Jun 22, 2022
January 6 Committee Hearings – Day 4 6/21/22 Transcript
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol committee holds its fourth public hearing. Read the transcript here.
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Bennie Thompson: (02:49)
The select committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the United States capital will be in order. Without objection, the chairs authorized to declare the committee in recess, at any point. Pursuant to House deposition authority Regulation 10, the chair announces the committee’s approval to release the deposition material presented during today’s hearing.
Bennie Thompson: (03:15)
Good afternoon. In our last hearing, we told the story of a scheme driven by Donald Trump to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence, to illegally overturn the election results. We showed that when the pressure campaign failed and Mike Pence fulfilled his constitutional obligation, Donald Trump turned a violent mob loose on him. We showed that the mob came within roughly 40 feet of the vice president. Today, we’ll show that what happened to Mike Pence wasn’t an isolated part of Donald Trump’s scheme to overturn the election. In fact, pressuring public servants into betraying their oaths was a fundamental part of the playbook, and a handful of election officials, in several key states, stood between Donald Trump and the upending of American democracy.
Bennie Thompson: (04:16)
As we be begin today, it’s important to remember when we count the votes for president, we count the votes state-by-state. For the most part, the candidates who win the popular vote in a state wins all the states electoral college votes, and whoever wins a majority of the Electoral College votes wins the presidency. When Donald Trump tried to overturn the election results, he focused on just a few states. He wanted officials, at the local and state level, to say the vote was tainted by widespread fraud and throughout the results. Even though, as we showed last week, there wasn’t any voter fraud that could have overturned the election results. Like Mike Pence, these public servants wouldn’t go along with Donald Trump’s scheme. When they wouldn’t embrace the big lie and substitute the will of the voters with Donald Trump’s will to remain in power, Donald Trump worked to ensure they’d face the consequences. Threats to people’s livelihood and lives. Threats of violence that Donald Trump knew about and amplified.
Bennie Thompson: (05:35)
In our other hearings, we can’t just look backward at what happened in late 2020 and in the early 2021, because the danger hadn’t gone away. Our democracy endured a mighty test, on January 6th, and in the days before. We say our institutions held, but what does that really mean? Democratic institutions aren’t abstractions or ideas. There are local officials who oversee elections, secretaries of state, people in whom we placed our trust that they’ll carry out their duties. What if they don’t?
Bennie Thompson: (06:16)
Two weeks ago, New Mexico held its primary elections. One county commission refused to certify the results, citing vague unsupported claims dealing with Dominion voting machines. The court stepped in saying New Mexico law required the commission to certify the results. Two of the three members, of the commission, finally relented. One still refused, saying his vote, “Isn’t based on any evidence. It’s not based on any facts. It’s only based on my gut feeling and my own intuition. And that’s all I need.” By the way, a few months ago, this county commissioner was found guilty of illegally entering the capital grounds on January 6th.
Bennie Thompson: (07:10)
This story reminds us of a few things. First, as we’ve shown in our previous hearings, claims that widespread voter fraud tainted the 2020 presidential election have always been a lie. Donald Trump knew they were a lie and he kept amplifying them anyway. Everything we described today, the relentless destructive pressure campaign on state and local officials was all based on a lie. Donald Trump knew it. He did it anyway. Second, the lie hasn’t gone away. It’s corrupting our democratic institutions. People who believe that lie are now seeking positions of public trust. As seen in New Mexico, their oath to the people they serve will take a backseat to their commitment, to the big lie. If that happens, who will make sure our institutions don’t break under the pressure? We won’t have close calls. We’ll have a catastrophe. My distinguished colleague from California, Mr. Schiff, will present much of the select committee’s finding on this matter. First, I’m pleased to recognize our vice chair, Ms. Cheney, of Wyoming, for any opening statement she’d care to offer.
Elizabeth Cheney: (08:40)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Today, we will begin examining president Trump’s effort to overturn the election by exerting pressure on state officials and state legislatures. Donald Trump had a direct and personal role in this effort, as did Rudy Giuliani, as did John Eastman. 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. Each of these efforts to overturn the election is independently serious. Each deserves attention, both by Congress and by our Department of Justice.
