gentleman that had the three bars on his chest.
And he had a pistol.
And was threatening my neighbor.
Not with the pistol, but just vocally.
When I saw the gun, I knew I had to get close.
And at the same time.
On some of these we had.
A daughter who is gravely ill. Who is upset.
What was happening outside.
And my wife.
That is a valiant person.
Very strong, quiet, very strong woman.
So it was disturbing.
It was disturbing.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you.
We service the state of Arizona and to the country.
Mr. Chairman, at this point, I think it'd be appropriate to take a short recess.
Accordingly, I reserve the balance of my time.
The Chair requests that those in the hearing room remain seated until the Capitol Police have excluded members and witnesses from the room.
Five minute recess.
And with that Chairman Bennie Thompson following on the questions from Congressman Adam Schiff, who is a member of this January six select committee, call the committee to a brief recess.
He said just 5 minutes.
They are clearly trying to stick to the time that they set.
We've just been listening to dramatic testimony from the speaker of the House in the state of Arizona, the threats that he and his family have been under and as he said, are continuing because he stood up to former President Trump and the people around him who were urging him to overturn the results of the election in the state of Arizona, not to mention other testimony about other election officials around the country who have been threatened repeatedly because they stood up to the former president.
Joining me right now to help analyze the hearing so far, Tami Patrick of the nonpartisan Democracy Fund.
She previously served as a Maricopa County, Arizona election official for more than a decade.
And also Al Schmidt.
He's the Republican.
He is a Republican.
And he's also former commissioner for the city of Philadelphia.
He dealt firsthand with former President Trump's false claims about the 2020 election.
Last week, he testified at the second January six select committee hearing.
Welcome to both of you.
Tammy Patrick, I'm going to come to you because of your background in Arizona.
You have heard much of what we just heard from the Arizona current speaker of the House, Dusty Bowers.
Tell us what you are hearing and how this comes across based on what you know, happened in your state.
Thank you so much, Judy.
It's great to be here.
Even under these trying circumstances.
I think what we now know is that the facts of the election were completely disregarded.
We know that the election was legitimate and that Biden was and continues to be the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
And yet there was this very conscientious decision made to promote this false narrative, as one of the Michigan legislators have pointed out.
They were believing things that were untrue and promoting them.
And so I think you can tell from Speaker Bauer's testimony that election officials take their job very personally.
They are deeply passionate about their responsibility to our democratic republic.
And for many, myself included, it's our life's work.
And so when we see this narrative spawning these violent threats against election officials that, quite frankly, are our neighbors, our friends, our family, they go to our places of worship and their children play on the same sports teams.
When we attack them, we attack our very democracy.
And that's where I am so concerned with with those individuals who aren't watching today's hearing.
And we hope, of course, that that many Americans are watching or will watch a replay of this as the as the hours in the days go on.
Al Schmitt, I want to bring you into this former Philadelphia city commissioner.
What we've been hearing is testimony from Republicans.
These are all people, including speaker Speaker Bowers, who are he said he was a supporter of President Trump, had hoped former President Trump would win reelection, but he was not going to go along with the scheme that the the former president of the people around him were pushing.
And what we're hearing in Arizona was taking place, as we know, in other states around the country as well.
And I think it's very important what the committee is doing here.
When I testified the other day, I believe all panelists were Republicans as well as they had in the hearing before that.
I think there is a real obligation on Republicans to be straightforward about this and to be very honest about it.
And what has been going on in our party and to to tell the truth about the election.
And I think Speaker Bowers did that very powerfully, not just the mechanics and legal machinations that were going on, but on the human side of all of this as well.
No question he was I mean, the description of the threats that have been taking place.
And as he said, even now, you know, he looks to the weekend as a time when people are going to be outside his home.
And he mentioned a man with a gun threatening one of his neighbors, his wife and his late daughter, daughter who passed away of being deeply disturbed by all this.
Tammy Patrick, I'm going to come back to you, because we did hear Speaker Boehner say that he asked the Trump team repeatedly for evidence of what they were claiming they had, that votes were miscounted, that there were immigrants who had voted, that dead people had voted.
But he said they never provided that evidence.
They didn't provide the evidence because it doesn't exist.
They're playing a narrative that harkens back to, you know, dead people are voting in large numbers.
People who aren't eligible are voting in large numbers.
And we know that that fraud narrative is incorrect.
Fraud occurs very, very minimally in this country.
But what this hearing is demonstrating for me is that the real fraud of the 2020 election, the real attempt to steal the election was this fake elector scheme, which is deeply troubling because thankfully we had many elected officials and election officials in those positions of responsibility in power that took their oath seriously, that took the Constitution and their state laws to heart and didn't cave to the pressure that was being put on them by the former president.
However, many people have left their positions because of these threats, because of the stress of the job.
And what we know is that there are partizan actors that are looking to fill those positions.
So we want to make sure that voters remember as they go to the polls this election, this midterm is not an election to sit out.
So much is at stake.
You want to make sure that you're voting for individuals who actually believe in our democracy and are going to serve their voters well rather than being a partizan actor in these kind of.
And the point that you, Tammy Patrick, have made, along with Al Schmitt, that this is something that is not just history.
It is something that is happening right now as we approach the midterm elections this year and the primaries that are taking place.
Very quickly now to our correspondent, Lisa Desjardins at the Capitol and and our White House correspondent, Laura Barron-Lopez.
They've been watching all of this.
Lisa, again, this committee seems to be moving methodically through using video, talking to witnesses, all of whom certainly today are Republicans.
They seem to be following.
They're very much following closely their plan to try to harden up the evidence of what the former president did.
That's right, Judy.
And, you know, today's testimony was the kind of testimony that I anticipated would be more for those of us who kind of follow the minutia of the elections process.
Maybe the first one was more political nerds.
But I found it to be one of the more gripping hours that we've had of testimony as Rusty Bowers.
This is a man who is very conservative.
If you look at his record, you look at what he's pushed for in the Arizona State House on issues like abortion or guns.
There is no arguing.
This man is conservative.
He is a very kind of deep red Republican in terms of the issues we associate with that party mostly.
But here he was saying that I am standing up for the elections process.
And you heard just that really impassioned plea.
And so importantly and Adam Schiff, the Democrat from California, made sure to ask him to talk about his love Bauers love of Ronald Reagan.
And this goes to what we've been talking about before, Judy.
The committee here is really trying to say this isn't about partizans.
This isn't even about people who are anti-Trump, as the Trump supporters may see this committee, that this is about something bigger.
And they are trying to reach out to people who may not share their views with things like faith, examples of people of faith.
And here's an example of someone regarding, you know, really the Republican icon, Ronald Reagan, invoking his name in the name of democracy and against former President Trump.
They've spoken now on a number of occasions with witnesses who speak about their faith as they speak about their oath, as we heard Speaker Rusty Bowers doing that he was not going to violate his oath to the people, to the Constitution and to the people of Arizona who elected him and what what his job is as the leader of the state House of Representatives.
Also joining us, Laura Baron Lopez, who is our White House correspondent.
Laura, we've talked about this.
The White House, President Biden is not directly involved, of course, in these hearings.
But there's no question the White House watching this very closely.
They are watching this closely.
And a lot of that ends up being White House aides briefing the president on what is happening in these hearings and could do like one more.
And so that's something that that Biden is definitely getting rating on.
He occasionally they said, if his schedule isn't that busy, will sometimes watch the hearings, potentially catching them lBut again, the president doesn't change his schedule.
And again, as you noted, Judy, we've talked about this a lot because of the fact that Biden is trying to not show that he is influencing any of the proceedings, whether it's the committee or, as we heard today, Congresswoman Cheney saying that she thinks that this is something that the Justice Department needs to be focusing on.
That what the committee is investigating, specifically the pressure campaign on Pence to try to outright reject electors and go against his constitutional duty, as well as the pressure campaign on state elected officials, which we're hearing about today.
Cheney, in her opening statement said, quote, that she thinks that it "deserves attention from the Justice Department."
And so because of that, the president is trying to keep an arm's length approach to to make sure that the Justice Department has its independence in pursuing that.
Keep it keep its independence.
And I have to say, I was struck that Adam Schiff began his prepared statement just a little over an hour ago by stating once again that he said, in November of 2020, Donald Trump ran for reelection and lost.
The fact that that still has to be stated is remarkable in and of itself.
Here we are 19 months later and the questions are out there.
They are real.
Millions of Americans, according to the public opinion polls, are still saying that they believe there was something wrong with this election, that it was fraudulent, that that the laws were wrong, that that that in some one way or another, that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president.
And not only that, that we're looking at midterm elections this year that are a reflection of what happened in 2020.
