Donald Trump pressed state officials to overturn election, committee says

Donald Trump and his lawyers attacked Republican state officials with phone calls as they pressured them to overturn the 2020 election, a congressional committee said.

Several senior Republicans in swing states told members of a bipartisan panel investigating last year attack on the US Capitol they were called several times by the former president himself or by his senior lawyers after the vote.

Some describe how attorneys including Rudy Giuliani, a former New York mayor, urged them to confirm their states’ results or send false voter lists to Washington DC in an effort to announce Trump as a man. win.

Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker in the Arizona House of Representatives, said he told the former president: “You are asking me to do something that is contrary to my oath, which I swore to the constitution to do. uphold and also the constitution and laws of the state of Arizona. This is completely foreign.”

Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, detailed the famous 67-minute phone call with Trump in which the former president urged him to “find 11,780 votes.”

Raffensperger describes how he has repeatedly told Trump his claims about election fraud as false, but says the president didn’t listen and even refused to consider the evidence that Raffensperger said helped prove demonstrate his case.

Trump and his lawyers have been pushing officials to deny election results as part of a plan to force him to falsely declare the winner of the 2020 election. of committee members previously said was an attempted coup by the former president.

Committee member Adam Schiff said: “This pressure campaign brings angry phone calls and text messages, armed protests, intimidation and all manner of threats of violence and death. usually happen”. .

Trump The plan relies on a complex system of certifying US presidential elections, requiring states to choose groups of electors that will formally submit their results to Congress in Washington DC.

The former president has pushed state officials to choose “alternative” groups of electors who will declare him a winner even in states where he has lost votes. When they refused, his campaign assembled groups of fake voters to submit their results.

Members heard from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who said the White House legal counsel assessed the plan as illegal.

“State legislators were eliminated,” Schiff said. So do election officials across the state, even local election workers who diligently do their jobs are accused of crimes and turning their lives upside down.”

Several witnesses described receiving death threats after being targeted by the former president.

In an emotional look, Wandrea Moss, an election officer in Georgia, told members of the committee that she had barely left her home since Trump began claiming she and her mother were part of a conspiracy to defraud voters.

Trump supporters targeted Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman after the then-president and Giuliani began falsely claiming they had illegally passed fraudulent votes through. voting machines.

“I don’t want to go anywhere,” she told members of the committee. “I second guess everything that I do. It has impacted my life in a major way, in every way – all because of the lies and I’m doing my job. ”

In video testimony, several state Republicans described how their communications were also released by Trump or those close to him to increase public pressure on them.

Mike Shirkey, the Republican majority leader in the Michigan senate, told members that he had his messages deleted after Trump tweeted his personal phone number. “All I remember is getting only 4,000 text messages in a short period of time calling to action,” he said.

“[They were saying] ‘We heard that the Trumps are calling and asking to change the electors and you can do this.’ You know, they believed things that weren’t real,” he added.

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