Embattled Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is set to testify before the House 1/6 Committee on Tuesday about the extraordinary pressure he came under from former President Donald Trump to “find 11,780” votes that could make rock the state to prevent Joe Biden’s election victory
Raffensperger, along with his deputy Gabe Sterling and Rusty Bowers of Arizona, are expected to be key witnesses when the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising resumes on Tuesday. The focus will be on how the former president and his allies vigorously lobbied officials in key battleground states with plans to reject ballots or tallies from entire states to overturn the results. of the 2020 presidential election.
“We will show brave state officials who stood up and said they would not go along with this plan to recall legislatures in session or uncertify the results for Joe Biden,” Rep. Adam Schiff said. D-Calif., one of the Democratic members of the committee, told CNN on Sunday.
The hearing, the panel’s fourth this month, is the latest effort to delve into Trump’s unprecedented bid to stay in power, a sprawling ploy that the Jan. 6 committee chairman likened to an “attempt to Rebellion”. look at how Trump relied on Raffensperger to invalidate ballots voters cast for Biden.And then he appealed to state lawmakers in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and other disputed states to reject the election results of their own voters.
During Thursday’s hearing on the Capitol Riot, Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-California) called Jan. 6 a “legal pattern of deception.”
Although the committee cannot charge Trump with any crime, the Justice Department is closely monitoring the panel’s work. Trump’s actions in Georgia are also under investigation by the grand jury, with the district attorney expected to announce his findings this year.
Raffensperger, Georgia’s top election official, rejected Trump’s request to “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s victory in the state – a request recorded in a phone call days before the attack on the January 6.
During the call, Trump repeatedly cited debunked fraud allegations and raised the possibility of a “criminal offense” if Georgian officials did not change the vote count. The state had counted its votes three times before certifying Biden’s victory by a margin of 11,779.
The select committee also plans on Tuesday to unravel the elaborate “fake voters” scheme that was intended to halt Biden’s election victory. The plan saw fake voters in seven battlegrounds – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico – sign certificates falsely stating that Trump, not Biden, had won their states.
Conservative law professor John Eastman, Trump’s lawyer, pushed fake voters in the weeks after the election. Trump and Eastman summoned hundreds of voters in a January 2, 2021 call, encouraging them to send alternative voters from their states where Trump’s team alleged fraud.
The fake voter certificates were produced and mailed to the National Archives and Congress. But the effort ultimately failed, as Vice President Mike Pence refused repeated requests from Trump to stop certifying Biden’s victory on January 6, 2021 – a power he did not possess in his purely ceremonial role. .
The committee says it will also show on Tuesday that it has gathered enough evidence through its more than 1,000 interviews and tens of thousands of documents to link the various efforts to overturn the election directly to Trump.
At least 20 people connected to the fake voter scheme have been subpoenaed by the House panel, including former Trump campaign staff, state party officials and state lawmakers.
Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-California) said his committee’s investigation found that after former President Donald Trump tweeted that “Mike Pence didn’t have the guts” to send the votes back to the United States. United, the situation in the US Capitol had escalated.
“We will show in a hearing what the role of the president was in trying to get states to nominate alternative voter lists, how this scheme initially depended on the hope that the legislatures would reconvene and bless him” , Schiff said.
Schiff told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that the hearing will also delve into the “intimate role” former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had in the plot to pressure lawmakers and election officials. of the state of Georgia.
Raffensperger’s public testimony comes weeks after he appeared before a special grand jury in Georgia investigating whether Trump and others unlawfully attempted to interfere in the state’s 2020 election.
Despite being the target of the former president’s ire since the election, Raffensperger beat a Trump-endorsed challenger in last month’s Republican primary.