Jan 6 hearings live: Raffensperger debunks Trump’s baseless fraud claim: ‘The numbers don’t lie’ – The Guardian US

From 3h ago

Raffensperger debunks Trump fraud claim: ‘The numbers don’t lie’

Using Trump’s words from a recorded phone call with Raffensperger, the committee is having the two Georgia officials debunk all of his claims of a stolen election in their state.

“The numbers are the numbers and numbers don’t lie,” Raffensperger said, defending his office’s conduct. “Every single allegation, we checked, we ran down the rabbit trail to make sure that our numbers were accurate.”

The FBI and Georgia Bureau of Investigation also investigated the claims and found them to be baseless.

Adam Schiff, the California Democrat leading today’s question, said that the committee has learned that around the time of the dispute over Georgia’s vote, Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, wanted to send Georgia election investigators “a shitload of Potus stuff,” in the words of one White House aide. These included coins and autographed Maga hats. “White House staff intervened to make sure that didn’t happen,” Schiff said.

Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state.
Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Updated at 15.28 EDT

Closing summary

The fourth hearing of the January 6 committee explored both the official effort to overturn the 2020 election and the impact of personal attacks by Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani against a pair of Georgia poll workers. Meanwhile, Congress is in the midst of a flurry of legislating, with lawmakers days away from taking a two-week break.

Here’s what else happened today:

  • South Dakota state attorney general Jason Ravnsborg lied to investigators and abused the power of his office after he struck and killed a pedestrian, prosecutors argued earlier today at the opening of an impeachment trial that could remove him from office.
  • Documentary film maker Alex Holder is cooperating with a subpoena by the House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and related events. He filmed interviews with Trump and family.
  • Congress is inching towards votes on a bipartisan gun control compromise reached between Republicans and Democrats, spurred on by the Uvalde school massacre as well as the racist killings at a grocery store in Buffalo.
  • The US Supreme Court has struck down a state-funded program in Maine that covers the costs of some private schools — but only those that are nonsectarian.

The US politics blog will return tomorrow, but for all the developments in the Russian invasion of Ukraine as they happen, including news on the visit by US attorney general Merrick Garland, the fate of American citizens fighting on Ukraine’s side, and what’s happening on the ground, do follow our global live blog on the war, here.

The testimony by Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss was the emotional climax of the January 6 committee’s fourth hearing, as they detailed how being personally attacked by Trump ruined their lives. Their experience is unfortunately not unique.

Alexander Vindman, a prominent witness in Trump’s first impeachment investigation, tweeted his support:

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Lady Ruby and Shaye,

I know what it’s like to have the President of the United States attack me. Stay strong. We are better than him and we will prevail. Much love!

&mdash; Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) June 21, 2022

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Lady Ruby and Shaye,

I know what it’s like to have the President of the United States attack me. Stay strong. We are better than him and we will prevail. Much love!

— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) June 21, 2022

Former US attorney and Trump foe Preet Bharara weighed in:

<gu-island name="TweetBlockComponent" deferuntil="visible" props="{"element":{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement","html":"

If Shaye Moss can come testify, so can Mike Pence

&mdash; Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) June 21, 2022

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If Shaye Moss can come testify, so can Mike Pence

— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) June 21, 2022

A spokesman for Ron Johnson has responded to evidence presented in today’s January 6 hearing that appeared to show the Republican senator cooperated with Trump’s efforts to disrupt the 2020 election results in crucial swing states.

<gu-island name="TweetBlockComponent" deferuntil="visible" props="{"element":{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement","html":"

The senator had no involvement in the creation of an alternate slate of electors and had no foreknowledge that it was going to be delivered to our office. This was a staff to staff exchange. His new Chief of Staff contacted the Vice President’s office.

&mdash; alexa henning (@alexahenning) June 21, 2022

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The senator had no involvement in the creation of an alternate slate of electors and had no foreknowledge that it was going to be delivered to our office. This was a staff to staff exchange. His new Chief of Staff contacted the Vice President’s office.

— alexa henning (@alexahenning) June 21, 2022

<gu-island name="TweetBlockComponent" deferuntil="visible" props="{"element":{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement","html":"

The Vice President’s office said not to give it to him and we did not. There was no further action taken. End of story.

&mdash; alexa henning (@alexahenning) June 21, 2022

\n","url":"https://twitter.com/alexahenning/status/1539324093157236738","id":"1539324093157236738","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"0c63a926-562c-475c-be0d-34f6fea3a470"}}”>

The Vice President’s office said not to give it to him and we did not. There was no further action taken. End of story.

— alexa henning (@alexahenning) June 21, 2022

In its hearing, the committee detailed a plan by Trump supporters to create “fake elector documents,” which would say that states crucial to Joe Biden’s victory such as Georgia and Arizona actually voted for Trump. The idea was to get these into the hands of Mike Pence, who was to certify Biden’s victory on January 6, 2021. The committee showed an aide for Johnson contacted the vice-president’s staff about getting the documents to Pence, but they ultimately rejected the request.

Updated at 16.04 EDT

The January 6 committee has finished its hearing for the day, and as is its practice, ended with a preview of its next presentation, set for Thursday.

