Former President Trump’s role in pushing state officials to bypass election requirements and aid him in claiming victory will take center stage on Tuesday afternoon for the fourth hearing from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“We’ll be taking a close look at how the president and his allies came up with these schemes to pressure Republican-controlled legislatures and other state officials to reverse the certification of his electoral loss,” a committee aide told reporters on Monday.
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Cheney calls on ex-White House lawyer to testify before Jan. 6 panel
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol is working to secure testimony from former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said Tuesday.
“Our evidence shows that Pat Cipollone and his office tried to do what was right. They tried to stop a number of President Trump’s plans for Jan. 6,” Cheney, who is a vice-chair of the committee, said at the close of Tuesday’s hearing.
“We think the American people deserve to hear from Mr. Cipollone personally. He should appear before this committee, and we are working to secure his testimony,” Cheney added.
Cipollone served as White House counsel from October 2018 through the end of the Trump presidency, and he defended the former president during both of his impeachment trials.
Cipollone’s name came up during the first public hearing the committee held earlier this month when former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner was shown testifying that he dismissed Cipollone’s threats to resign ahead of Jan. 6 as “whining.”
“You know, him and the team were always saying, ‘Oh we’re going to resign, we’re not going to be here if this happens, if that happens,’ so I kind of took it up to just be whining, to be honest to you,” Kushner said in private deposition.
Members of Cipollone’s team, including Eric Herschmann, have testified to the committee in deposition shown in prior hearings that they felt legal theories floated by the likes of Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman had no legal standing and were potentially dangerous.
Cheney signaled on Tuesday that future hearings will shed more light on what Cipollone said and did in the weeks before the Jan. 6 riots.
“Our committee is certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here,” Cheney said.
— Brett Samuels
Election worker says Trump conspiracy theories ‘turned my life upside down’
Shaye Freeman Moss, a former Georgia election worker who was a target of a conspiracy theory spread by former President Trump and his allies, said Tuesday the allegations against her “turned my life upside down.”
Moss appeared before the Jan. 6 committee and fought back tears as she talked about how the harassment campaign against her upended her life in the weeks after the 2020 election.
“It’s turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card. I don’t transfer calls. I don’t want anyone knowing my name,” Moss testified at Tuesday’s hearing. “I don’t go anywhere with my mom. I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere at all. I’ve gained about 60 pounds.”
“I don’t do nothing anymore. I don’t want to go anywhere. I second guess everything I do. It’s affected my life in a major way. In every way. All because of lies,” Moss continued.
Rudy Giuliani, who served as an attorney for Trump in his bid to overturn the 2020 election results, claimed in an appearance before Georgia lawmakers that Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, were seen on camera passing a suspicious USB drive while counting election results in Fulton County, Ga. He insisted the two should have been questioned and had their homes searched for evidence.
In a call with Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensberger, then-President Trump brought up Ross 18 times.
Moss testified on Tuesday that her mother was passing her a “ginger mint,” not a USB drive during the video portion in question.
Moss’s mother, Ruby Freeman, told the committee in private testimony aired Tuesday that her life had changed as well. She was conscious of using her full name and concerned about who might hear if she were out at the grocery store.
“Do you know how it feels to have the President of the United States target you?” Freeman said in her deposition. “The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one.”
— Brett Samuels
Meadows contacted Raffensberger 18 times before Trump call
The select committee has noted several times during Tuesday’s hearing the role former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows played in Trump’s effort to pressure state officials to aid in overturning the election results.
According to the committee, Meadows had called and texted Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) 18 times before the infamous recorded call on Jan. 2, 2021 where Trump urged the official to “find” enough votes to secure his victory in the battleground state that ultimately went to President Biden.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the select committee, also said that Meadows showed up at an ballot auditing site in Georgia and met with an investigator from Raffensperger’s office amid the election review process.
After returning to D.C. from his trip to Georgia, Meadows set up a call between Trump and the investigator, Frances Watson, in which the former president claimed to have “won by hundreds of thousands of votes” in the state.
“When the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised,” Trump told Watson on the recorded call.
Schiff also said that Meadows had wanted to send Trump memorabilia to Raffensperger’s investigators.
“The select committee has received text messages indicating that Mark Meadows wanted to send some of the investigators in her office, in the words of one White House aide, ‘a shitload of POTUS stuff,’ including coins, actual autographed MAGA hats, etc.,” Schiff said. “White House staff intervened to make sure that didn’t happen.”
Cheney gives Bowers a hug after testimony
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chair of the Jan. 6 select committee, gave Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) a hug after he delivered gripping testimony before the panel on Tuesday.