That's right, Judy.
You know, something that Schiff said also really struck me when he when he said that if if the majority of the electorate or even a significant portion of the electorate is made to believe that the elections are not legitimate, then where does that push the country towards, what ultimately happens?
And he said it pushes the country towards potentially violence, which is what we saw on January 6.
It's what we saw on January 6th.
And it's what we've been hearing in testimony from these witnesses over the last three hearings, and then today in this fourth hearing.
Let's go back, take a quick look at the hearing room.
Chairman Bennie Thompson, the congressman from Mississippi, said about 10 minutes ago they were going to take a five minute break.
It is often the case that these the breaks last a little bit longer than is the plan.
So we we roll with with whatever their their plan is.
I want to...let's see, we've had joining us a moment ago Tammy Patrick, who is a former Maricopa County, Arizona election official, and also Al Schmidt, former Philadelphia city commissioner.
Al Schmidt, are you with us still?
As you listen to the to the committee present its case, what more do we need to hear to cement the argument that what the Trump campaign was doing was illegal?
They had one campaign official after another saying they refused to take part in this.
And we heard one young man there at the end say, if I had known that what they were doing was so clearly illegal, I wouldn't have been part of it.
I mean, it's very clear they ve been deceived some of their own people with all of these lies, and put them in a situation that they would never have wanted to be in.
I think from the first hearing, you would you would wonder how it could be more compelling than that.
And in reality, the hearings are just built, one after another, to a pretty, pretty compelling case.
I think we want to, as Al Schmitt is listening with us, of course, from Pennsylvania, a former city councilor for the state of for the city of Philadelphia.
This afternoon, the committee members are coming back.
What we think we're going to be hearing now is testimony from two Georgia election officials.
They are the secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, and his chief operating officer, Gabriel Sterling, both of whom were subjected to enormous pressure from the former president, from Rudy Giuliani, people around the former president, to get them to change the election results in the state of Georgia, which they then which they refused to do.
But the pressure was was relentless.
We're going to hear now, I think Chairman Bennett, Bennie Thompson is going to call the hearing back to order.
The committee will be in order.
President Trump's pressure campaign against state officials existed in all the key battleground states that he lost.
But the former president had a particular obsession with Georgia.
Here is the president on the afternoon of January 6th after his own attorney general warned him that the claims you are about to hear are patently false.
You should find those votes.
They should absolutely find that just over 11,000 votes, that's all we need.
They defrauded us out of a win in Georgia.
And we're not going to forget it.
So the state of Georgia is where we will turn our attention to next.
I want to emphasize that our investigation into these issues is still ongoing.
As I stated in our last hearing, if you have relevant information or documentary evidence to share with the select committee, we welcome your cooperation.
But we will share some of our findings with you today.
Secretary Ratzenberger, thank you for being here today.
You've been a public servant in Georgia since 2015, serving first as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives and then since January 2019, as Georgia's secretary of state.
As a self-described conservative Republican, it is.
Is it fair to say that you wanted President Trump to win the 2020 election?
Yes, it is.
Mr. Secretary, many witnesses have told a select committee that Election Day, November three, 2020, was a largely uneventful day in their home states, in spite of the challenges of conducting an election during a pandemic.
You wrote in The Washington Post that the election was, quote, successful.
Tell us, what was your impression of how Election Day had proceeded in Georgia?
On Election Day in November, our election went remarkably smooth.
In fact, we meet at the gym headquarters.
That's the Georgia Energy Emergency Management Association meeting location.
But we are following wait times in line in the afternoon.
Our average wait time was 3 minutes statewide.
We were recording for various precincts and it actually got down to 2 minutes.
And at the end of the day, we felt that we had a successful election from the standpoint of the administration and the operation of the election.
The chair recognizes the gentleman from California.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Raffensperger, did Joe Biden win the 2020 presidential election in Georgia and by what margin?
President Biden carried the state of Georgia by approximately 12,000 votes.
And Mr. Secretary, as I understand it, your office took several steps to ensure the accuracy of the vote count in Georgia, reviewing the vote count in at least three different ways.
These steps included a machine recount, a forensic audit, and a full hand recount of every one of the 5 million ballots cast.
Did these efforts, including a recount of literally every ballot cast in the state of Georgia, confirm the result?
Yes, they did.
We counted the ballots with the first tabulation would be scanned.
Then when we did our 100% hand audit of the entire all 5 million ballots in the state of Georgia, all cast in place, all absentee ballots, they were all hand recounted and they came remarkably close to the first count.
And then upon the election being certified, President Trump, because he was within a half percent excuse me, could ask for a recount.
And then we recounted them again through the scanner.
So we got remarkably the same count, three counts, all remarkably close, which showed that President Trump did come up short.
Nevertheless, as you will see, the president and his allies began making began making numerous false allegations of voter fraud, false allegations that you and Mr. Sterling, among others, had to address.
Mr. Sterling, thank you also for being here today following the 2020 election, in addition to your normal duties.
I understand that you became a spokesperson to try to combat disinformation about the election and the danger it was creating for elections officials, among others.
In a December one press conference.
You addressed some of your remarks directly to President Trump.
Let's take a look at what you said that day.
Mr. President, it looks like you likely lost the state of Georgia.
There's always a possibility.
I get it.
And you have the rights to go through the courts.
But you don't have.
The ability to do.
And you need to step up and say, this.
Is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.
Someone's going to get hurt.
Someone's going to get shot.
Someone's going to get killed.
And it's not right.
I know it's not right.
Mr. Sterling, what prompted you to make these remarks?
Mr. Schiff We had had a previously scheduled press conference that day as we were in the habit of doing, trying to be as transparent as we could about the election and the counts going on a little after lunch that day.
I received a call from the project manager from Dominion Voting Systems, who was oddly audibly shaken.
She's not the kind of person I would assume would be that way.
She has a master's from MIT, a graduate of Naval Academy, and is very much on the ball and pretty unflappable.
And she informed me about a young contractor they had who had been receiving threats from a video posted by some QAnon supporters.
And at that point we had been sort of steeping in this kind of stuff.
So we were it was around us all the time, so I didn't take note of it.
The more than adding to the pile of other stuff we were having to deal with.
And I did pull up Twitter and I scrolled through it and I saw the young man's name.
And it was a particular tweet that, for lack of a better word, was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Had the young man's name.
It's a very unique name, I believe, as a first generation American.
And it had his name.
You committed treason.
May God have mercy on your soul with a slowly twisting gif of a noose.
And for lack of a better word, I lost it.
I just got irate.
My boss was with me at the time, the deputy secretary, Jordan Fuchs.
And she could tell that I was angry of turning.
I tend to turn red from here up when that happens.
And that happened at that time.
And she called Secretary Raffensperger to say, we're seeing these kind of threats and Gabe thinks we need to say something about it.
And Secretary said yes.
And that's what prompted me to do what?
I lost my temper.
But it seemed necessary at the time because it was just getting worse.
And I don't I could not tell you why that particular one was the one that put me over the edge.
But it did.
Now, after you made this plea to the president, did Donald Trump urge his supporters to avoid the use of violence?
Not to my knowledge.
Now, as we know, the president was aware of your speech because he tweeted about it later that day.
Let's take a look at what the president said.
In the tweet, Donald Trump claims that there was, quote, massive voter fraud in Georgia.
That was just plain false, wasn't it?
Nevertheless, the very next day, on December 2nd, President Trump released a lengthy video again making false claims of election fraud in Georgia.
Let's take a look at what he said this time.
They found thousands and thousands of votes that were out of whack all against me.
In fact, the day after Donald Trump released that video.
So now we're talking just two days after the emotional warning that you gave that someone's going to get killed.
Representatives of President Trump appeared in Georgia, including Rudy Giuliani, and launched a new conspiracy theory that would take on a life of its own and threaten the lives of several innocent election workers.
This story falsely alleges that sometime during election night, election workers at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, kicked out poll observers after the observers left.
The story goes These workers pulled so-called suitcases of ballots from under a table and ran those ballots through counting machines multiple times.
Completely without evidence, President Trump and his allies claimed that these suitcases contained as many as 18,000 ballots, all for Joe Biden.
None of this was true.
But Rudy Giuliani appeared before the Georgia State Senate and played a surveillance video from a state farm arena falsely claiming that it showed this conspiracy taking place.
Here's a sample of what Mr. Giuliani had to say during that hearing.
And when you look at what you saw on the video, which to me was a smoking gun, powerful smoking gun.
Well, I don't don't have to be a genius to figure out what happened.
And I don't have to be a genius to figure out that those votes are not legitimate votes.