Committee chair Bennie Thompson said the House lawmakers will explore Trump’s “attempt to corrupt and the country’s top law enforcement body, the justice department, to support his attempt to overturn the election.” He played a brief excerpt from the testimony of Richard Donoghue, the acting deputy attorney general at the end of Trump’s term.

“The president said suppose I do this, suppose I replace Jeff Rosen with him, Jeff Clark, what do you do? And I said, sir, I would resign immediately. There is no way I’m serving one minute under this guy Jeff Clark,” Donoghue is heard saying.

Rosen was the acting attorney general for the final weeks of Trump’s time in the White House. Clark was an assistant attorney general who is accused of plotting with Trump to overturn the election, and is now facing disbarment.

The committee also showed Trump attacking Freeman as a “vote scammer” in a call with the Georgia secretary of state. Moss and Freeman are ending their testimony with the latter describing how it feels to be personally attacked by the president.

“There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States to target you? The President of the United States is supposed to represent every American. Not to target one. But he targeted me,” Freeman said in recorded testimony played by the committee.

Earlier, Moss had described just how intense the attacks from Trump supporters against them became. People would repeatedly make large pizza orders to Freeman’s home, sending delivery drivers to her door. In one instance, Moss said, strangers turned up at Freeman’s home and tried to force their way in to attempt a “citizens arrest” of her. Around January 6, Freeman was advised by the FBI to leave her home for her safety.

Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman are detailing how Trump and Giuliani’s promotion of a conspiracy theory that they somehow rigged the vote has disrupted their lives.

Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman are passing around USB ports “as if they are vials of heroin or cocaine,” Giuliani said in video testimony to the Georgia senate that the committee just played. In reality, Moss testified, what’s shown being passed in that video was a ginger mint. But that allegation started the campaign of attacks by Trump supporters against the mother and daughter.

Moss, who is Black, said people found her Facebook profile and left her “hateful” and “racist” messages, including one saying “Be glad it’s 2020 and 1920.”

“I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere. I gained about 60 pounds,” Moss said of the the threats’ effects on her. “I don’t want to go anywhere. I second-guessed everything that I do.”

Updated at 15.29 EDT

The three Republican officials have now finished their testimony before the committee, and the lawmakers are now hearing from Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a Georgia poll worker who, along with her mother, was accused of rigging the vote in a number of conspiracies promoted by Trump supporters.

Her mother is seated behind her in the hearing room.

Moss has been a Fulton county election worker for 10 years, and began by confirming she never received threats before like she did during the 2020 election.

Raffensperger debunks Trump fraud claim: ‘The numbers don’t lie’

Using Trump’s words from a recorded phone call with Raffensperger, the committee is having the two Georgia officials debunk all of his claims of a stolen election in their state.

“The numbers are the numbers and numbers don’t lie,” Raffensperger said, defending his office’s conduct. “Every single allegation, we checked, we ran down the rabbit trail to make sure that our numbers were accurate.”

The FBI and Georgia Bureau of Investigation also investigated the claims and found them to be baseless.

Adam Schiff, the California Democrat leading today’s question, said that the committee has learned that around the time of the dispute over Georgia’s vote, Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, wanted to send Georgia election investigators “a shitload of Potus stuff,” in the words of one White House aide. These included coins and autographed Maga hats. “White House staff intervened to make sure that didn’t happen,” Schiff said.

Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state.
Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Updated at 15.28 EDT

Sterling is detailing some of the conspiracy theories that followed Biden’s election victory in Georgia, and debunking them. But despite the evidence he outlined that the theories weren’t true, he said it was hard to get people to believe him.

“It was kind of like a shovel trying to empty the ocean,” Sterling said. “It was frustrating. I even have family members who I had to argue with about some of these things, and I would show them things, and the problem you have is you’re getting to people’s hearts.”

“Once you get past the heart, the facts don’t matter as much. And our job, from our point of view, is to get the facts out,” Sterling added.

The January 6 committee has resumed its hearing, with the focus turning to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state. As with Bowers before him, Raffensperger begins by confirming his bonafides as a conservative Republican who wanted Trump to win.

Also answering questions is Gabriel Sterling, Raffensperger’s deputy, who went viral for his speech following the election in which he strongly denounced Trump’s baseless insistence that the 2020 election was stolen in Georgia.

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Sterling is addressing that speech before the committee, saying it was prompted by direct threats to staff members in his office.

“I lost my temper,” Sterling said. “But it seemed necessary at the time, because it was just getting worse.” He also noted that he’s not aware of any request from Trump to his supporters not to use violence.

The committee is now taking a recess, but before they concluded, Bowers, a Republican who said he voted for Trump in the 2020 election, detailed the costs of his refusal to go along with the former president’s plot to swing Arizona’s electoral votes in his favor.

“We received, my secretaries would say, in excess of 20,000 emails, tens of 1000s of voicemails and texts which saturated our offices and we are unable to work,” Bowers said.

Every Saturday, Bowers said organizations that he did not name would stage protests near his house.

“We have various groups combined. They have had video panel trucks with videos of me, proclaiming me to be a pedophile and a pervert and a corrupt politician and blaring loudspeakers in my neighborhood, and leaving literature, both on my property and arguing and threatening with neighbors, and with myself,” Bowers said.

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