The Wyoming congresswoman, who is one of two Republicans serving on the committee, walked to the witness table when the hearing broke for recess and gave Bowers a hug. Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who are also members of the panel, shook Bowers’s hand.
The interactions came after Bowers testified before the committee at Tuesday’s public hearing, which focused on then-President Trump’s involvement in pressuring state officials to dodge election requirements and declare him the winner of the 2020 presidential election in their states.
The Arizona House speaker, a Republican, refuted Trump’s description of a November, 2020 phone call that took place between the two men, testifying that he never told the president that the election was rigged or that he won the state of Arizona — claims Trump made earlier in the day.
Bowers also told the committee members that attorney Rudy Giuliani told him that he did not have evidence to back up his election fraud claims.
“My recollection, he said, ‘We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence,’” Bowers testified on Tuesday.
“And I don’t know if that was a gaffe or maybe he didn’t think through what he said, but both myself and others in my group… both remember that specifically, and afterwards we kind of laughed about it,” he added.
Johnson staffer contacted Pence aide about hand-delivering fake elector slates, text messages show
A staffer for Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) texted an aide to then-Vice President Pence on Jan. 6, 2021 about hand-delivering fake elector slates to the vice president before the official counting of Electoral College votes, according to evidence presented by the select House committee at Tuesday’s public hearing.
In a video presentation produced by the Jan. 6 panel, investigative counsel Casey Lucier showed a text exchange between Sean Riley, identified as a staffer to Johnson, and Chris Hodgson, who served as an aide to Pence.
“Johnson needs to hand something to VPOTUS please advise,” Riley wrote to Hodgson just after 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 6, using the acronym for vice president of the United States.
After being asked what needed to be handed over, Riley told Hodgson: “Alternate slate of electors for MI and WI because archivist didn’t receive them.”
“Do not give that to him,” Hodgson replied.
Lucier, while showing the text message conversation, said Hodgson “unambiguously instructed them not to deliver the fake votes to the vice president.”
She then noted that Pence, despite the pressure, went through with certifying the Electoral College vote for President Biden.
“Even though the fake electors slates were transmitted to Congress and the executive branch, the vice president held firm in his position that his role was to count lawfully submitted electoral votes,” Lucier said.
During a short break from the hearing, the Jan. 6 committee’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), told CNN that the panel has “not yet” contacted Johnson.
He said the committee “hasn’t made a decision” on whether or not it will ask him to testify.
Alexa Henning, a spokesperson for Johnson, wrote on Twitter that the senator was not involved in creating alternate elector slates, asserting that it was “a staff to staff exchange.”
“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,” Henning wrote.
“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,” Henning added in a separate tweet.
Updated with Henning’s tweets at 3:29 p.m.
Arizona Speaker said Giuliani told him there was no evidence of election fraud
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) on Tuesday said he repeatedly pressed Rudy Giuliani for proof of his claims of election fraud after the 2020 election, but that Giuliani failed to produce any.
“My recollection, he said, ‘We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence,’” Bowers told the Jan. 6 House committee at Tuesday’s hearing.
“And I don’t know if that was a gaffe or maybe he didn’t think through what he said, but both myself and others in my group… both remember that specifically, and afterwards we kind of laughed about it,” Bowers added.
Bowers recalled a meeting with Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, who were representing then-President Trump after the 2020 election as they sought to challenge and overturn the election results in certain states Trump lost.
Bowers said he asked the two for proof of their claims that dead people had voted in large numbers, then asked for names and how the individuals in question voted. But the two did not produce the evidence they had promised, Bowers said.
Mick Mulvaney, who served as Trump’s acting chief of staff for roughly a year, took a swipe at Giuliani over Bowers’ testimony.
“That, ladies and gentlemen, was the head of the President’s legal team,” Mulvaney tweeted.
Rusty Bowers under oath denies Trump claim on call
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) refuted former President Trump’s description of a phone call that took place between the two men after the 2020 presidential election, telling the Jan. 6 select committee at Tuesday’s public hearing “that certainly isn’t it.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) began Bowers’ in-person testimony by asking him about a phone call that took place between Bowers and Trump after the 2020 presidential election.
Trump, in a statement Tuesday morning, said Bowers “told me that the election was rigged and that I won Arizona.”
Bowers denied that description under oath on Tuesday.
“I did have a conversation with the president, that certainly isn’t it. But, there were parts of it that are true, but there are parts that are not, sir,” Bowers told Schiff when asked if he had such a conversation with Trump.