You don't put legitimate votes under a table.
Wait until you throw the opposition out and in the middle of the night, count them.
We would have to be fools to think that we.
President Trump's campaign amplified Giuliani's false testimony in a tweet, pushing out the video footage.
Giuliani likewise pushed out his testimony on social media.
As you can see in this tweet, Mr. Giuliani wrote that it was, quote, now beyond doubt, unquote, that Fulton County Democrats had stolen the election.
Later in this hearing, we'll hear directly from one of the election workers in this video about the effect these lies had on her and on her family.
Mr. Sterling, did the investigators in your office review the entire surveillance tape from the State Farm Arena on election night?
They actually reviewed approximately 48 hours going over the time period where action was taking place at the counting center at State Farm Arena.
And what did the tape actually show?
Depending on which time you want to start, because as was mentioned, this conspiracy theory took on a life of its own where they conflated a water main break that wasn't a water main break.
And throwing observers out and a series of other things when it actually showed was Fulton County election workers engaging in normal ballot processing.
One of the specific things.
One of the things was very frustrating was the so-called suitcases of ballots from under the table.
If you watched the entirety of the video.
You saw that these were election workers who were under the impression they were going to get to go home around 10, 10:30.
People are putting on their coats.
They're putting ballots that are prepared to be scanned into ballot carriers.
They're then sealed with tamper proof seals so that they you know, they're not messed with.
And it's an interesting thing because you watch all of there's four screens of the video and as you're watching it, you can see the election monitors in the corner with the press as they're taking these carriers and putting them under the under the table.
You see it there.
One of the other hidden ones, if you looked at the actual tape, was on the outside of the table, just from the camera angle.
You couldn't see it originally.
And this goes under the no good deed goes unpunished.
We were told we were at GMA, as the secretary pointed out, and we weren't we were told that it looked like they were shutting down the Fulton County counting.
The secretary expressed some displeasure at that because we wanted to keep everybody keep counting so we could get to the results and know what was happening.
So our elections director called their elections director, who was at another location because this was Election Day.
There was two different places where ballot things were being done by the Fulton County office.
So he called the election director of Fulton, then called Ralph Jones, who was at the State Farm Arena and said, What the heck are you doing?
Go ahead and stay.
As we watch the video itself, you see him take the phone call as people are putting things away and getting ready to leave.
You can tell for about 15 to 20 seconds, he does not want to tell these people they have to stay.
He walks over.
He thinks about it for a second.
You see him come back to the corner of a desk and kind of slumps his and say, okay, you all, we got to keep on counting.
And then you see them take their coats off, get the ballots out.
And then a secondary thing that you'll see on there is you'll have people who are counting ballots, a batch will go through and they will take them off and run that through again.
What happens there is a standard operating procedure.
If there is a missed scan, if there's a misalignment, if it doesn't read.
Right, these are high speed, high capacity scanners.
So three or four will go through after a missscan.
You have to delete that batch and put it back through again.
And by going through the hand tally, as secretary pointed out, we showed that if there have been multiple ballots scanned without a corresponding physical ballot, your counts would have been a lot higher than the ballots themselves.
And by doing the hand tally, we saw two specific numbers that were met.
The hand tally got us to a .1053% of the total votes cast and .0099% on the margin, which is essentially dead on accurate.
Most academic studies say on a hand tally you will have between one or 2%.
But because we use ballot marking devices where it's very clear what the voter intended, it made a lot easier to for us to conduct that hand count and show that none of that was true.
Now, I understand that when you reviewed these tapes and did the analysis, it does prove this conspiracy theory.
But you still had to take a lot of steps to try to make sure the public knew the truth about these allegations.
And you did frequent briefings for the press.
Let's take a look at one of those press briefings, Mr. Sterling, that you held on December 7th to make the point that you just did today.
Move on to what I'm going to call disinformation Monday out of the gate.
Many of you all saw the videotape from State Farm Arena.
I spent hours with our post certified investigators, Justin Gray from WSB, spent hours with us going over this video to explain to people that what you saw the secret suitcases of magic ballots were actually ballots that had been packed into those absentee ballot carriers by the workers, in plain view of the monitors and the press.
And what's really frustrating is the president's attorneys had this same videotape.
They saw the exact same things the rest of us could see.
And they chose to mislead state senators and the public about what was on that video.
I'm quite sure that they will not characterize the video if they try to enter into evidence, because that is the kind of thing that can lead to sanctions because it's obviously untrue.
They knew it was untrue and they continue to do things like this.
Mr. Sterling, despite the efforts by your office to combat this misinformation misinformation by speaking out publicly and through local media, you are unable to match the reach of President Trump's platform and social media megaphone.
Spreading these false conspiracy theories.
What was it like to compete with a president who had the biggest bully pulpit in the world to push out these false claims?
For lack of a better word.
It was frustrating.
But oftentimes I felt our information was getting out that that there was a reticence of people who needed to believe it.
To believe it because.
The President, United States, who many looked up to and respected, was telling them it wasn't true, despite the facts.
And I have characterized at one point it was kind of like a shovel trying to empty the ocean.
And yes, it was frustrating.
I even have, you know, family members who I had to argue with about some of these things.
And I would show them things and the problem you have is you're getting to people's hearts.
I remember there's one specific an attorney that we know that we show to walk him through.
This wasn't true.
Okay, I get that this wasn't true.
I get that this wasn't five or six things, but at the end he goes, I just know in my heart that cheated.
So once you get past the heart, the facts don't matter as much.
And our job, from our point of view, is to get the facts out, do our job, tell the truth, follow the Constitution, follow the law, and defend the institutions and the institutions held.
Let's take a look at what you are competing with.
This is from the former president speaking in Georgia on December 5th.
But it's a fraud is overwhelming.
And again, I'm going to ask you to look up at that very, very powerful and very expensive screen.
Hidden cases of possible ballots are rolled out from under a table for people under a cloud of suspicion.
So if you just take the crime of what those Democrat workers were doing and by the way, there was no water main break.
You know, they said that there was no water.
Maybe that's ten times more than I need to win this thing ten times more.
It's ten times maybe more than that, but it's ten times more because we lost by a very close number.
This committee is hearing.
Last Monday, we heard from senior federal law enforcement officials from these senior most federal law enforcement official in Atlanta at the time, U.S. attorney for the Northern District, B.J.
Pack, as well as former Attorney General Bill Barr.
They both testified that the allegations were thoroughly investigated and found to have no merit.
Here is U.S. Attorney Patrick.
They go to Attorney General Barr I told them that we looked into it.
We've done several things, including interviewing the witnesses.
I listened to the tapes and reviewed the videotape myself and that there was nothing there.
Giuliani was wrong in representing that this was a suitcase full of ballots.
And here's what Attorney General Bill Barr had to say about the same allegations.
Took a look hard look at this ourselves.
And based on our review of and including the interviews of the key witnesses, the Fulton County allegations were had no merit.
We also have testimony from senior Department of Justice officials establishing that they specifically told President Trump that these allegations had been thoroughly investigated and were completely without merit.
Here is acting attorney Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue describing a phone conversation in which he specifically told President Trump that these allegations were false.
They kept fixating on this suitcase that supposedly had fraudulent ballots in it.
The suitcase was rolled out from under the table.
And I said, No, sir, there is no suitcase.
You can watch that video over and over.
There is no suitcase.
There is a wheeled bin where they can.
Where they carry the ballots.
No matter how many times.
Senior Department of Justice officials, including his own attorney general, told the president that these allegations were not true.
President Trump kept promoting these lies and putting pressure on state officials to accept them.
On January 2nd, the president had a lengthy telephone conversation with Secretary Raffensperger.
Prior to the president's call, though, I want to share a bit of important context.
First, the White House, including the former president's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, repeatedly called or texted the secretary's office some 18 times in order to set up this call.
They were quite persistent.
Second Chief of Staff Mark Meadows took the extraordinary step of showing up at a signature audit site in Georgia, where he met with Secretary Raffensperger's chief investigator Frances Watson, who was supervising that audit process.
Behind me is a photograph from that visit.
Third, the day after Meadows Georgia visit, he set up a call between President Trump and Frances Watson.
On the call between President Trump and Georgia investigator Frances Watson the former president continued to push the false claim that he'd won the state of Georgia.
Let's listen to that part of the conversation.
You know, it's just you had the most important job in the country right now, because if we were in Georgia and first of all, if we win, you're going to have two win.
They're not not going to win right now, you know, they're down.
Because the people of Georgia are so angry at what happened to me, they know I won by hundreds of thousands of votes.
It wasn't close.
And in this next clip, he told this state law enforcement official that she'd be praised if she found the right answer.
