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Jan. 6 hearing live updates: Trump’s pressure campaign on state election officials

Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol holds another hearing Tuesday at 1 p.m. on the pressure campaign it says former President Donald Trump and allies put on state election officials as part of a larger “seven-part scheme” to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Please check back for updates. All times Eastern.

Jun 21, 3:47 pm
Schiff calls Trump’s action ‘unpatriotic’ but punts to DOJ on whether criminal

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who led the hearing Tuesday focused on Trump’s pressure campaign on state election officials, appeared to speak to Attorney General Merrick Garland and other prosecutors at the Department of Justice watching the committee unfold its findings, reminding the public that lawmakers will not be the ones to bring charges to Trump and allies.

“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,” Schiff said.

The committee has appeared to make the case that Trump directly engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the government.

Jun 21, 3:37 pm
Mother-daughter election duo describe impact of ‘hateful’ attacks

Ruby Freeman, the mother of Shaye Moss, both former election workers in Fulton County, Georgia, sat behind her daughter in the hearing room Tuesday as Moss detailed “racist” and “hateful” threats to their lives after Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani falsely accused them of “smuggling” ballots in suitcases.

Both women told the committee they are now scared to use their names, and Freeman was told by the FBI she had to leave her home for two months because of threats. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said that in Trump’s call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, he mentioned Freeman’s name 18 times.

“I’ve lost my name and I’ve lost my reputation,” Freeman, a 62-year-old grandmother, said in taped testimony. “I’ve lost my sense of security, all because a group of people starting with No. 45 and his ally Rudy Giuliani decided to scapegoat me and my daughter Shaye, to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen.”

“I can’t believe this person has caused this much damage to me and my family,” she added. “It was horrible.”

Asked how the false attack espoused by the president and his allies affected her, Moss said it has “in every way.”

“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,” she said. “All because of lies — for me doing my job, same thing I’ve been doing forever.”

Jun 21, 3:30 pm
Former elections worker describes moment she learned about threats against her

Shaye Moss, a former election worker in Fulton County, Georgia, told the committee about the moment she learned Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani was falsely accusing her and her mother of smuggling ballots in suitcases.

“When I saw the video, of course the first thing that I said was, ‘Why? Why are they doing this? What’s going on?'” Moss recalled.

Moss then described the onslaught of threats and hateful messages she received online — a situation she had never been in during her 10 years as an elections worker.

“It was just a lot of horrible things,” she said.

“A lot of threats, wishing death upon me, telling me that, you know I’ll be in jail with my mother,” Moss added.

Moss opened her remarks by telling the committee what she had loved about her job, stating she took pride in helping elderly voters and college students cast their ballots.

Jun 21, 3:13 pm
Committee plays audio of Trump’s call to Raffensperger to ‘find’ votes

The committee played audio clips of the now-infamous phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Jan. 2, 2021, in which Trump told Raffensperger he needed to “find” 11,780 votes in Georgia — just one vote over the margin by which he trailed President-elect Joe Biden — so he could be declared the winner of an election that three separate counts in the state confirmed he lost.

The call lasted 67 minutes and appeared to follow a cycle of Trump offering false election conspiracies and Raffensperger calmly explaining to him that each one was not accurate. At one point, Trump suggested to Raffensperger that his inaction could mean he was criminally liable.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., leading Tuesday’s hearing, also said that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows reached out to Raffensperger 18 times to set up the call with Trump.

Jun 21, 3:04 pm
Audio of Trump pressuring Georgia official aired in hearing

The committee aired audio from a call in which Trump tried to convince Frances Watson, the Georgia secretary of state’s lead elections investigator, to reverse his loss.

“You know, you have the most important job in the country right now,” Trump told her as he continued to falsely claim victory in the Peach State — which he lost to Joe Biden by some 11,000 votes.

“When the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised,” Trump said to Watson.

Jun 21, 2:55 pm
Sterling describes threats to election workers amid Trump’s pressure

Gabe Sterling, the chief oversight officer of Georgia’s election, said trying to combat misinformation spread by Trump and his team was “kind of like a shovel trying to empty out the ocean,” adding that he even argued with his own family members over the ‘big lie.’

With Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., asking the Georgia election officials about threats made against them, Sterling said the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for him was a message to a Dominion contractor which said, “You committed treason — May God have mercy on your soul,” accompanied with a “slowly twisting GIF of a noose,” he said.

“I lost my temper, but it seemed necessary at the time because it was just getting worse,” Sterling said.

The committee went on to play a video of him from December 2020 in which he pleaded with Trump to “stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.”

Jun 21, 2:53 pm
Raffensperger says Georgia race ‘remarkably smooth’ despite false allegations

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was the first to testify after a short recess and was immediately asked by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., to address the false allegations of widespread voter fraud Trump and his allies pushed in the battleground state.

“Our election went remarkably smooth,” Raffensperger said. “President Biden carried the state of Georgia by approximately 12,000 votes,” he reminded.

Raffensperger, a Republican who supported Trump’s re-election bid, recounted how three separate audits in the state confirmed President Joe Biden as the winner.

“Three counts — all remarkably close — which show that President Trump did come up short,” he said.

Jun 21, 2:38 pm
GOP Sen. Johnson attempted to give fake electors to Pence, committee shows

The committee showed evidence that Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., attempted to deliver slates of “fake” Trump electors from Wisconsin and Michigan to then-Vice President Mike Pence.

Text messages the House panel obtained between Johnson staffer Sean Riley and Pence aide Chris Hodgson were displayed on-screen during Tuesday’s hearing.

Riley wrote that Johnson wanted to hand over fake electors from the two states — which Joe Biden won — to Pence ahead of Jan. 6.

“Do not give that to him,” the Pence aide replied.

Jun 21, 2:32 pm
Arizona House speaker recounts faith in standing up to pressure

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers emotionally recounted the pushback he and his family faced under immense pressure from Trump’s top team, who tried to convince him there was a law in Arizona that would have allowed him to overturn electors in the state — which did not legally exist.

Bowers summarized the effort to go around him and send fake Arizona electors to Washington as a “tragic parody” and recounted how people turned on him as Trump continued to espouse the ‘big lie.’

“It is painful to have friends who have been such a help to me turn on me with such rancor,” he said. “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,” he added. “I will not play with laws I swear allegiance to with any contrived desire towards deflection of my deep, foundational desire to follow God’s will as I believe he let my conscience to embrace. How else will I ever approach Him in the wilderness of life knowing that I ask of His guidance only to show myself a coward in defending the course he led me to take.”

He mentioned the threats around his home and how it upset is daughter, Kacey Rae Bowers, who was gravely ill at the time. She passed away at age 42, just days after the attack on the Capitol, on Jan. 28, 2021.

Jun 21, 2:15 pm
RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel appears in videotaped testimony

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, niece of Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, made her first appearance at a Jan. 6 hearing in video testimony where she was asked about the scheme to send “fake” electors to Congress to decertify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

The House select committee says the RNC assisted Trump in coordinating the effort “at the president’s direct request.”

“He turned the call over to Mr. Eastman, who then preceded to talk about the importance of — helping the campaign gather these contingent electors in case any of the legal challenges that were ongoing change the results of any states,” McDaniel recounted.

“The campaign took the lead, and we just were helping them in that role,” she added, appearing to try to distance the RNC from the effort.

Jun 21, 2:07 pm
Arizona House speaker says he told Eastman twice he wouldn’t break oath

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers said he told Trump election lawyer John Eastman on two occasions that he would not break his oath of office and decertify electors for President-elect Joe Biden and recalled the conversations before the committee.

“I said, ‘What would you have me do?’ He said, ‘Just do it and let the courts sorted out.’ I said, ‘You’re asking me to do something that is never been done in history, the history of the United States. And I’m gonna put my state through that without sufficient proof? That’s going to be good enough with me that I would put us through that, my state?”

Bowers recalled telling Eastman, “‘I swore to uphold both in the Constitution and in law — no, sir,'” and said that Eastman suggested he “do it” and let the courts figure it out.

Bowers also said he also received a call from Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, asking Bowers if he’d support the decertification of electors. Bowers told Biggs he would not.

Jun 21, 1:58 pm
Arizona Republican gets emotional describing pressure to violate his oath

Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, got emotional Tuesday as he described to the committee the pressure placed on him by Trump and others to violate his oath to the Constitution.

Bowers said he was not presented with any strong evidence that would have given him doubt as to the integrity of the election.

“It is a tenet of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired, one of my most basic foundational beliefs,” Bowers said. “And so for me to do that because somebody just asked me to is foreign to my very being. I will not do it.”

Jun 21, 1:49 pm
Arizona House speaker rejects Trump’s claim, says he told Giuliani he wouldn’t be ‘used as a pawn’

After Trump claimed earlier Tuesday on his social media platform Truth Social that Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers told him the election was rigged, Bowers said that was “false.”

“I did have a conversation with the president. That certainly isn’t it. There are parts that are true. There are parts that are not,” Bowers said, asked about Trump’s claim. “Anyone, anywhere, anytime [saying] I said the election was rigged, that would not be true,” he added.

Bowers said Trump’s team claimed widespread fraud in Arizona but couldn’t provide evidence of it.

“I did not feel that the evidence, and its absence, merited the hearing,” he said, explaining that Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani wanted him to reconvene his state legislature to change the state’s vote. “I didn’t want to be used as a pawn.”

“I said, look, you are asking me to do something that is counter to my oath that I swore to the Constitution to uphold it. I also swore to the Constitution and the laws of the state of Arizona — this is totally foreign as an idea or a theory to me,” Bowers recalled. “You’re asking me to do something against my oath. I will not break my oath.”

Jun 21, 1:36 pm
Arizona House speaker faces 1st questions

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican who was pressured by Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to decertify Biden’s victory in the state, according to emails reviewed by ABC News, as well as Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, according to The Arizona Republic, faced the first questions from the committee on Tuesday, establishing that he did support Trump’s re-election bid.

Bowers and other state officials on the first panel did not deliver opening statements, but Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said the Republican House speaker of Arizona will talk about “conversations with the president, with Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, what’s the president’s team asked of him and how his oath of office would not permit it.”

A spokesperson said for the Arizona House of Representatives said that Bowers is appearing in response to a committee subpoena.

-ABC News’ Ali Dukakis

Jun 21, 1:30 pm
Trump’s election lies are ‘a dangerous cancer,’ Schiff warns

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., described the pressure placed on state officials as a “dangerous precursor” to the violence the nation witnessed on Jan. 6, 2021.

“This pressure campaign brought angry phone calls and texts, armed protests, intimidation, and, all too often, threats of violence and death,” Schiff said in his opening statement. “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.”

Trump’s supporters, Schiff said, saw his conduct toward local officials as “a call to action.”

“The president’s lie was — and is — a dangerous cancer on the body politic,” Schiff said. “If you can convince Americans that they cannot trust their own elections, that anytime they lose, it is somehow illegitimate, then what is left but violence to determine who should govern?”

Jun 21, 1:20 pm
Cheney says committee will show Trump’s ‘direct and personal role’ in fake electors scheme

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., in her opening statement, said the committee will provide evidence that Trump “had a direct and personal role” in a scheme to have key states send fake electors to Congress and for Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results, “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,” Cheney said.

Cheney said the public will learn about calls Trump made to officials of Georgia and other states, and asked, “As you listen to these tapes, keep in mind what Donald Trump already knew at the time he made those calls — he had been told over and over again that his stolen election allegations were nonsense,” she said, going on to play video testimony of Trump’s attorney general Bill Barr.

Also raising threats of violence to election workers, Cheney said, “Donald Trump didn’t care about the threats of violence” and “made no effort to stop them; he went forward with his fake allegations anyway.”

“Do not be distracted by politics,” she added, as the former president and GOP allies continue to attack the committee’s investigation. “This is serious. We cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence.”