Elizabeth Cheney: (09:28)
As a federal court has already indicated, these efforts were also part of a broader plan, and all of this was done in preparation for January 6th. I would note two points, for particular focus today. First, today, you will hear about calls made by President Trump to officials of Georgia and other states. As you listen to these tapes, keep in mind what Donald Trump already knew at the time he was making those calls. He had been told over and over again that his stolen election allegations were nonsense. For example, this is what former Attorney General Bill Barr said to President Trump about allegations in Georgia.
Bill Barr: (10:13)
We took a look, hard look, at this ourselves. Based on our review of it, including the interviews of the key witnesses, the Fulton County allegations had no merit. The ballots under the table were legitimate ballots. They weren’t in a suitcase. They had been pre opened, for eventually feeding into the machine. All the stuff about the water leak and that there was some subterfuge involved, we felt there was some confusion. There was no evidence of a subterfuge, to create an opportunity to feed things into the count. We didn’t see any evidence of fraud in the Fulton County episode.
Elizabeth Cheney: (11:03)
Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue told Donald Trump this.
Richard Donoghue: (11:10)
I said something to the effect of, “Sir, we’ve done dozens of investigations. Hundreds of interviews. The major allegations are not supported by the evidence developed.”
Elizabeth Cheney: (11:20)
Mr. Trump was told by his own advisors that he had no basis for his stolen election claims, yet he continued to pressure state officials, to change the election results. Second, you will hear about a number of threats and efforts to pressure state officials to reverse the election outcome. One of our witnesses, today, Gabriel Sterling, explicitly warned President Trump about potential violence on December 1st, 2020, more than a month before January 6th. You will see excerpts from that video repeatedly, today.
Gabriel Sterling: (11:53)
It has all gone too far. All of it. Joe diGenova, today, asked for Chris Krebs, a patriot who ran CISA, to be shot. A 20 something tech, in Gwinnett County, today, has death threats and a noose put out saying he should be hung for treason, because he was transferring a report on batches from an EMS to a county computer so he could read it. It has to stop. Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language. Senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions. This has to stop. We need you to step up, and if you’re going to take a position of leadership, show some. My boss, Secretary Raffensperger, his address is out there. They have people doing caravans around run their house. They’ve had people come onto their property. It has to stop. This is elections. This is the backbone of democracy, and all of you, who have not said a damn word, are complicit in this.
Elizabeth Cheney: (13:21)
The point is this, Donald Trump did not care about the threats of violence. He did not condemn them. He made no effort to stop them. He went forward with his fake allegations anyway. One more point. I would urge all of those watching today to focus on the evidence the committee will present. Don’t be distracted by politics. This is serious. We cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence. Finally, I want to thank our witnesses today, for all of your service to our country. Today, all of America will hear about the selfless actions of these men and women who acted honorably to uphold the law, protect our freedom, and preserve our constitution. Today, Mr. Chairman, we will all see an example of what truly makes America great. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
Bennie Thompson: (14:18)
Without objection, the chair recognizes the gentleman from California, Mr. Schiff, for an opening statement.
Adam Schiff: (14:27)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Madam Vice Chair. On November 3rd, 2020, Donald Trump ran for reelection to the office of the presidency and he lost. His opponent, Joe Biden, finished ahead in the key battleground states of Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and elsewhere. Nevertheless, and for the first time in history, the losing presidential candidate fought to hold onto power. As we have seen in previous hearings, he did so through a variety of means. On election day, he sought to stop the counting of the vote, knowing that the millions of absentee ballots elections officials would be counting on election day and thereafter would run strongly against him and deliver a victory to Joe Biden.
Adam Schiff: (15:14)
Next, when he could not stop the counting, he tried to stop state legislatures and governors from certifying the results of the election. He went to court and filed dozens of frivolous lawsuits, making unsubstantiated claims of fraud. When that two failed, he mounted a pressure campaign directed at individual state legislators, to try to get them to go back into session and either declare him the winner, de certify Joe Biden as the winner, or send two slates of electors to Congress, one for Biden and one for him and pressure Vice President Pence to choose him as the winner. The state legislatures wouldn’t go along with this scheme and neither would the vice president. None of the legislatures agreed to go back into special session and declare him the winner. No legitimate state authority, in the states Donald Trump lost, would agree to appoint fake Trump electors and send them to Congress.