You know I will.
When the right answer comes out, you'll be praised.
I mean I don't know why you know, they made it so hard that many people will be praised and people will say, great, because that's what it's about, that ability to check in to and to make it right, because everyone knows it's wrong.
It's just no way.
Mr. Raffensperger, I know you weren't on this call, but.
But that you have listened to it.
President Trump didn't win by hundreds of thousands of votes in Georgia, did he?
No, he did not.
I've been traveling through the state of Georgia for a year now, and I simply put in a nutshell, what happened in fall of 2020 is that 28,000 Georgians skipped the presidential race and yet they voted down ballot in other races.
And the Republican congressman ended up getting 33,000 more votes than President Trump.
And that's why President Trump came up short.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
The president on this call doesn't stop here.
Let's listen to another part of the conversation between President Trump and Mrs. Watson.
Anyway, but whatever you can do Frances, it would be as a great thing, as an important thing for the country.
So important is so important.
I very much appreciate it.
Whatever you can do Francis.
This is the president of the United States calling an investigator, looking into the election in which he is a candidate and asking her to do whatever you can do.
Mr. Secretary, you placed this call to your chief investigator on September 23rd, 2020.
The subcommittee has received text messages indicating that Mark Meadows wanted to send some of the investigators in her office, in the words of one White House aide, a shitload of POTUS stuff, including coins, actual autographed MAGA hats, etc.. White House staff intervened to make sure that didn't happen.
It was clear at the time of this call that the former president had his sights set on January 6th.
Listen to this portion when he told Frances Watson about a very important date.
You think he'll be working after Christmas to keep it going fast?
Because, you know, we have date of the 6th, which is a very important date.
An important date, of course, was the joint session of Congress where Georgia's electoral votes would be counted for Joe Biden.
A little a little over a week after this call to Frances Watson, the president was finally able to speak with you Secretary Raffensperger, bear in mind, as we discussed this call today, that by this point in time, early January, the election in Georgia had already been certified.
But perhaps more important, the president of the United States had already been told repeatedly by his own top Justice Department officials that the claims he was about to make to you about massive fraud in Georgia were completely false.
Mr. Secretary, of the call between you and the president lasted 67 minutes, over an hour.
We obviously can't listen to the entire recording here today, although it is available on the Select Committees website.
But we'll listen to selected excerpts of it now so that we can get your insights.
Let's begin with the president raising the thoroughly debunked allegations of suitcases of ballots.
They weren't in an official voter box, they were in what looked to be suitcases or trunks, suitcases, but they weren't in in voter boxes.
The minimum number, it could be because we watched it and they watched it certified in slow motion, instant replay, if you can believe it.
But they had slow motion and it was magnified many times over.
And the minimum it was was 18,000 ballots all for Biden.
These are the allegations that the Department of Justice, the Attorney General, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and your office had all said were false.
Is that right?
And even more importantly, when B.J.
Pak resigned as U.S. Attorney of the Northern District, President Trump appointed as acting U.S. Attorney of the northern district, Bobby Christine and Bobby Christine looked at that and he has called the AJC that he found nothing.
And he dismissed that case early on.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
The President references suitcases or trunks.
Mr. Sterling, were the objects seen in these videos suitcases or trunks, or were they just the ordinary containers that are used by election workers?
They're standard standard ballot carriers that allow for seals to be put on them so that are tamper proof.
And finally, the president claims that there was a minimum of 18,000 ballots somehow smuggled in all for Biden.
I take it, gentlemen, that was also categorically false?
There's no a there's no physical way he can know who those ballots were for was.
Secondarily, we had Fulton County for years has been an issue in our state when it comes to elections.
So we had a they had a very difficult time during the primary, in large part because of COVID.
So we had put them under a consent decree.
The secretary got negotiated where we had a monitor on site and his name was Carter Jones.
And he took a notation, he had gone from State Farm to the English Street warehouse to look at Election Day activities.
But before he left the State Farm arena, he noted how many ballots had been counted on each one of the machines.
And when he came back, after we found out they were working again, he took note again when they closed.
And I believe the final number was something around 8900 total ballots were scanned from the time he left to the time about 1230 or 1:00 in the morning.
Way below 18,000.
Let's play the next clip.
I heard it was close, so I said, there's no way.
But they dropped a lot of votes in there late at night.
You know that Brad.
Mr. Secretary, did somebody drop drop a lot of votes there late at night?
I believe that the President was referring to some of the counties when they would upload, but the ballots had all been accepted and had to be accepted by state law by 7 p.m..
So there were no additional ballots accepted after 7 p.m.. Let's play the next clip in which the president makes claims about so-called dead voters.
The other thing, dead people.
So dead people voted.
And I think the the number is in the close to 5000 people.
And they went to obituaries.
They went to all sorts of methods to come up with an accurate number.
And a minimum is close to about 5000 voters.
So, Secretary, did your office investigate whether those allegations were accurate?
Did 5000 dead people in Georgia vote?
No, it's not accurate.
And actually, in their lawsuits, they allege 10,315 dead people.
We found two dead people when I wrote my letter to Congress that's dated January six and subsequent to that, we found two more.
That's one, two, three, four people, not 4000, but just the total four, not 10,000, not 5000.
Let's play the next clip.
And there's nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you've recalculated because it's two thousand, two thirty six in absentee ballots.
I mean, they're all exact numbers that were were done by accounting firms, law firms, etc.. And even if you cut them in half, cut them in half and cut them in half, again, it's more votes than we need.
Mr. Secretary, is there any way that you could have lawfully changed the result in the state of Georgia and somehow explained it away as a recalculation?
No, the numbers are the numbers.
The numbers don't lie.
We had many allegations and we investigated every single one of them.
In fact, I challenged my team.
Did we miss anything?
They said that there was over 66,000 underage voters.
We found that there was actually zero.
You can register to vote in Georgia.
You're 17 and a half.
You have to be 18 by Election Day.
We checked that out.
Every single voter.
They said that there was 2423 non-registered voters.
There were zero.
They said that there was 2056 felons.
We identified less than 74 or less.
Never actually still on a felony sentences.
Every single allegation we checked, we ran down the rabbit trail to make sure that our numbers were accurate.
So there's no way you could have recalculated it except by fudging the numbers.
The numbers were the numbers, and we could not recalculate because we had made sure that we had checked every single allegation and we had many investigations we had nearly 300 from the 2020 election.
Mr. Secretary, you tried to push back when the president made these unsupported claims, whether they were about suitcases of ballots or that Biden votes were counted three times.
Let's play the next clip.
Mr. President, they did not put that.
We we we did an audit of that.
And we proved conclusively that they were not scanned three times.
Mr. President, we'll send you the link from WSB.
I don't care about a link.
I don't need it.
Brad, I have a much better link.
You told the president you would send him a link from WSB, which I understand is a local television station that had a unedited video from the State Farm Arena.
But the president wasn't interested in that.
He said he had a much better link.
Mr. Secretary, at the time that you were on the call with the president, as we have shown, both the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had proven these claims to be nonsense.
And you told him about these investigations on the phone.
Let's listen to what President Trump had to say about the state and federal law enforcement officers who conducted who investigated these false claims.
There's no way they could, then they're incompetent.
Well what did they find?
They're either dishonest or incompetent ok?
There's only two answers.
Dishonesty or incompetence.
There's just no way.
Look, there's no way.
But the president didn't stop at insinuating that law enforcement officers were either dishonest or incompetent.
He went on to suggest that you could be subject to criminal liability for your role in the matter.
Before I play that portion of the conversation, I'd like to show you something that the President retweeted a couple of weeks before your call with him.
Here's the president retweeting a post from one of his allies, a lawyer who was later sanctioned by a judge in Michigan for making false claims of election fraud.
Let's take a look at that tweet.
The tweet read, quote, "President Trump at RealDonaldTrump is a genuinely good man.
He does not really like to fire people.
I bet he dislikes putting people in jail, especially, quote unquote, Republicans.
He gave @BrianKempGA and at Georgia secretary of state every chance to get it right.
They will soon be going to jail.
So on your call, this was not the first time the president was suggesting you might be criminally liable.
With that, let's listen to this portion of the call.
I think you're going to find that they are shredding ballots because they have to get rid of the ballots, because the ballots are unsigned, the ballots are are corrupt, and they're brand new and they don't have seals.
There's a whole thing with the ballots, but the ballots are corrupt.
And you're going to find that they are, which is totally illegal, it's it's more illegal for you than it is for them.
Because you know what they did and you're not reporting it.
That's a you know, that's a criminal that's a criminal offense.
And, you know, you can't let that happen.
