State officials received dozens of calls from Giuliani in 2020

President Trump and his allies have engaged in a months-long campaign to pressure election officials in key states to help overturn the 2020 election results, leading to widespread threats and harassment, according to a new report. Tuesday’s testimonial January 6 committee hearing.

“Pressuring officials to betray their oath was a fundamental part of the playbook,” said committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). “A handful of election officials in several key states have stood between Donald Trump and the overthrow of American democracy.”

State officials, including Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, said they received multiple phone calls from Trump, as well as his attorneys Rudolph W. Giuliani, Jenna Ellis and John Eastman, urging him to decertify the results of the 2020 election and approve a list of pro-Trump voters.

Bowers said he repeatedly told Trump and his aides that he would not do anything illegal to help the president.

“You’re asking me to do something that’s against my oath,” Bowers told the president.

President Biden won Arizona with just over 10,000 votes, out of 3.4 million votes.

Bowers said he asked Giuliani for evidence of his voter fraud allegations on “multiple occasions”, including the names of people who Giuliani said voted illegally, but said he never received such evidence.

Giuliani and Trump have asked Bowers to hold a formal legislative committee hearing to review their evidence of voter fraud and take action. Bowers said he refused, saying he didn’t want the “circus” of protests taking place at the Arizona Capitol and vote counting centers to go to the Statehouse.

“I didn’t think the evidence…was worth hearing,” he said. “I didn’t want to be used as a pawn.”

The best-known example of Trump trying to convince an election official to overturn the results in a state he lost is his Jan. 2, 2021, phone call with Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which Raffensperger was invited to “find” 11,780 votes.

Joseph R. Biden won the state by 11,799 votes. Raffensperger testified on Tuesday that after the election his email and phone number became public, his wife started receiving ‘sexualized texts’ and people broke into his daughter-in-law’s house. , the widow of his son.

“We followed the law and we followed the Constitution,” he said. “Ultimately, President Trump failed.”

In addition to phone calls from Trump’s attorneys and campaign volunteers, the pressure campaign included comments by Trump on social media and at rallies, protests outside lawmakers’ homes and offices, and online ad campaigns. and on television urging officials to act.

Mike Shirkey, the Republican leader of the Michigan State Senate, told the committee in a taped interview that he received more than 4,000 text messages after Trump posted his personal number on Facebook, urging his supporters to ask Michigan lawmakers to decertify the election results. In another clip, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson described her alarm one night when protesters gathered outside her home.

Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler, a Republican, told the committee that he received daily voicemails from Giuliani and Ellis during the last week of November 2020. The calls continued even after the Cutler’s attorneys have told the Trump campaign to shut down.

“I understand you don’t want to talk to me right now,” Giuliani said in a Nov. 29 voicemail released by the committee. “I just want to draw your attention to some facts and speak to you as a fellow Republican.”

Cutler said there were at least three protests outside his home from his district office.

“All my personal information was doxxed online,” he said. “We had to disconnect the house phone for about three days.”

Before the hearing began, Trump released a statement calling Bowers a “RINO” — a Republican in name only — and claiming the Arizona Republican told him the “election was rigged and that [Trump] won Arizona.

Bowers said the claim was false.

“[If] anyone, anywhere, anytime said I said the election was rigged, that wouldn’t be true,” he said.

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