Watch Live: House Jan. 6 committee hearing will focus on Trump’s efforts to pressure state officials
Arizona House speaker recalls push from Trump attorney John Eastman and GOP Rep. Andy Biggs to decertify electors
Bowers also recalled that Trump attorney John Eastman, and Republican Rep. Andy Biggs, urged him to decertify Arizona electors for Mr. Biden.
Bowers testified that Eastman in a phone call urged him to call Arizona lawmakers back into session to decertify Arizona’s electors for Biden. Bowers tried to rebut Eastman’s request, but he refused.
“Just do it, and let the courts sort it out,” Bowers recalled Eastman saying.
Bowers also testified he received a call from Republican Rep. Andry Biggs, asking if he would sign onto a letter and support the de-certification of the electors.
“And I said I would not,” Bowers testified.
Biggs has refused to cooperate with the select committee.
Arizona House speaker says he “did not want to be used as a pawn” in scheme to subvert election
Arizona House speaker Rusty Bowers (a Republican) testified before the committee that he wanted Trump to win another term. But “yes,” President Biden won Arizona.
Bowers said it is “false” that he ever told the former president he won Arizona, even though Trump claimed that was the case.
Bowers described a call he received from Trump and former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani on a Sunday after the 2020 presidential election.
Bowers testified that he asked Guiliani for evidence of the fraud, Giuliani claimed on “multiple occasions,” such as Giuliani’s claim that thousands of illegal immigrants and dead people voted.
Bowers said Guiliani told the then-president and Bowers that he would follow through with that evidence. Bowers claimed that he never received such evidence.
Bowers said he was first asked to allow an official committee at the Arizona Capitol so they could hear evidence of alleged election fraud and then take action.
“And I refused,” Bowers said, noting a “circus” of demonstrations had been brewing, and he didn’t want that in the Arizona House.
“I did not feel that the evidence, granted in its absence, merited the hearing, and I did not want to be used as a pawn,” he said.
Bowers said he was told there was a legal theory in Arizona that Biden electors could be replaced with Trump electors.
“I said that’s — that’s totally new to me. Bowers stated that he had never heard of such a thing, and added that such a thing would be “counter to his “oath” and his faith.
Bowers said a “tenant of my faith is that the Constitution is divinely inspired,” and that what he was being asked to do was “foreign to my very being.”
Bowers said “no one” ever provided him evidence of voter fraud in Arizona sufficient to overturn the election.
Bowers said the president called him another time, in December, and told him that while he had wanted him to win, he did not win the election and Bowers would not do anything in an attempt to change that.
Trump supporters join pressure campaign against Republican leaders in Michigan, Pennsylvania, committee shows
Not only did the president attempt to enlist state election officials and lawmakers in his quest to stop the transfer of power, but he also encouraged his supporters to ramp up the pressure for state legislatures to appoint an alternate slate of electors, according to the select committee.
“The president’s supporters heard the former president’s claims of fraud and the false allegations he made against state and local officials as a call to action,” Schiff said.
The committee played video of protesters outside the home of Jocelyn Benson, the Michigan secretary of state, who said the uncertainty of what the demonstrators would do drove her fear.
“Are they coming with guns? Are they going to attack me? According to a recording of her interview, she said that she was here with her child.
The president and his lawyers mounted pressure on election officials spanning several states, according to a video crafted by the panel that featured Josh Roselman, investigative counsel for the select committee.
Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, another lawyer working with the Trump campaign, appeared before state lawmakers pushing their claims of fraud, and the former president’s re-election campaign distributed a script to supporters, in which they told state lawmakers they had “the power to reclaim your authority to send a slate of electors that will support President Trump and Vice President Pence,” according to a recording obtained by the panel.
Trump himself also invited delegations from Michigan and Pennsylvania to the White House, and at least one Republican, Michigan state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, told the panel he reiterated to the president they would follow the law.
Trump even posted Shirkey’s contact information online, and the Michigan Republican said he received thousands of text messages encouraging him to take action.
“They were believing things that were untrue,” Shirkey told the committee of the Trump supporters claiming the state legislature could appoint a dueling slate of electors.
Bryan Cutler, speaker of the Pennsylvania House, received numerous calls from Giuliani and Ellis, and in one voicemail obtained and played by the committee, Giuliani teases he has “something important to call to your attention that I think really changes things. “
Cutler, according to Roselman, felt the calls were inappropriate and had his lawyer ask Giuliani to stop calling him, though he continued to reach out.
Protesters also descended upon Cutler’s home and district office, and his then-15-year son was home alone for one demonstration, he told the committee in an interview. He also said that the barrage of calls caused him to disconnect his home telephone for three days.
Public pressure grew dangerous in the lead-up to Jan. 6, Roselman said.
“The punishment for treason is death,” one unidentified man clad in a bulletproof vest said into a camera.
Schiff: Trump and his top advisers had direct involvement in key elements of this plot
Rep. Adam Schiff is leading Tuesday’s hearing and stated that the committee will present evidence that President Trump and his associates were involved in the plot to overthrow the election.