That's that's a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer.
That's a big risk.
After making a false claim about shredding of ballots, the president suggested that you may be committing a crime by not going along with his claims of election fraud.
And after suggesting that you might have criminal exposure, President Trump makes his most explicit ask of the call.
Let's play a part of that conversation.
So all I want to do is just.
I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.
Mr. Secretary, was the president here asking you for exactly what he wanted, one more vote than his opponent?
What I knew is that we didn't have any votes to find.
We had continued to look.
We investigated like I just shared the numbers with you.
There were no votes to find.
That was an accurate count that had been certified.
And as our general counsel said, there was no shredding of ballots.
Mr. Secretary, after making this request, the president then goes back to the danger of having you deny these allegations of fraud.
Let's listen to that part of the clip.
And I watched you this morning and you said, uh, well, there was no criminality, but, I mean, all of this stuff is, is very dangerous stuff.
When you talk about no criminality, I think it's very dangerous for you to say that.
Secretary Raffensperger, you wrote about this in your book and you said, quote, I felt then and still believe today that this was a threat.
Others obviously thought so, too, because some of Trump's more radical followers have responded as if it was their duty to carry out this threat.
Please tell us what you or your wife, even your daughter in law experienced regarding threats from Trump's more radical followers.
Well, after the after the election of my email, my cell phone was doxed.
And so I was getting texts all over the country.
And then eventually my wife started getting the text and hers typically came in as sexualized attacks, which were disgusting.
You have to understand that Trish and I, we met in high school.
We were married over 40 years now.
And so they started going after her, I think, just to probably put pressure on me.
Why don't you just quit, walk away.
And so that happened.
And then some people broke into my daughter in law's home and my son has passed and she's a widow and has two kids.
And so we're very concerned about her safety also.
And Mr. Secretary, why didn't you just quit and walk away?
Because they knew that we had followed the law and we followed the Constitution.
And I think sometimes moments require you to stand up and just take the shots.
You're doing your job.
And that's all we did.
You know, we just followed the law and we followed the Constitution.
And at the end of the day, President Trump came up short.
But I had to be faithful to the Constitution.
And that's what I swore an oath to do.
During the remainder of the call, the former president continued to press you to find the remaining votes that would ensure his victory in Georgia.
Let's listen to a little more.
Why wouldn't you want to find the right answer, Brad, instead of keep saying that the numbers are right.
So, look, can you get together tomorrow?
And, Brad, we just want the truth.
It's simple and.
And everyone's going to look very good if the truth comes out.
It takes a little while, but let the truth come out.
And then the real truth is I won by 400,000 votes at least.
So what are we going to do here fokss?
I only need 11,000 votes?
Fellas, I need 11,000 votes.
Give me a break.
Four days after the president's call to Secretary Raffensperger was January 6th.
The president whipped up the crowd in front of the Ellipse, once again, promoting the allegation that Secretary Raffensperger, the president's own attorney general, had told him was false.
Here he is on the Ellipse.
In Fulton County, Republican poll watchers were ejected, in some cases physically from the room under the false pretense of a pipe burst, water main burst.
Everybody leave, which we now know was a total lie.
Then election officials pulled boxes, Democrats, and suitcases of ballots out from under a table, you all saw it on television, totally fraudulent and illegally scanned them for nearly 2 hours, totally unsupervised, tens of thousands of votes.
This act coincided with a mysterious vote dump of up to 100,000 votes for Joe Biden, almost none for Trump.
Oh, that sounds fair.
That was at 1:34 a.m. Mr. Secretary, Mr. Sterling, I want to thank you for your service to the state of Georgia and to the country.
Speaker Bowers, likewise, I want to thank you for your service to the State of Arizona and to the country.
You have served not only your home states, but our nation and our democracy.
Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
Thank you, Mr. Schiff.
I thank the witnesses for joining us today.
You are now dismissed.
These witnesses have been the featured speakers, individuals being queried by the committee members for the last 2 hours.
There is another witness coming up right now.
She is the former Georgia election worker.
Her name is Wandrea ArShaye, or 'Shay' Moss.
We expect to see her any moment now.
The committee has given us a schedule of who they are talking with, whom they've invited to, to be a witness, a, whond we know that she is next.
It looks as if she may be walking into the room now to take her place at the desk.
We've been listening to Congressman Adam Schiff ask these two Georgia election officials.
Brad Raffensperger, who is the secretary of state, and Gabriel Sterling, who is his chief operations officer, talk to them about they what they experienced - threats from former President Trump if they didn't agree to change the election results.
We're going to hear similar lines of questioning.
But but this time they will be directed to Shay Moss.
Her full name is Wandrea ArShaye Moss.
She formerly worked for the state of Georgia.
And now welcome our final witness this afternoon.
Wandrea Shay Moss.
Ms. Moss worked in a department of registration and elections in Fulton County, Georgia, from 2017 until 2022.
In that job, Miss Moss handled voter applications and absentee ballot requests and also helped to process the vote count for several elections.
In December 2020, Miss Moss and her mother, Miss Ruby Freeman, became the target of nasty lies spread by President Trump and his allies as they sought to overturn the election results in Georgia.
Miss Moss and her mother, Miss Freeman, are two of the unsung heroes in this country doing the hard work of keeping our democracy functioning for every American.
Miss Moss, welcome.
Thank you for your service.
And I thank you for being here today.
I will now swear you in.
Do you swear or affirm on the penalty of perjury that the testimony you're about to give is a truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Please be seated.
Let the record reflect that the witness answered in the affirmative.
Miss Moss, thank you very much for being here today.
I understand that you are here along with your mother today.
Would you like to introduce your mom?
Miss Moss, today we'll be asking you about some of the threats that you received following the 2020 election.
Since you've been an election worker for over ten years, I want to ask you, in your decade of service, had you ever experienced threats like these before?
Don't be nervous.
Yes, I understand.
And I want to make sure that the record reflects that you've done it for quite a while and you never received a threat.
And your answer was no.
Pursuant to Section 5c8 of the House Resolution 503, the Chair recognizes the gentleman from California, Mr. Schiff for questions.
Good afternoon, Miss Moss, thank you for being here.
I understand that you are employed by the Fulton County Registration and Elections Department for more than ten years.
And I understand that you love that job.
Please tell us what made you so fond of the work that you did.
I've always been told by my grandmother how important it is to vote and how people before me, a lot of people, older people in my family did not have that right.
So what I loved most about my job were the older voters.
Younger people could usually do everything from their phone or go online, but the older voters like to call.
They like to talk to you.
They like to get my card.
They like to know that every election I'm here.
And like even college students, a lot of parents trust in me to make sure their child does not have to drive home.
They'll get an absentee ballot.
They can vote.
And I really found pleasure in that.
I like being the one that, you know, if someone can't navigate my voter page or, you know, they want a new precinct card and they don't have a copy machine or computer or all of that, I can put it in the mail for them.
I was excited always about sending out all the absentee ballots for the elderly disabled people.
I even remember driving to a hospital to give someone her absentee application.
That's that's what I love the most.
So you really enjoyed helping people vote and participate.
And and that was something, the right to vote your grandmother taught you was precious.
Well, I know the events that we're here to talk about today are incredibly difficult to relive.
Your proud service as an election worker took a dramatic turn on the day that Rudy Giuliani publicized the video of you and your mother counting ballots on election night.
President Trump, Rudy Giuliani and others claimed on the basis of this video that you and your mother were somehow involved in a plot to kick out observers, bring suitcases of false ballots for Biden into the arena and then run them through the machines multiple times.
None of that was true, was it?
None of it.
I'd like to show you some of the statements that Rudy Giuliani made in a second hearing before the Georgia state legislators.
A week after that video clip from State Farm Arena was first circulated by Mr. Giuliani and President Trump.
I want to advise viewers that these statements are completely false and also deeply disturbing.
Tape earlier in the day of Ruby Freeman and Shay Freeman.
Morse and one of the gentleman quite obviously surreptitiously passing around USB ports as if they're vials of heroin and cocaine.
I mean, it's our ...
It's obvious to anyone who's a criminal investigator or prosecutor they are engaged in surreptitious, illegal activity again that day.
And after a week ago they're still walking around Georgia, lying.
Should have known.
They should have been in questioned already.
Their places of work, their homes should have been searched for evidence of ballots, evidence of USB ports, for evidence of voter fraud.
That video was from Rudy Giuliani's appearance at a Georgia State Senate hearing on December ten.
How did you become aware?
How did you first become aware that Rudy Giuliani, the president's lawyer, was accusing you and your mother of a crime?
I was at work like always.
And the former chief, Mr. Jones, asked me to come to his office.
