Intimidation attempts, pressure, threats… Testimonies show that the former president’s camp harassed them to push them to “overturn” the result of the November 2020 election.
These are testimonies that overwhelm Donald Trump and his teams. This Tuesday was the fourth day of hearings before the parliamentary commission of inquiry responsible for investigating the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
This focused on the pressures of the former American president on those responsible for electoral operations to invalidate the election of Joe Biden. It was in particular elected Republicans, who therefore initially wanted the victory of Donald Trump, who testified, delivering a staggering picture of the pressures and threats received between the ballot of November 3, 2020 and January 6, 2021.
“They all provided damning testimony against Trump, describing how he repeatedly tried to coerce and cajole them into overturning the results. They also described threats and pressure from Trump supporters,” CNN summarizes.
An elected official threatened by armed men outside his home
One of the most striking testimonies is that of Republican Rusty Bowers, Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives. As the story goes washington postthe elected official confided, with great emotion, his refusal to follow the intimidation of the Trump camp to invalidate the ballot in his state and the threats that followed.
He first explains that he received a call from Donald Trump and his faithful lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to denounce so-called fraud and thus urge him to replace the state voters elected in favor of Biden by other pro-Trumps.
“You are asking me to do something against my oath, and I will not break my oath,” he then replied, refusing to convene the local assembly to invalidate the ballot, for lack of evidence concerning these frauds.
Rusty Bowers says he has received more than 20,000 emails and tens of thousands of phone messages from Donald Trump supporters. He also says that armed men came so far as to threaten him and his family in front of his home, accusing him in particular of being a “pedophile” and a “traitor”.
“Numbers are numbers”
The parliamentary commission of inquiry also heard testimony on Tuesday from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, also a member of the Republican Party. The commission played an already known sound recording of Donald Trump’s call just after the election asking him to “find 11,780 votes” to beat Joe Biden in this state.
“Numbers are numbers. Numbers don’t lie. We’ve had many allegations and we’ve investigated every single one of them,” he replied at the time.
Brad Raffensperger also expressed threats against his wife after this refusal and added that “people broke into the house of [sa] daughter-in-law”, reports the washington post.
“Can you imagine what it’s like to be targeted directly by the President of the United States?”
Beyond the elected officials, the floor was given to other actors in the ballot, in particular Ruby Freeman and her daughter Wandrea ArShaye Moss, employees of the Georgia State Elections Office, who participated in the counting during the ‘presidential election. “My life was shattered (…) just because I did my job,” said Wandrea ArShaye Moss with emotion.
On the evening of November 3, 2020, Rudy Giuliani released a video of her and her mother counting the ballots in Atlanta. He had accused them of rigging the votes. This was followed by waves of threatening and racist comments and attempts at intimidation. On Tuesday, the House Committee also released the recording of a phone call from Donald Trump to the Secretary of State of Georgia, accusing these women of being “professional scammers”.
“I lost my name and my reputation, just because of a group and a man who decided to scapegoat me and my daughter. I don’t feel safe anywhere. You imagine what How does it feel to be targeted directly by the President of the United States?” said Ruby Freeman.
Investigation still ongoing
This commission of inquiry is made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans. She has already heard more than a thousand witnesses to shed light on the attack of January 6, 2021 and to understand the degree of involvement of Donald Trump in it.
The third hearing focused in particular on the numerous pressures exerted by the former president on Mike Pence, his vice-president, to try to prevent him from certifying the victory of Joe Biden. The fifth will take place this Thursday and will look at the President’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to stay in power.