“Nevertheless, for the first time in history, the losing presidential candidate fought to hold on to power,” Schiff said. “As we’ve seen in previous hearings he did it through a variety. He tried to stop the count of the votes on Election Day. He knew that the millions of absentee votes that election officials would be counting on Election Day would be strongly against him and give Joe Biden victory. He tried to stop governors and state legislators from certifying that the election results were valid. He filed dozens of frivolous lawsuits claiming fraud that were not supported by evidence. He then launched a pressure campaign after that failed too.
Schiff said nothing stopped the Trump campaign from trying to declare victory, not even his attorney general, William Barr, telling him the claims of election fraud were “bullshit.”
The committee said it has obtained an email from two days after the election in which a campaign lawyer Cleta Mitchell wrote to another campaign lawyer John Eastman asking him to write a memo to justify the idea of state legislators designating electors.
Cheney: Trump had a “direct and personal role” in effort to pressure state officials and legislatures
Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, reiterated that the committee will spend its fourth hearing examining the former president’s effort to overturn the results of the election by exerting pressure on state election officials and state lawmakers.
“Donald Trump had a direct, and personal role in this effort, as did Rudy Giuliani, as did John Eastman,” Cheney said. “In other words, the same people who were attempting to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to reject electoral votes illegally were also simultaneously working to reverse the outcome of the 2020 election at the state level. “
The Wyoming Republican said each prong of Trump’s campaign to remain in power are “independently serious” and deserve the attention of both Congress and the Justice Department.
During the proceedings, the committee plans to play recordings of calls Trump made to officials in Georgia and elsewhere, and Cheney encouraged viewers to “keep in mind what Donald Trump already knew” when he spoke with them, having been told repeatedly his allegations of voter fraud were baseless.
“We took a hard look at this ourselves and based on our review of it … the Fulton County allegations had no merit,” former Attorney General Bill Barr told the committee, according to a clip of his testimony played by Cheney. “We didn’t see any evidence that fraud was committed in the Fulton County episode. “
Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general, recalled to House investigators that he told Trump “Sir, we’ve done dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews. According to his taped interview, the major allegations are not supported with the evidence.
“The point is this: Donald Trump did not care about the threats of violence. They were not condemned by Trump. He did not try to stop them. Cheney stated that he continued to make false allegations.
She concluded by thanking the election officials for their service and said: “We cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence. “
Thompson says Trump’s lie about mass election fraud “hasn’t gone away”
Chairman Bennie Thomson opened the hearing by saying that Tuesday’s hearing will show that “what happened in Mike Pence’s life was not an isolated part of Donald Trump’s plan to overturn the election.”
Trump also pressured state and local officials, Thompson said.
“A handful of election officials in several key states stood between Donald Trump and the upending of American democracy,” Thompson said.
In an attempt to overturn the election results, Trump focused on “just a few states,” attempting to influence officials.
“Like Mike Pence, these public servants wouldn’t go along with Donald Trump’s scheme,” the chairman said.
And when those officials wouldn’t try to corrupt the election, Trump “worked to ensure they’d face the consequences,” even though Trump knew claims of mass fraud were false, Thompson said.
But those threats to American democracy continue, Thompson said, referencing a recent example.
“Two weeks ago, New Mexico held its primary elections,” Thompson said. “One county commission refused certification of the results. The court intervened, stating that New Mexico law required that the commission certifiy the results. Two of the three commission members finally gave in. One still refused. “
That one commissioner, Couy Griffin, was found guilty earlier this year of illegally entering the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021, Thompson said.
Claims that widespread voter fraud tainted the 2020 presidential election “have always been alive,” and are based on a lie, Thompson said.
“The lie hasn’t gone away. It’s corrupting democratic institutions,” Thompson stated, warning that if election officials succumb to political pressure in future, it would be a “catastrophe.”
State officials to take center stage at fourth public Jan. 6 hearing
CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane and CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa join CBS News’ Tanya Rivero and Lana Zak to preview the fourth public hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Former Georgia elections worker Wandrea ArShaye Moss will tell select committee of threats she and her family received after Trump spread fraud claims
In written testimony to the select committee obtained by CBS News, Moss lamented that since December 2020, she and her mother have been “under attack” just for doing their jobs as a result of the baseless claims spread by Trump, Giuliani and their allies.
“They said we snuck ballots into the State Farm Arena in a suitcase. This is a fabrication. They claimed we lied about a water main breaking to kick observers out. This is a fabrication. They claimed that we tried to steal the election by counting ballots multiple times. She testified to the panel that this was a fabrication. “And they claimed that we gave out flash drives to hack voting machines. They also lie. The thing they were so upset about was my mom giving me a ginger mint. Her favorite candy. My mom and I were both lying to all of the accusations. “
Moss detailed the threats and harassment she endured as a result of the accusations spread by the former president, his lawyer and allies. According to Moss, a stranger told her, “”be glad [it’s] 2020 and not 1920,” while others said she should hang alongside her mother for committing treason.
Moss said her son also received threats, while people appeared at her grandmother’s house “trying to bust the door down and conduct a citizen’s arrest of my mom and me. “
“Can you imagine what it’s like to feel responsible for your grandmother, your mother, and your teenage son being threatened and lied about, over and over again? To be called a criminal? To be accused of treason in your country of origin? She wrote. “I didn’t realize how much my job was important until a few people decided that their lie was more important to me than my life. “
Moss said the threats have shaped how she interacts with people in public, as she has stopped giving out business cards to voters, worries when she is in the grocery store and her mother calls her name, and when she answers the phone and hears an unrecognizable voice.
“Nobody should have to go through what I’ve been through. In written testimony, she stated that it was not fair for our election workers to do the heavy lifting that our democracy depends on. They don’t get the respect or recognition they deserve for the service that they provide to the country. “
Moss said she and her mother, Ruby Freeman, spoke with investigators who were examining the voter fraud claims and determined the allegations made against her were false.
“Former President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and their allies didn’t like the outcome of the election, so they made up lies about us even though we were simply doing our jobs,” she wrote.
— Nikole Killion and Melissa Quinn
British filmmaker who has exclusive footage of Trump and inner circle says he will comply with subpoena
Alex Holder, a British documentary filmmaker who was with former President Donald Trump and his inner circle before and after Jan. 6, 2021, said Tuesday that he will comply with a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 committee.
Holder tweeted a statement saying he will appear for a deposition on Thursday. Holder also stated that they had “dutifully” handed over all requested material.
According to Holder, he had “unparalleled access and exclusive interviews” with Trump, his children Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric and Jared Kushner as well as Vice President Mike Pence.
“When we started this project in Sept. 2020, we could have never predicted that our work would one day be subpoenaed by Congress,” Holder said. Holder said, “I was a British filmmaker and had no agenda when I started this project. We wanted to understand the Trumps and their motivations for holding on to power so badly. “
The existence of the tapes and the subpoena was first reported by Politico.
Jan. 6 House select committee holds fourth public hearing
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its fourth public hearing Tuesday afternoon. The panel will focus on efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to pressure local and state officials to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. CBS News Congressional Correspondent Scott MacFarlane joins CBS News Mornings from Capitol Hill to give a preview of the hearing.
Day 3: Trump’s pressure campaign against Mike Pence
With testimony from two former vice president aides, the committee focused its attention on Trump’s attempts to pressure Pence into rejecting state electors votes unilaterally and declaring Trump the winner.
The effort hinged on a strategy pushed by John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who claimed the vice president had the constitutional and legal authority to reject or replace slates of electors. Michael Luttig was a respected conservative and retired federal judge who advised Pence.
The panel demonstrated through testimony from Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short and other aides that they repeatedly told Trump and his allies that Eastman’s plan had no basis under the Constitution or federal law. According to evidence presented by committee, Eastman knew that the plan was illegal. Rudy Giuliani received an email from Eastman requesting a presidential pardon. This was granted by the panel.
During the third hearing, Americans also learned of a heated phone call Trump had with Pence the morning of Jan. 6, before the joint session of Congress convened to tally state electoral votes, and saw new photos of the vice president hunkered down in a secure location in the Capitol complex, which he refused to leave despite the Secret Service directing him to.
Luttig closed the hearing with a stark warning: “Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy. “
Day 2 hearings focuses on Trump’s false election claims
In its second public hearing, the select committee focused on President Trump’s decision to declare victory late in the night after polls closed on Election Day, even though his closest aides warned him it was too early to deem himself the winner.
Trump then used his premature declaration of victory to push his baseless claims that the election was stolen — claims even his top administration officials knew were not supported by evidence, the committee showed.
“Bogus,” “silly,” and “amateurish” were some of the words used by former Attorney General Bill Barr in testimony to House investigators to describe the claims of fraud. Barr also criticized Trump for being the “weak” element of the Republican ticket. “
The former attorney general recalled being “demoralized” by Trump believing machines from Dominion Voting Systems were rigged, “because I thought, ‘Boy if he really believes this stuff, he has you know, lost contact with — he’s become detached from reality, if he really believes this stuff. ‘”
The panel also detailed a scheme in which Trump’s campaign and related entities raised money off of the former president’s false election claims, telling supporters their donations would be used to fund litigation challenging the election results. In all, the committee said $250 million was raised for an “Election Defense Fund,” which a Trump campaign staffer said she didn’t believe existed.
The money instead went to Trump’s Save America PAC, which then donated “millions” to entities and vendors with ties to Trump, according to the committee.
A Capitol Police officer described “carnage” and “chaos” of assault
on Day 1 of the hearings.
One of two witnesses to testify in-person during the prime-time hearing on June 9, the committee’s first of the month, was Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who suffered a traumatic brain injury on Jan. 6. Edwards described Capitol Hill on the day of the attack as a “war scene”.
“It was something like I had seen out of the movies,” Edwards said. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were officers on ground. They were bleeding. They were throwing up. I saw friends with blood all over the faces. I was slipping in peoples’ blood. I was catching people falling. It was chaos. It was chaos.
Watch her testimony in the video below.
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