January 6 hearings: State officials to testify about Trump’s push to discredit election

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<p><figcaption class=Photograph: Stefani Reynolds/UKTN/Getty Images

The Jan. 6 select committee met again on Tuesday to consider efforts by Donald Trump and his allies to pressure state election officials to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The fourth committee hearing this month featured testimony from some of the state officials who became household names in the weeks after the 2020 election as Trump began spreading lies about widespread fraud marring the results.

The hearing came days after the panel heard about Trump’s campaign to pressure his Vice President, Mike Pence, to interfere with congressional certification of the results.

“Today we’re going to show that what happened to Mike Pence was not an isolated part of Donald Trump’s plan to void the election,” said Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chair of the committee. “In fact, pressuring officials to betray their oaths was a fundamental part of the playbook.”

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Witnesses included Brad Raffensperger, Georgian Secretary of State. In an infamous phone call that went public days before the attack on the Capitol on January 6, Trump asked Raffensperger, a Republican, to “find” enough votes to undo Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. . Raffensperger refused to do so, earning him praise from many Americans even as Trump and his supporters called him a traitor.

Gabriel Sterling, Raffensperger’s deputy in the Georgia secretary of state’s office, testified alongside his boss on Tuesday. Rusty Bowers, the Arizona House Republican speaker, and Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former campaign worker from Georgia, were also on the witness list for the hearing.

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“We will show brave state officials who have stood up and said they will not go along with this plan to recall lawmakers in session or uncertify the results for Joe Biden,” said Adam Schiff, a member of the select committee, to UKTN on Sunday.

Schiff, a California Democrat, is expected to play a lead role in questioning witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing. He said the panel would also share evidence of Trump’s involvement in a plan to send fake voter lists to Congress, as part of an attempt to overturn the election results.

“We will show evidence of the president’s involvement in this scheme,” Schiff said Sunday. “We will also again show evidence of what his own lawyers have come to think of this scheme.”

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The committee has already presented evidence showing that Trump has repeatedly been told that his allegations of widespread election fraud were baseless. Tuesday’s hearing could bolster calls to indict Trump for his role in instigating the deadly Jan. 6 insurgency. According to a new UKTN News/Ipsos poll, 58% of Americans now think Trump should face criminal charges in connection with the attack on the Capitol.

But fellow select committee member Jamie Raskin refrained from calling for Trump’s indictment when asked about the possibility on Sunday.

“Responsibility also means collective responsibility, and that’s the real project,” Raskin told NBC News. “Telling the truth to the people so that we can make decisions about how to strengthen democratic institutions in the future.”

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