Wednesday, June 29, 2022
HomeNewsPoliticsTrump's pressure campaign on state election officials is focus of Jan. 6...

Trump’s pressure campaign on state election officials is focus of Jan. 6 hearing Tuesday

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — The House Jan. 6 committee’s Tuesday 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, including evidence it says shows Trump’s role in the effort to get states to submit “fake” pro-Trump electors to Congress to overturn Biden’s win.

“We’ll show evidence of the president’s involvement in this scheme. We’ll also again show evidence about what his own lawyers came to think about this scheme,” Schiff said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.

Schiff also told the Los Angeles Times that then-Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows appeared at a Georgia election meeting and also offered auditors autographed “Make America Great Again” hats.

While the hearing will feature live witness testimony from Arizona and Georgia officials, the committee will describe the “breadth” of Trump’s pressure efforts, which also included Michigan and Pennsylvania, the committee said.

The pressure campaign was part of what the committee says is a discredited theory presented by Trump election attorney John Eastman that then-Vice President Pence could unilaterally block Congress’ certification of Biden as president.

An aide said the committee would also spotlight “the heroes in this story” who “remained true to their oaths” and rejected the overtures of Trump and his allies to reject their state’s results or send pro-Trump electors to Congress to further the election challenge.

The committee will also show, an aide said, how the threats facing election workers are “real” and “ongoing” heading into the midterms and 2024 presidential election.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who beat a Trump-backed challenger in his GOP primary race for secretary of state last week, will testify on Tuesday, along with his blunt-spoken deputy, Gabe Sterling. Both were on that infamous phone call 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.

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.

A spokesperson for the Arizona House of Representatives confirmed to ABC News that Bowers is set to testify in Tuesday’s committee hearing in response to a committee subpoena.

On a second panel, former Fulton County election worker “Shaye” Moss will be the sole live witness. Moss and her mother were falsely accused by Giuliani and other Republicans of election fraud and smuggling “suitcases” of illegal ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on election night. She’s said she was subject to harassment and threats online even after Georgia election officials debunked the allegations.

Both Bowers and Moss received the 2022 JFK Profile in Courage Award “for their courage to protect and defend democracy in the United States.” (Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., also was a recipient.)

In public remarks in Nashville on Friday, Trump compared lawmakers on the Jan. 6 committee to “con artists” as he continues to push the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen, part of what the committee argues is a conspiracy that led directly led to the attack on the Capitol.

A majority of Americans appears to agree with the committee, which has interviewed 1,000 people and reviewed more than 140,000 documents in an 11-month-long investigation it says is still ongoing.

An ABC News/Ipsos poll conducted last week after the committee held its third of seven public hearings scheduled for June found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the incident. In the poll, 58% of Americans said Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the attack — up slightly from late April, before the hearings began, when an ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 52% of Americans thought the former president should be charged.

Cheney previewed Tuesday’s hearing last week, saying the committee will examine “the Trump team’s determination to transmit material false electoral slates from multiple states to officials of the executive and legislative branches of our government” as well as “the pressures put on state legislators … to reverse lawful election results.”

“An honorable man receiving the information and advice that Mr. Trump received from his campaign experts and his staff, a man who loved his country more than himself would have conceded this election,” she told the hearing room. “Indeed, we know that a number of President Trump’s closest aides urged him to do so.”

A second hearing this week is scheduled for Thursday and will focus on the pressure placed on Justice Department officials, members said.

It comes as the Justice Department sent a letter last week telling the committee’s chief investigator it is “critical” members “provide us with copies of the transcripts of all its witness interviews” — which the committee has declined to do. The request suggests there are matters DOJ is investigating beyond the violence on the ground on Jan. 6 it is already investigating, specifically, alternate or fake electors.

The House select committee has argued that Trump was repeatedly told the plot to overturn the election was illegal but continued anyway.

ABC News’ Katherine Faulders and Ali Dukakis contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments