“In this effort, what did the president say when he called you?”
RNC President Rona McDaniel collaborates with Jan. The 6th Commission long before Tuesday’s hearing and while she was videotaped, she told investigators that Trump and attorney John Eastman called her after the election to talk about the need for Trump’s voters to be there.
“Essentially, he shifted the call to Eastman, who then went on to talk about the importance of the RNC helping the campaign bring these conditional voters together if any of the current legal challenges change the outcome of any dates,” McDaniel said.
The RNC, she added, “just helps” the campaign reach out to so-called alternative voters so they can get together.
But she said it was Trump’s campaign that “took the lead and we just helped them.”
However, not everyone in the GOP wanted to participate.
During an interrogation led by a member of the commission and rep. Adam Schiff, Russell Bowers, testifies to how he was targeted by Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to undo Trump’s loss in Arizona. Biden won honestly and impartially, and no fraud was ever detected.
During the hearing, Trump issued a statement accusing Bowers of being a “Republican by name only” and also claiming that Bowers had told him that the election was “rigged” and that he was the real winner. Schiff asked Bowers on the spot if that was true.
Under oath to Congress, Bowers replied: “Everywhere, everyone, every time someone said I said the election was ‘rigged,’ which would not be true.”
When Schiff asked him directly if he had told Trump that the election had been “rigged,” Bowers offered a strong and simple answer.
“No,” he said.
However, he described a conversation with Giuliani, where Bowers deliberately asked the president’s lawyer to show him evidence of fraudulent votes.
Trump, Giuliani, and many of the 45th president’s allies regularly shop for these conspiracy theories about dead people voting in large numbers, along with “undocumented” Americans.
Bowers could hear Trump say to Giuliani during the call, “Give him what he needs.”
“I’ll do it,” Giuliani said.
But the evidence of fraud never came. Bowers kept begging him, but Giuliani never did, not once.
The president’s lawyer even admitted this to him during the conversation.
“He said, ‘We have a lot of theories, we just don’t have the evidence,'” Bowers recalled.
It was so unbelievable to Bowers that he decided it might be Giuliani’s “blunder” or he didn’t know what he was saying.
“We laughed about it later,” he testified.
When Giuliani then asked him to hold an official meeting at the state building to investigate allegations of voter fraud, Bowers told him again: He did not believe there was fraud.
“I didn’t want to be used as a pawn,” Bowers recalled, telling Giuliani.
When Giuliani raised Eastman’s theory of removing and changing Biden’s voters, Bowers said he was surprised.
“This is completely new to me and I have never heard of such a thing,” he told the strategy.
Bowers was unconvinced and suggested connecting Giuliani with lawyers who could analyze voter laws.
“But,” Bowers told him, “you’re asking me to do something that would break my oath, and I won’t break my oath.”
During a different conversation between Bowers and Eastman, the Arizona Republican joined the chase and asked Eastman what he would do.
Eastman asked him to hold a vote to desert Arizona voters, “because they had the power to do so.”
If there was fraud, if there was evidence of credibility, Bowers told the committee he would take the request more seriously.
But there was simply no evidence.
Eastman told him, “Just do it and let the courts decide.”
By this time, Bowers had already told Trump directly that he would not do anything illegal.
Testimony from Mark Meadow’s aide Cassidy Hutchinson also highlighted the meeting between Giuliani and the White House office.
Meadows, Hutchinson tests, was explicitly told that the alternative electoral gambit was not legally viable. Whether Trump was informed of this particular conversation, Hutchinson did not say, but when the committee met last week to uncover Eastman’s role in the plot, they found that Eastman DoJ tell Trump that making Pence work to stop or postpone certification is January. 6 was not legally possible.
The President’s people in Congress
Representative Andy Biggs, an Arizona Republican, has already refused to cooperate with the commission following a summons sent to him in May.
But Bowers was able to fill in some of the gaps that Biggs left open. He testified on Tuesday that Biggs called him in the morning of January. 6 and asked him directly to annul the results of the 2020 elections in his state.
Dec 14 deadlines for such challenges have long since come and gone. Trump’s allegations in the court of widespread fraud were overturned and rejected by judge after judge, including some of Trump’s appointees.
He asked if I would sign, both with a letter sent by my state and / or that I would support the desertification of voters. I said I wouldn’t do it, “Bowers said.
Biggs was far from the only Trump ally in Congress to actively push for a halt to January’s certification. 6.
Text messages released by the commission on Tuesday show that sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, turned to then-Vice President Mike Pence.
“Johnson needs to pass something on to VPOTUS, please advise him,” said Johnson’s aide Sean Riley.
Chris Hodgson, Pence’s assistant, asked, “What is it?”
Riley told Hodgson that the senator wanted to personally deliver “alternative voter lists for MI and WI because the archivist did not receive them.”
Hodgson quickly replied, “Don’t give him that.”
Pence, as confirmed by his adviser and chief of staff in his testimony last week, was already under enormous pressure from the president.
On Tuesday, Johnson’s spokeswoman, Alexa Henning, said the MP “did not participate in the creation of an alternative voter list and did not know in advance that it would be delivered to our office.”
It was a “staff exchange,” Henning said.
Threats kept coming
Gabriel Stirling told the committee that “there is enough” and “lost” it after the Dominion Voting Systems project manager received a hateful message online in December 2020. It was a GIF of a loop that is slowly twisting with the name of the performer on it.
This prompted Stirling to hold a press conference asking Trump to do something to quell disinformation and inciting rhetoric. Trump responded by retweeting a link to Stirling’s press conference.
“Elections fabricated,” Trump wrote. “Show the signatures and envelopes. Uncover the massive voter fraud in Georgia. What is the Secretary of State and BrianKempGA afraid of? They know what we will find! ”
The pressure on Trump’s campaign in Georgia has been intense.
Schiff stressed on Tuesday that Mark Meadows had called him Georgia Secretary of State Brad Rafensperger at least 18 times to arrange a meeting between the secretary and Trump.
Stirling’s personal information was docked. Bowers and Rafensperger experienced similar harassment. Trump supporters showed up at Bowers’ home once, shouting outside, where his “seriously ill” daughter was forced to listen to him inside.
“It was embarrassing, just disturbing,” Bowers recalled.
A similar fate befell Fulton County election worker Georgia Wandrea Arshaye “Shaye” Moss. Both she and her mother, Ruby Freeman, were targets of the president and Giuliani.
Both Trump and Giuliani have publicly dispelled the debunked conspiracy theory that Moss and Freeman manipulated the ballots at State Farm Arena. Moss was accused by Giuliani of giving her mother “USB devices” containing votes for Biden. Giuliani said she handed them over like cocaine bottles.
Schiff asked Moss on Tuesday what the “USB device” was.
“Ginger mint,” Moss said.
Ruby Freeman told the commission that when Trump called her by name and accused her of fraud, her whole life turned upside down.
She could no longer wear a shirt with her nickname Lady Ruby, for fear of revenge.
“I wore this shirt on election day 2020. I haven’t worn it since and I will never wear it again. I will not even introduce myself by name now, “Freeman said in a recorded video statement.
The next hearing is on Thursday, June 23 at 15:00 ET and the commission is expected to hear testimony from Justice Department officials about the former president’s attempt to take over the institution as of January. 6 approached.