A scheme to use “fake electors” and personal threats to public officials revealed in chilling, tearful testimony: these are the fresh details from the latest January 6 Capitol riot hearings in the US.
And these public testimonies have revealed more of Donald Trump’s plan to overturn the 2020 US election.
The committee’s chairman Bennie Thompson said pressing public servants into “betraying their oaths” was a crucial part of Mr Trump’s “playbook”.
Here are the key takeaways from the latest hearing.
‘It was disturbing’: Arizona Republican details threats
Arizona’s House speaker Rusty Bowers testified in person, saying he was pressured to overturn the key state’s election results, fielding calls from the former president and his legal team.
Mr Bowers said he repeatedly asked Mr Trump’s lawyers to show evidence of widespread fraud, but they never provided any. He said he told them he wouldn’t do anything illegal.
He recalled Trump team lawyer Rudy Giuliani at one point told him: “‘We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence.'”
Mr Bowers said: “I did not feel that the evidence, in its absence, deserved a hearing and I didn’t want to be used as a pawn.”
In the days and weeks after the calls, he said he was subject to a smear campaign online and “it was disturbing”.
He told stories of people outside his house on loudspeakers and one man with a gun who verbally threatened his neighbour.
He teared up as he spoke of his wife and his daughter, who he said was “gravely ill,” becoming upset as people swarmed outside.
His daughter died in the weeks after the riots.
Before Mr Bowers’s testimony, Mr Trump released a statement about a November call between the pair, saying “he told me the election was rigged and I won Arizona”.
In response, Mr Bowers said:
Hand-delivering fake voters
The committee was shown texts sent from an aide to Republican senator Ron Johnson to another aide for then vice-president Mike Pence.
They said the senator wanted to hand-deliver a fake voter certificate to Mr Pence.
Electors are part of the US political system’s electoral college—and 538 of them formally cast votes for the president.
Those votes are then counted in a joint session of Congress in January, and Mr Pence was in charge of announcing the winner.
Asked for a comment, Mr Johnson’s spokesperson Alexa Henning referred to a tweet, in which she wrote: “The senator had no involvement in the creation of an alternate slate of electors and had no foreknowledge that it was going to be delivered to our office.”
Much of the latest testimony has tied Donald Trump directly to the pressure campaign, including an effort to replace state electors with officials expected to support Mr Trump’s efforts to reverse the election outcome.
Trump calls to ‘find those votes’
Mr Trump’s pressure was most intense in georgiawhere Joe Biden had narrowly won after years of Republican presidential victories in the state.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his deputy, Gabe Sterlingtested about becoming two of the former president’s top targets as he floated conspiracy theories, but they refused to back down to his pressure.
The committee played audio of the call where Mr Trump asked the officials there to “find” 11,780 votes that could flip the state to prevent Mr Biden’s election victory.
He also alleged thousands of dead people voted — but Mr Raffensperger said they found just four.
“There were no votes to find,” Mr Raffensperger said.
He said he and his team went through “every single allegation,” and down every “rabbit hole,” that Mr Trump and his allies presented to state election officials.
Goal Mr. Trump wouldn’t accept ittelling Mr Raffensperger that it could only be dishonesty or incompetence that they couldn’t find the necessary amount of votes.
Mr. Sterling said competing against the false statements from the former president was like a “shovel trying to empty the ocean”.
Despite speaking out publicly in the weeks following the election, Mr Sterling said he couldn’t convince even some of his own family members that the election outcome was valid.
‘Wishing death upon me’: Poll workers targeted in abuse
Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss was an election worker in Georgia, alongside her mother, Ruby Freeman.
Mr Trump, Mr Giuliani and others used a video to claim that she and her mother were involved in a plot to bring in suitcases of false ballots for Joe Biden.
None of it was true, she said, and she faced repeated (and racist) threats after she was accused of participating in a cover-up of the “stolen” election.
She said Mr Trump used his name 18 times on a call with Mr Raffensperger.
“I have been threatened and harassed,” Ms Moss said in prepared remarks released ahead of her testimony.
“They went after my child — my child. He heard horrible things about his mum, just because I did my job.”
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson talked about how her “stomach sunk” when she heard the sounds of protesters outside her home one night after the election when she was putting her child to bed.
She wondered if they had guns or were going to attack her house.
Another Michigan official, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkeytold the committee about receiving 4,000 text messages after Mr Trump published his phone number online.
What comes next?
This was the fourth of eight planned hearings.
The panel is making its case that Mr Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election directly related to the riots in January 2021.
One outstanding question is whether the select committee after the hearings will recommend criminal charges against Mr Trump for his role in the events leading up to the riot.
While the committee itself cannot charge the former president with any crimes, the US Justice Department has been watching the testimony closely.
In Georgia, a grand jury is investigating Mr Trump’s actions and the findings are expected there later this year.
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