Pressed on if he did, indeed, tell Trump that the election was rigged and that he actually won the race, Bowers testified that has never made such a statement.
“Anywhere, anyone, anytime has said that I said that the election was rigged, that would not be true,” Bowers said.
“And when the former president in his statement today claimed that you told him that he won Arizona, is that also false?” Schiff asked.
“That is also false,” Bowers responded.
— Mychael Schnell
Michigan lawmaker says he got 4K texts after Trump posted his number on Facebook
Michigan state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R) said he received thousands of text messages urging him to overturn the state’s 2020 election results after former President Trump posted his personal phone number on Facebook.
In a video presentation outlining the pressure campaign Trump and his allies carried out on state-level officials to change their respective election results in Trump’s favor, the Jan. 6 committee highlighted a Facebook post after the election in which Trump urged his supporters to contact Michigan leaders and posted Shirkey’s phone number.
“All I remember is receiving over, just shy of, 4,000 text messages over a short period of time calling to take action,” Shirkey said in closed-door deposition presented Tuesday.
“It was a loud noise. Loud consistent cadence of, ‘We hear that the Trump folks are calling and asking for changes in electors and you guys can do this,’” Shirkey added. “They were believing things that were untrue.”
Shirkey was invited to the White House after the 2020 election along with the Michigan House Speaker as Trump pushed them to appoint alternate electors to the Electoral College who would vote in favor of Trump instead of now-President Biden, who won the state by tens of thousands of votes.
Shirkey told the committee he relayed to Trump that he would follow the law.
The committee highlighted other officials in Michigan and Georgia who were harassed at their homes after Trump and his allies spread false claims that the vote tallies in those states were fraudulent.
Trump lawyers may have discussed alternate electors idea before election
Lawyers associated with President Trump discussed getting states to send alternate electors in favor of him as early as days before the 2020 election, according to new testimony presented on Tuesday
Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who worked with Trump allies to overturn the 2020 election results, was asked when she remembers the idea coming up for the first time.
“Right after the election. It might’ve been before the election,” Mitchell told the committee in closed-door testimony that was aired during Tuesday’s hearing.
The committee obtained an email from Mitchell two days after the 2020 election in which Mitchell asked another lawyer, John Eastman, to draft a memo justifying the idea of having states Trump lost appoint an alternative slate of electors that would vote in favor of Trump at the Electoral College gathering.
But the idea fell flat with Republican state leaders in Michigan, Georgia and Arizona, who said it would be unconstitutional or a violation of state law.
Trump rips Arizona Republican Rusty Bowers ahead of public testimony to Jan. 6 panel
Former President Trump on Tuesday ripped Arizona state House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R), who is set to testify in front of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot later in the day with other Georgia officials.
“Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers is the latest [Republican in name only] to play along with the Unselect Committee,” Trump said in a statement issued through his Save America PAC, claiming that Bowers told him following the 2020 election that he would have lost his election if not for the former president.
How Brad Raffensperger stood up to Trump
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) will testify before the House Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday afternoon in what could be another revelatory hearing on the events leading up to the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Raffensperger, 67, will likely offer insights into how he defied Trump’s efforts to pressure him into overturning the 2020 election results in his state.
Fulton County in Georgia convened a special grand jury to investigate the pressure campaign, which centers on a January 2021 phone call in which Trump asked Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to reverse President Biden’s victory in the key swing state.
For resisting Trump, Raffensperger was scorned by Trump allies and seemingly faced an uphill climb in his reelection campaign.
Who is Shaye Moss, former Georgia elections worker to testify before Jan. 6 panel?
A former Georgia elections worker is set to testify before the House select committee on Tuesday as it seeks to show former President Trump’s pressure campaign on state officials to overturn the 2020 presidential election results and his role in the riot.
That official, former Fulton County, Ga., elections worker Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, will appear before the committee during its second panel.
She received death threats after being accused of counting ballots for then-candidate Joe Biden multiple times in addition to counting fraudulent ballots, becoming a target of Trump and his allies.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum noted that she was forced to go into hiding and have her appearance changed due to the number of death threats she received, though she continued on with her work.
Jan. 6 panel subpoenas filmmaker with access to Trump family
The subpoena to Alex Holder, first obtained by Politico, asks not only for footage he captured as the Capitol riot was unfolding, but also interviews he conducted from September 2020 and onward as he documented Trump’s reelection campaign.
Get caught up while you’re waiting for the hearing to begin
Tuesday afternoon’s hearing is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Get caught up on the latest developments while you’re waiting.
The Hill staff
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