Jun 21, 1:10 pm
Chairman opens hearing

Chairman Bennie Thompson convened the committee’s fourth hearing this month shortly after 1 p.m. and previewed the pressure campaign he said Trump and his allies put on election officials in key states with the aim of overturning the 2020 election.

In his opening statement, Thompson said “pressuring public servants into betraying their oaths was a fundamental part of the playbook” and that, in 2020, only a handful of election officials in key states “stood between Donald Trump and the upending of American democracy.”

“Everything we describe today — the relentless, destructive pressure campaign on state and local officials — was all based on a lie. Donald Trump knew it,” Thompson said. “He did it anyway.”

Explaining how the U.S. elects its president with the Electoral College system, Thompson also warned that “the lie hasn’t gone away” but is still “corrupting our democratic institutions,” citing an example of a county commissioner in New Mexico who refused to certify primary results last week.

“People who believe that lie are now seeking positions of public trust,” Thompson said. “If that happens, who will make sure our institutions don’t break under the pressure? We won’t have close calls. We’ll have catastrophe.”

Jun 21, 12:18 pm
Committee subpoenas filmmaker for new footage of Trump

The House select committee has subpoenaed a British documentary filmmaker who had substantial access to Trump, his family and closest aides both before and after the Jan. 6 attack, according to a statement from the filmmaker obtained by ABC News.

A spokesperson for filmmaker Alex Holder, who began filming Trump for a project in September 2020, confirmed the subpoena, first reported by Politico.

Holder said he has “fully complied with all of the committee’s requests” and handed over footage which includes interviews with Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and Vice President Mike Pence, shot in the weeks around the Jan. 6 attack.

-ABC News’ Ali Dukakis and Benjamin Siegel

Jun 21, 12:09 pm
Former election worker to describe threats against her, family

Shaye Moss, a former election worker in Georgia, will testify Tuesday about the threats she said she and her family received in the aftermath of the 2020 race, according to a copy of her opening statement obtained by ABC News.

“Ever since December 2020, I have been under attack for just doing my job,” the statement reads. “My mom too.”

Moss will describe how they were the target of lies spread by Trump and Rudy Giuliani, including false accusations that they brought ballots into the State Farm Arena in a suitcase.

“People showed up at my grandmother’s home trying to bust the door down and conduct a citizen’s arrest of my mom and me,” her statement reads. “The threats followed me to work. People would email the general email address for our office so everyone could see their threats and the hateful messages directed at me.”

Jun 21, 12:04 pm
4th June hearing to include 4 live witnesses

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom Trump asked to “find” just one vote over the margin by which he trailed President-elect Joe Biden in a now-infamous phone call on Jan. 2, 2021, will testify before the committee this afternoon, along with his blunt-spoken deputy, Gabe Sterling, after facing backlash from their own party for pushing back on Trump’s claims of election fraud in Georgia.

Joining them will be Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who was pressured by Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to decertify Biden’s victory in the state, according to emails reviewed by ABC News. Bowers previously described to The Arizona Republic that Rudy Giuliani also called him after the election to pressure him to involve the state legislature to manipulate results in his state.

Former Fulton County election worker Shaye Moss, who was falsely accused by Giuliani and other Republicans of election fraud and smuggling “suitcases” of illegal ballots in Atlanta on election night, will testify on a second panel. She’s said that she and her mother, another election worker, were subject to harassment and threats online even after Georgia election officials debunked fraud allegations.

Jun 21, 11:42 am
What to expect at Tuesday’s hearing

The committee’s afternoon hearing will focus on what it says was then-President Donald Trump’s “unprecedented” effort to push key state officials to reject the election results and his central role in the plot to create “fake” slates of electors to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.

Trump “drove a pressure campaign bases on lies” about the election, an aide told reporters on a briefing call Monday, and was “warned that his actions risked inciting violence” but “did it anyway.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., will lead the 1 p.m. ET hearing that the aide said will reveal new information obtained by the committee detailing Trump’s involvement and feature live witness testimony from Arizona and Georgia officials.

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