And when I went to his office, the former director, Mr. Baron, was in there and they showed me a video on their computer.
It was just like a very short clip of us working at State Farm.
And it had someone on the video, like talking over the video, just saying that we were doing things that we...we weren't supposed to do, just lying throughout the video.
And that's when I first found out about it.
And were there social media posts that they showed you responding to those false claims?
When when I saw the video, of course, the first thing that I said, it was like, why, why?
Why are they doing this?
What's going on?
And they, you know, just told me that Trump and his allies were not satisfied with the outcome of the election.
And they they were getting a lot of threats and being harassed online and asked me, you know, have I been receiving anything?
And I need to check on my mom and.
I told them, you know, I was like, where?
Where have they, you know, where have you been getting these threats?
I don't believe I have any.
And Mr. Jones told me, like, they're attacking his Facebook and I don't really use Facebook.
I have one.
So I went to the Facebook app and I'm just kind of panicky at this point because this has never happened to me and my mom is involved and I'm like her only child.
So I'm just asking him like, where are the messages?
All I see is the feeds.
Like, how do you get to the messages?
And he said, it's another icon on your phone that says Messenger.
And I went to their icon and it was just a lot of horrible things there.
And those horrible things, did they include threats?
A lot of threats, wishing death upon me.
Telling me that, you know, I'll be in jail with my mother and saying things like, be glad it's 2020 and not 1920.
Were a lot of these threats and vile comments, racist in nature?
A lot of them were racist.
A lot of them were just hateful.
In one of the videos we just watched, Mr. Giuliani accused you and your mother of passing some sort of USB drive to each other.
What was your mom actually handing you on that video?
A ginger mint.
It wasn't just Rudy Giuliani.
We heard President Trump make these false allegations repeatedly during his call with Secretary Raffensperger.
Let's listen to a portion of what he had to say about you and your mother.
At least 18,000.
That's on tape.
We had them counted very painstakingly.
18,000 voters having to do with the Ruby Freedman.
That's she's a vote scammer, a professional vote scammer and hustler.
Donald Trump attacked you and your mother using her name 18 times on that call.
Miss Moss, can you describe what you experienced listening to former President Trump attack you and your mother in a call with the Georgia secretary of state?
I felt horrible.
I felt like it was all my fault.
Like if I would have never decided to be an elections worker, like, I could have done anything else.
But that's what I decided to do.
People are lying and spreading rumors and lies and attacking my mom.
I'm her only child going to my grandmother's house, I'm her only grandchild.
And my kid is just...
I felt so bad.
I just felt bad for my mom and I felt horrible for picking this job and being the one that always wants to help and always there and never missing not one election.
I just felt like it was it was my fault for putting my family in this situation.
Well, it wasn't your fault.
Your mother was kind enough to come speak with us earlier.
Let's listen to her story in her words.
My name is Ruby Freeman.
I've always believed that when God says that, he'll make your name great.
But this is not the way it was supposed to be.
I could have never imagined the events that followed the presidential election 2020.
For my entire professional life, I was Lady Ruby.
My community in Georgia, where I was born and lived my whole life knew me as Lady Ruby.
I built my own business around that name: La Ruby's Unique Treasures, a pop up shop catering to ladies with unique fashions.
I wore a shirt that proudly proclaimed that I was and I am Lady Ruby.
Actually, I had that shirt on.
I had that shirt in every color.
I wore that shirt on Election Day 2020.
I haven't worn it since and I'll never wear it again.
Now I won't even introduce myself by my name anymore.
I get nervous when I bump into someone I know in the grocery store who says my name.
I'm worried about who's listening.
I get nervous when I have to give my name for food orders.
I'm always concerned of who's around me.
I've lost my name.
And I've lost my reputation.
I've lost my sense of security.
All because a group of people, starting with number 45 and his ally, Rudy Giuliani, decided to scapegoat me and my daughter Shay, to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen.
Miss Moss, how is this experience of being targeted by the former president and his allies affected your life?
This turned my life upside down.
I no longer give out my business card.
I don't transfer calls.
I. I don't want anyone knowing my name.
I don't want to go anywhere with my mom because she might yell my name out over the grocery aisle or something.
I don't go to the grocery store at all.
I haven't been anywhere at all.
I've gained about 60 pounds.
I just don't do nothing anymore.
I don't want to go anywhere.
I second guess everything that I do.
It's affecting my life in a major way.
Because of lies.
Me doing my job.
Same thing I've been doing forever.
Your mother also told the select committee about how she had to leave her own home for her safety and go into hiding after the FBI told her that it would not be safe for her there before January 6th and until the inauguration.
Let's listen to a clip of her story in her own words.
Around the week of January six, the FBI informed me that I needed to leave my home for safety.
And I left my home for safety around that time.
How long did you stay?
Did you remain outside of your home for your own safety?
I stayed away from my home for approximately two months.
It was horrible.
I felt homeless.
I felt, you know, I can't believe I can't believe this person has caused this much damage to me and my family.
And to have to leave my home that I've lived there for 21 years and, you know, I'm having to have my neighbors watch out for me, you know, and I have to go and stay with somebody.
It was hard.
It was horrible.
And then your conversation with the FBI about needing to leave your home for your own safety or perhaps recommending it.
Do you remember was there a specific threat that prompted that or was it the accumulation of threats that you had received?
What prompted it was was getting ready to...January six was about to come, and they did not want me to be at home because of all the threats and everything that I got.
And they didn't want me to be there in fear of, you know, the people were coming to my home and I had a lot of that.
So they didn't want me to be there just in case something happened.
I asked how long?
A month and I have to be at home.
And they set a lease until the inauguration.
I understand that people once showed up at your grandmother's house.
Tell us about that experience.
I received a call from my grandmother.
It's...Woman is my everything.
I've never even heard her or seen her cry ever in my life.
And she called me screaming at the top of her lungs.
"Shay, Shay Oh my gosh".
JustfFreaking me out, saying that there are people at her home and they, you know, they knocked on the door and of course, she opened it saying who was there, who it was.
And they just started pushing their way through, claiming that they were coming in to make a citizen's arrest.
They needed to find me and my mom.
They knew we were there.
And she was just screaming and didn't know what to do and I wasn't there.
So, you know, I just felt so helpless and so horrible for her.
And she was just screaming.
And I told her to close the door.
Don't open the door for for anyone in.
She's a 70 something.
I won't say you're a woman.
And she she doesn't like having restrictions.
She wants to answer the door.
She likes to get her steps and walking around the neighborhood.
And I had to tell her, like, you can't do that.
You you have to be safe.
And she would tell me that at night people would just continuously send pizzas over and over to her home, you know, and they were expecting her to pay for these large amounts of pizzas and she went through a lot that she didn't have to.
And once again, it made me just feel so horrible.
In addition to the personal impact this experience has had on you and your family, one of the things that I find most disturbing is how these lies discourage longtime election workers from continuing to do this important work.
Tell us, if you would, of the other election workers shown in that State Farm Arena video and their supervisors, how many are still election workers in Fulton County?
There is no permanent election worker or supervisor in that video that's still there.
And did you end up leaving your position as wel?.
Miss Moss, I want to thank you for coming in to speak with us and to thank you for your service to our democracy.
What we have just played is a truly horrible and appalling sample, but just a sample of the things that were said about you and your mother following the election.
I want to say how very sorry I think we all are for what you've gone through and tragically, you're not alone.
Other election workers around the country have also been the subject of lies and threats.
No election workers should be subject to such heinous treatment just for doing their job.
With your permission, I would like to give your mother the last word.
We're just going to play the tape.
There is nowhere.
I feel safe.
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.
But he targeted me, Lady Ruby, a small business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen who stand up to help Fulton County run an election in the middle of the pandemic.
Thank you, Miss Moss.
Thank you, Miss Freeman.
Or is America now knows her, Lady Ruby, for your service to Fulton County, Georgia, for our country and our democracy.
Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
Thank you, Mr. Schiff.
I want to thank you for sharing with us the very troubling story of what you and your mother experienced.
The harassment of election workers like you simply for doing your duty as public servants poses a threat to our democratic process.
Your testimony is an important contribution to the work of our committee and serves as a reminder to all of us that the safety of local election officials is vital to ensuring that our elections are always free and fair.
I want to thank our witness for joining us today.
The members of the select committee may have additional questions for today's witness, and we ask that you respond expeditiously in writing to those questions.
Without objection, members will be permitted ten business days to submit statements for the record, including opening remarks and additional questions for the witness.
Without objection, the Chair recognizes the gentleman from California, Mr. Schiff, for a closing statement.
