The Threats Jan. 6 Witnesses Faced After Trump’s False Election Claims

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The committee investigating the January 6 attack, throughout this month, has revealed new facts about the plot to nullify the 2020 election – but the most jaw-dropping moments in the hearings have often been the moments personal and emotional.

On Tuesday, officials from Arizona to Georgia resisted President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign to nullify their states’ election results.

“The system held, but barely,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-California). And across the country, those officials who resisted the pressure campaign have been harassed, threatened with death, burglarized at their homes and put under extreme stress on their families. Many election workers report that the trend continues today.

3 takeaways from the 4th hearing on January 6

Here are some of the threats facing those who stood up to Trump or were targeted by his false election claims, according to testimony shared on Tuesday.

“I received just under 4,000 text messages in a short period of time”: This is Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R) describing what happened after Trump retweeted his phone number, pressuring Shirkey and Republican lawmakers in the state for him return state election results. Shirkey said the people who texted “believed things that weren’t true.”

On June 21, the January 6 committee showed a video produced of President Trump’s efforts to pressure election officials to illegally reverse his loss. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

“[W]We had to unplug our landline phone for about three days because it rang at all hours of the night”: Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R) said he receives daily voicemails from Trump’s legal team. There were also protests outside his district office and home, including one announced by Stephen K. Bannon. “My son Mike – my then 15-year-old son – was home alone for the first one.”

“He had a gun and was threatening my neighbour”: Arizona House Speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers (R) said his office had received “over 20,000 emails” and “tens of thousands of voicemails”. He said the protests had become “a pattern in our lives”, with people blaring loudspeakers and calling him corrupt. In one instance, Bowers said, there was a man with “three bars across his chest” (apparently a reference to the Three Percenters) “and he had a gun and was threatening my neighbor – not with the gun, but just vocally.” Bowers added that, “at the same time on some of them we had a girl, who was seriously ill, who was upset about what was going on outside.” (Bowers’ daughter died weeks after Jan. 6.)

Arizona State House Speaker Rusty Bowers (right) testified June 21 that he denied President Donald Trump’s request to investigate allegations of voter fraud. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

“My stomach sank and I thought, ‘That’s me. … Do they come with guns? ”: Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) described protesters gathering near her house one evening saying, “Are they going to attack my house? I am here with my child. I try to put him to bed. And so that was the scariest moment – ​​just not knowing what was going to happen.

“There was nowhere I felt safe. Nowhere. Do you know what it feels like to have the President of the United States target you? » : It’s Ruby Freeman. She and her daughter, both former election workers in Georgia, have been falsely accused of voter fraud by the president and his allies — repeatedly, by name. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani falsely claimed that Freeman and his daughter passed each other a ‘USB port’ – she testified it was a ginger mint. And then the threats came, and Freeman said it ruined his reputation.

“I get nervous when I have to give my name for food orders. I’m always concerned about who’s around me,” she said.

“Anything to do my job”: Freeman’s daughter, Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, was also at the center of these false allegations of Trump voter fraud. At the time, she had been an election worker in Fulton County for years. She was shocked when a colleague told her that Trump and his allies had singled her out. The threats came on social media. “I got a lot of threats wishing me dead, telling me that, you know, I’ll be in jail with my mom, and saying things like, ‘Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920.’ ”

She testified Tuesday that she was afraid to go anywhere to this day: “All to do my job.

Georgian election worker Ruby Freeman said June 21 that she had questioned her safety since President Donald Trump targeted her in the 2020 election. (Video: The Washington Post)

“Some people broke into my daughter-in-law’s house”: Perhaps no one has faced as much public pressure from Trump as Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R). Raffensperger testified in person Tuesday that in addition to the protests at his home, someone broke into his daughter-in-law’s house after the election. He explained that she is a widow with two children, so “we were very concerned for her safety”.

“Why didn’t you just quit and run?” Schiff asked him.

“Because I knew we followed the law and we followed the Constitution,” he replied. “And I think sometimes there were moments where you had to get up and take the pictures. You do your job. And that’s all we did.

Aaron Blake contributed to this report.


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