January 6th Committee Hearing: State Officials To Describe Pressure From Donald Trump And His Allies To Reverse Results

January 6th Committee Hearing: State Officials To Describe Pressure From Donald Trump And His Allies To Reverse Results

UPDATE: Rusty Bowers, Arizona’s House speaker, started his testimony by denying that he ever told Donald Trump that he thought the election results in the state were “rigged.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump had blasted Bowers and others testifying, making the claim that Bowers believed the results were fraudulent.

But in his testimony, Bowers said that he talked with Trump after the election, but never said that he thought the results were rigged. He said that any claim that he thought so “would not be true.”

Bowers said that in a call with Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s attorney, he asked for proof that undocumented and dead people voted in the state, but never got any. He said that he rejected suggestions that he could initiate a House session to replace state Joe Biden electors with those of Donald Trump’s. He said that he told Giuliani that such a concept was “totally new to me, I have never heard anything such thing.”

He also said that he told Trump multiple times that although he voted for him, he would not break the law for him.

Bowers said that for him to call the legislature back into session, with the purposed of decertifying the Biden electors, would be violating his oath of office. “It’s a tenet of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired.” He said that “for me to do that because someone asked me to is foreign to my very being. I will not do it.”

Trump’s plan for January 6th hinged on Pence rejected the electoral results, based in part that results at the state level were tainted and that there was an alternate slate of Trump electors, ones that were uncertified and, as has been pointed out during the hearings, “fake.”

PREVIOUSLY: The January 6th Committee opened its latest hearing with a focus on the role of Donald Trump and his allies to pressure state officials to overturn election results or declare them tainted, even though the president had been warned that his claims of election fraud were bogus.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the vice chair of the committee, also highlighted the threats of violence that state elections officials faced in Georgia as Trump pressed forward with the claims, even though Justice Department officials found no merit to them.

“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,” she said.

She warned, “Do not be distracted by politics. This is serious. We cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence.”

The hearings have not drawn blockbuster ratings, but they have made headlines, as the committee releases new information of the lead up to January 6th and its aftermath. That has translated into mainstream and social media coverage in the hours and even days after each proceeding, as the hearings feature heavy use of video and audio clips.

With broadcast and cable networks again carrying the proceedings, the hearing is featuring witnesses Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state; Gabriel Sterling, Georgia secretary of state chief operating officer, and Rusty Bowers, Arizona’s house speaker.

Another witness, Wandrea ArShaye Moss, a former Georgia election worker, was scheduled to testify later in the hearing.

The committee is trying to show that the effort to pressure state officials was part of a scheme to undermine the results in advance of the January 6 counting of the electoral vote in Congress. In the last hearing, the committee showed the pressure placed on Vice President Mike Pence to reject the results on that date.

In the spotlight at this hearing is committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is questioning the witnesses. He said that Trump’s false claims of fraud was “a dangerous cancer on the body politic.” He said that the pressure campaign on state officials was a “dangerous precursor’ to January 6.

Earlier on Tuesday, British filmmaker Alex Holder said that he is cooperating with the committee’s request for footage of a documentary he was making in the final six weeks of Trump’s reelection campaign. He said that he was granted “unparalleled access and exclusive interviews with President Trump, Ivanka, Eric and Don Jr., Jared Kushner as well as Vice President Pence. He said that the footage includes “the White House, Mar-A-Lago, behind the scenes on the campaign trail, and before and after events of January 6.”

“We have dutifully handed over all the materials the Committee has asked for and we are fully cooperating,” Holder said in a message posted on Twitter. He said that he will appear at a deposition before the committee on Thursday. Holder said that a major streaming company purchased the distribution rights to the project, but he did not identify which one.