For more than 200 years, our democracy has been distinguished by the peaceful transfer of power.
When an American raises their right hand and takes the presidential oath of office, they are transformed from an ordinary citizen into the most powerful person in the world.
This is an awesome power power to acquire.
It is even more awesome when it's handed on peacefully.
When George Washington relinquished the office of the presidency, it set a precedent that served as a beacon for other nations struggling against tyranny.
When Ronald Reagan described it as a kind of miracle in the eyes of the world, he was exactly right.
Other countries use violence to seize and hold power, but not in the United States, not in America.
When Donald Trump used the power of the presidency to try to stay in office after losing the election to Joe Biden, he broke that sacred and centuries old covenant.
Whether his actions were criminal will ultimately be for others to decide.
But what he did was without a doubt unconstitutional.
It was unpatriotic.
And it was fundamentally un-American.
And when he used the power of his presidency to put the enormous pressure on state, local and local elections officials and his own Vice-President, it became downright dangerous On January 6th, that pressure became deadly.
Ruby Freeman said the president is supposed to protect every American, not target them.
And she is right.
If the most powerful person in the world can bring the full weight of the presidency down on an ordinary citizen who is merely doing her job with a lie as big and heavy as a mountain.
Who among us is safe?
None of us is.
None of us.
In city councils and town councils, on school boards and election boards, from the Congress to the courts, dedicated public servants are leaving their posts because of death threats to them and to their families.
This is not who we are.
It must not become who we are.
Our democracy held because courageous people like those you heard from today put their oath to the constitution above their loyalty to one man or to one party.
The system held, but barely.
And the question remains, "will it hold again?"
If we are able to communicate anything during these hearings, I hope it is this.
We have been blessed beyond measure to live in the world's greatest democracy.
That is a legacy to be proud of and to cherish.
But it is not one to be taken for granted.
That we have lived in a democracy for more than 200 years does not mean we shall do so tomorrow.
We must reject violence.
We must embrace our Constitution with the reverence it deserves.
Take our oath of office and duties as citizens seriously informed by the knowledge of right and wrong, and armed with no more than the power of our ideas and the truth.
Carry on this venerable experiment in self-governance.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I yield back.
Without objection, the chair recognized the gentlewoman from Wyoming, Ms. Cheney, for a closing statement.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Lady Ruby and Shaye thank you for your courage.
Thank you for your strength.
Thank you for for being here today.
It means so much for everyone to hear your story.
So thank you for that.
We have had tremendous testimony today.
We've been reminded that we're a nation of laws.
And we've been reminded by you and by Speaker Bowers and Secretary of State Raffensperger and Mr. Sterling that our institutions don't defend themselves.
Individuals do that.
And we reminded that it takes public servants, it takes people who've made a commitment to our system to defend our system.
We also have been reminded what it means to take an oath under God to the Constitution, what it means to defend the Constitution.
And we were reminded by Speaker Bowers that our Constitution is indeed a divinely inspired document.
And so it's been an honor to spend time with you and with our previous witnesses here today.
To date, more than 30 witnesses called before this committee have not done what you've done, but have invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
Roger Stone took the Fifth.
General Michael Flynn took the Fifth.
John Eastman took the Fifth.
Others, like Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro, simply refused to comply with lawful subpoenas.
And they have been indicted.
Mark Meadows has hidden behind President Trump's claims of executive privilege and immunity from subpoenas.
We're engaged now in litigation with Mr. Meadows.
The American people in our hearings have heard from Bill Barr, Jeff Rosen, Richard Donoghue and many others who stood up and did what is right.
And they will hear more of that testimony soon.
But the American people have not yet heard from Mr. Trump's former White House counsel, Pat Cipollone.
Our committee is certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here.
Indeed, our evidence shows that Mr. Cipollone and his office tried to do what was right.
They tried to stop a number of President Trump's plans for January 6th.
And in our coming hearings, you will hear testimony from other Trump White House staff explaining what Mr. Cipollone said and did, including on January 6th.
But we think the American people deserve to hear from Mr. Cipollone personally.
He should appear before this committee, and we are working to secure his testimony.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I yield back.
People answer the call to public service in such different ways.
Some run for office.
Some volunteer to make sure that neighbors can get to their voting locations.
Some work at polling sites to help Election Day go smoothly.
Some look into problems to guarantee our elections are secure and accurate, just to name a few.
As I mentioned at the start of this hearing, when we talk about our democratic institutions, we are talking about these individuals and many others who do these jobs across the country.
They represent the backbone of our democracy.
It is most important moments when the citizens cast their votes and when those votes are counted.
We've heard the stories of their courage.
They've earned the thanks of a grateful nation.
But for Donald Trump, these witnesses and others like them were another roadblock to his attempt to cling to power.
On Thursday, we'll hear about another part of that scheme, his attempt to corrupt the country's top law enforcement body, the Justice Department, to support his attempt to overturn the election.
Just as we heard today that Donald Trump was deeply involved in a scheme to pressure state officials to overturn the election results, we hear we will hear on Thursday that Donald Trump was also the driving force behind the effort to corrupt the Justice Department.
Listen to this clip.
From the former acting attorney general, Richard Donoghue.
The President said, Suppose I do this.
Suppose I replace Jeff Rosen with him.
What do you do?
And I said, Sir, I would resign immediately.
There is no way I'm serving one minute under this guy.
You'll hear from Mr. Donohue in person on Thursday, as my colleague, Mr. Kinzinger presents details about this plan.
The chair requests those in the hearing room remain seated until the Capitol Police have escorted members from the room.
Without objection, the committee stands ajourned.
And Chairman Bennie Thompson of the House Select Committee on the January 6th investigation has gavel to a close this fourth day of hearings, another dramatic day of testimony just in the last half hour or so, moving emotional testimony from a young election worker named Shaye Moss, who was threatened along with her mother and her grandmother simply for because Ms. Moss worked in the election office.
President Trump singled her out.
She said there was video of her doing engaging in illegal activities.
You can see her there in the picture speaking of the young woman who's bending down to to speak with her, I think that's Congresswoman Elaine Luria of Virginia.
And Congressman Adam Kinzinger made their way over to say hello.
And now they're speaking with Seamus, his mother, Ruby Freeman.
Again, that's Congresswoman Luria in the pink suit.
And I believe we saw Congresswoman Liz Cheney moving in their direction as well.
Yes, there she is, giving a hug to Shaye Moss, who delivered such emotional testimony about how she's been afraid to go anywhere.
She said, I won't go to the grocery store.
I'm afraid to give anybody tell anybody who I am.
That's Adam Schiff, who did most of the questioning today, Democratic congressman from the state of California.
So and then there's the chair of the committee, Bennie Thompson, followed by Zoe Lofgren.
Every it looks as if most, if not all, the members of this select committee have made their way over to the witnesses.
And I don't believe we've seen this on other days of the hearings, at least not in my memory.
Have we seen the members of the committee walk over and personally thank, not just verbally thank them, but personally greet them and thank them for testifying, for having the courage to speak out in public about what they experienced at the hands of former President Trump, his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
Mark Meadows, a former White House chief of staff, other people around the President who were engaged in in activities that led to these these women you see in the in the video right here, Shaye Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, being their lives were personally endangered because of what former President Trump and his his team said around the 2020 election.
Just another dramatic and at times emotional testimony that we've been listening to.
This is the fourth of six, at least six hearings that we expect the committee to hold.
Now, we're told there may be as many as seven.
There's another committee hearing this Thursday.
And as we just heard from committee chair Bennie Thompson, they're going to be looking on Thursday at pressure former President Trump placed on officials at the Department of Justice to overturn the election results as the committee adjourns.
I'm once again, joined by Tammy Patrick with the nonpartisan Democracy Fund.
She formerly served as an election official in Maricopa County, Arizona.
Also joined by Al Schmidt, he's a former cop excuse me, former commissioner for the city of Philadelphia.
We welcome you both.
And I want to turn to you, Tammy Patrick, as someone who's worked in an election office to hear this testimony in the last 30, 40 minutes from from Shaye Moss, it just has to shake you to the core.
Well, it does.
And part of the reason it does is that I wish I could say this is the first time I've heard stories like this, but unfortunately it's not.
For the last year, I've heard from Democrats, Republicans, Independents, men, women all across this country have committed their lives to the conduct of election.
They tell me that before they leave the office at night, they have the staff leave.
They closed their office doors and they get a good cry in so that they're not taking it home to their family.
I've had election officials tell me they take different routes home every night in case they're being followed.
I've had other election officials tell me they've had to remove their name from their mailbox in communities where their families have lived and worked for generations.
So this story, unfortunately, is compelling and is just viscerally reactive.
We are two.
It is not unfortunately uncommon at this time, and that's what we really need to remember in this moment, is that there are repercussions for the repeated casting of doubt on the legitimacy and the validity of our elections and its continuing, unfortunately even in elections this year.
Sadly, it's often brought up only when people lose and not if they win the election.
And that's something that we really have to take into account and remedy as we move forward, because we cannot have any further erosion of some of these democratic norms, like conceding a loss in a race if you in fact, lose, because every election has winners and losers.
And we trust, as Mr. Bauer said, to move forward with the will of the people.
And as Gabriel Sterling so eloquently said, this is all gone too far and it has to stop.
And Al Schmitt, formerly a Philadelphia city commissioner, we typically think of election officials as the people.
We don't know their names and we barely see their faces.
We take for granted what they do.
They're almost invisible.
They do the work that the democracy calls for.
They make sure our elections are run fairly according to the laws as smoothly as possible.
They deal with bumps along the road, but in 2020, it was a whole different game, wasn't it?
It really was.
Despite how smoothly Election Day went, election more board workers and election workers across the country are under incredible strain because they're coming face to face with voters.
Many of them obviously believe the lies that they've been told.
And these are the people that make our democracy function.
In Philadelphia alone, we have 8000 volunteers working the polls on Election Day, a very long day, all to make sure that their neighbors can cast their votes and that the election is run efficiently and and done with integrity.
So, Miss Moss, she's she seemed I've never met her before.
She seemed very familiar in the sense that she reminded me of so many people that I worked with at the Philadelphia Board of Elections.
Now, that is just disturbing to hear that that that what we heard today is not a story in one part of our country, but it's a story that's been repeated an actual set of threats that and and disturbing charges made based on absolutely nothing that that have threatened the safety and even the lives of election workers around the country.
I want to bring in now our correspondent, Lisa Desjardins, who's on Capitol Hill just outside the hearing room.
Laura Barron Lopez has been watching this from the White House.
Lisa, I don't think anyone could have watched the testimony of Shea moss and not be, if not moved to tears, certainly shaken by what she had to say.
And I think that includes the members of the committee who, of course, knew what she was going to say.
Something happened after this hearing, and I'm not sure if viewers saw it or not because I was exiting that I haven't seen before, which is the members of the committee got off the dais and one by one had individual conversations individually, thanked Ms. Moss and her mother for their service, had, you know, significant kind of back and forth conversations in a way that I haven't seen them do with any other witnesses.
You could see that they were appreciative of what she's been through, what she has done and what she said today.
And I think that it really stands out that this committee is trying to point out on a human level the dangers of the theories and the schemes, as they call them, that were being run by the Trump White House in regards to that election.
And in fact, we did show that video, Lisa, you weren't able to see it, but we did show the members one by one going and thanking Ms. moss, thanking her mother, Ms. Freeman, and speaking with them individually.
It looked as if every most, if not every member of the committee went over to to speak with them.
Lisa, I'm struck again by how methodically the committee is going through the the evidence here, both in that it was starting with the testimony today from the speaker of the House in the state of Arizona, Rusty Bowers, and then moving on to Secretary of State Raffensperger in Georgia.
And his his top eye is operating against Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Sterling.
And then onto to Ms. Moss, where in each instance they not only were asking them questions, but they were interspersing what they were saying with video of others who'd come before the committee to testify to to to build the case against the president, former president.
A reminder that this committee has interviewed a thousand individuals.
Sometimes we hear about the Justice Department investigation into January Six, and it is rightly called the largest criminal case in this nation's history in terms of defendants.
This, I believe, is also the largest investigation that Congress has ever done in terms of numbers of individuals.
You could see the painstaking ways in which this committee was going through all of the many hours of material that they have and trying to find the moments that they felt make their case.
One moment that I heard today that I wanted to raise especially was from Ronna McDaniel.
We talk, of course, this hearing is focused on of President Trump, the highest elected Republican in the country when he was in office, while Ronna McDaniel is the highest ranking Republican in that party as the chairwoman of that party.
We heard her today say in that testimony presented that in fact, from her understanding, it was the Trump campaign that was really spearheading the idea of those alternate slate of electors.
And this gets really nitty gritty.
But there this is potentially a criminal issue when you talk about these alternate slates of electors.
There are several different statutes which are not criminal law, including defrauding an election that's just one of them, that a slate of alternate fake electors could apply to.
So so the stakes are very high here.
Doesn't only apply to the former president, but also to the two members of Congress that we heard mentioned in this hearing.
Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona, testimony said that he was involved in creating perhaps and pushing an alternate slate in Arizona.
And then Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, testimony that one of his staffers was texting and indicated that the senator wanted to hand-deliver alternate slates of electors to the vice president on January six.
Now, Senator Johnson's press secretary has responded, saying that he had no role in creating those slates.
But they haven't yet denied that the senator was interested in somehow propelling that forward.
And I'm asking them, but those are very serious allegations.
It's not just red tape when we're talking about these alternate slate of electors.
That is a potentially criminal issue that now we have two more members of Congress this committee is raising in connection.
It doesn't get any more serious than this.
Another thing I was struck by and I want to bring in Laura Barron Lopez, our White House correspondent.
Laura, you've covered Washington for several years.
This was the previous White House, but we heard Liz Cheney, the committee vice chair, say toward the end how the committee is working to persuade Pat Cipollone, the former White House Attorney under President Trump, who so far has resisted the committee request to come and testify.
It's pretty clear the committee has been able to piece together a lot of what they believe took place in the last days, in the hours and days leading up to January six.
But they very much would like for Pat Cipollone to come and testify as well.
Yes, we heard Representative Cheney say that if President Trump had his way, then Pat Cipollone would not be testifying.
You know, Cipollone, White House counsel, we know, was actually in the West Wing with Trump on January six.
He's one of the very few aides that was.
And so that is why the committee wants to hear so, so badly from him.
They did have a conversation with him earlier this year.
But the extent to which he's cooperating or to which he will ultimately come and testify before the committee is still unknown, and Cheney essentially called him out, saying that they would like to hear from him as they continue to hold more hearings.
And then they also previewed what next week's or what the next hearing will be, which is on again, this continued pressure campaign on.
Now we're moving over to the Justice Department and who is in charge of the Justice Department at that time and President Trump and his allies pressure campaign to include the Justice Department in this plan, in this attempt to try to overturn the election results.
But what stood out to me from the hearing today, Judy, was the fact that we saw and what we heard time and time again from Congressman Schiff, as well as other members of the committee, exactly what they wanted the country, as well as the current Justice Department to take away, which is that from the testimony today, which is that it's individuals, it is not some abstract institution that protects democracy and that if one of these individuals, whether it was Rusty Bowers or Brad Raffensperger in Georgia, had decided to go along with this effort to overturn election results, then we would could very well be living in a very different country today.
We heard exactly right, we heard Liz Cheney speak about these institutions can't defend themselves.
It takes individuals to do that.
And we heard, I believe it was Adam Schiff, Congressman Schiff, it was doing much of the questioning today, refer to how fragile this system was, how it came close to breaking, but it didn't break it held.
And I and I just have to say how notable it is how many.
I'm looking at you standing in front of the White House.
How many people who are working in the White House for President Trump who did stand up to him ultimately and were trying to persuade others around them to do the same thing?
It was a remarkable ending, ending few weeks of that presidency.
I mean, we've heard time and time again, whether it was last week when we heard from aides, close aides to Vice President Pence, that they told John Eastman, who we heard about again today, a Trump lawyer, they told John Eastman, they told President Trump that they would not go forward with this.
The vice president would not go forward with this attempt to overturn the election.
But again, had any single one of them decided to, we would have a very different result.
We would have a very different result for sure.
Well, I want to thank all of you who joined us for this special coverage.
Laura Barron Lopez.
Lopez at the White House, Lisa Desjardins at the Capitol.
And our guests, Al Schmitt, the former Republican commissioner, city commissioner for the city of Philadelphia, and also Tammy Patrick with the nonpartisan Democracy Fund.
We thank all three of you for your contributions on this important hearing day.
And that does conclude our coverage of the fourth day of public hearings of the January 6th attack.
The next hearing, as we've been saying, is scheduled for two days from now, this Thursday, June 23rd.
That one will begin at 3 p.m. Eastern.
We'll have live coverage here on PBS that will be on air and online.
And you can follow all the developments surrounding this and other news on our Web site.
That's pbs.org slash news hour.
And of course, we'll have a full update of these hearings and other news tonight on the PBS NewsHour.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
Thank you for joining us.
And we're now going to return you to your regularly scheduled PBS programing.
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