Adam Schiff: (16:17)
This didn’t stop the Trump campaign either. They assembled groups of individuals in key battleground states and got them to call themselves electors. Created phony certificates associated with these fake electors. Then, transmitted these certificates to Washington and to the Congress, to be counted during the joint session of Congress on January 6th. None of this worked. According to Federal District Judge David Carter, former President Trump and others likely violated multiple federal laws by engaging in this scheme, including conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Adam Schiff: (16:57)
You will hear evidence of the former president and his top advisors’ direct involvement in key elements of this plot or, what Judge Carter called, a coup in search of a legal theory. Whereas the judge explained, “President Trump’s pressure campaign to stop the electoral count did not end with Vice President Pence. It targeted every tier of federal and state elected officials. Convincing state legislatures,” he said, “to certify competing electors was essential to stop the count and ensure President Trump’s reelection.” As we have seen in our prior hearings, running through this scheme was a big lie that the election was plagued with massive fraud and somehow stolen. You’ll remember what the president’s own attorney general, Bill Barr, said, he told the president about these claims of massive fraud affecting the outcome of the election.
Bill Barr: (17:58)
I told him that the stuff that his people were shoveling out to the public was bullshit. I mean that the claims of fraud were bullshit.
Adam Schiff: (18:07)
The president’s lie was and is a dangerous cancer on the body politic. If you can convince Americans that they cannot trust their own elections, that any time they lose it is somehow illegitimate, then what is left but violence to determine who should govern? This brings us to the focus of today’s hearing. When state elections officials refused to stop the count, Donald Trump and his campaign tried to put pressure on them. When state executive officials refused to certify him the winner of states he lost, he applied more pressure. When state legislators refused to go back into session and appoint Trump electors, he amped up the pressure, yet again.
Adam Schiff: (18:49)
Anyone who got in the way of Donald Trump’s continued hold on power after he lost the election was the subject of a dangerous and escalating campaign of pressure. This pressure campaign brought angry phone calls and texts, armed protests, intimidation, and, all too often, threats of violence and death. State legislators were singled out. So too were statewide elections officials. Even local elections workers, diligently doing their jobs, were accused of being criminals and had their lives turned upside down. As we will show, 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.
Video 1: (19:43)
Stop the steal, stop the steal, stop the steal!
Video 1: (19:43)
You are a threat to Earth!
Video 1: (19:43)
You’re a threat to democracy! You’re a threat to free and honest elections!
Video 1: (19:43)
We love America! We love our rights and our freedoms!
Video 1: (19:43)
You are a tyrant, you are a felon, and you must turn yourself into authorities immediately!
Jocelyn Benson: (19:48)
Then, about 45 minutes later, we started to hear the noises outside my home. My stomach sunk, and I thought, “it’s me.” Then, it’s just… We don’t know, what’s going to… The uncertainty of that was what was the fear, like are they coming with guns? Are they going to attack my house? I’m in here with my kid, I’m trying to put him to bed. It was… That was the scariest moment, not knowing what was going to happen.
Adam Schiff: (20:42)
This pressure campaign against state and local officials spanned numerous contested states, as you will see in this video produced by the select committee.
Josh Roselman: (20:52)
My name is Josh Roselman. I’m an investigative counsel for the house select committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the United States capital. Beginning in late November 2020, the president and his lawyers started appearing before state legislators, urging them to give their electoral votes to Trump, even though he lost the popular vote.
Rudy Giuliani: (21:10)
I represent President Trump, along with Jenna Ellis. This is our fourth or fifth hearing.
Donald Trump: (21:18)
This election has to be turned around, because we won Pennsylvania by a lot. We won all of these swing states by a lot.
Josh Roselman: (21:26)
This was a strategy with both practical and legal elements. The select committee has obtained an email, from just two days after the election, in which a Trump campaign lawyer, named Cleta Mitchell, asked another Trump lawyer, John Eastman, to write a memo, justifying the idea.
Video 2: (21:42)
When do you remember this coming up as an option, in the post-election period, for the first time?
Dr. John Eastman: (21:49)
Right after the election. It might have been before the election.
Josh Roselman: (21:53)
Eastman prepared a memo, attempting to justify this strategy, which was circulated to the Trump white house, Rudy Giuliani’s legal team, and state legislators around the country. He appeared before the Georgia State Legislature, to advocate for it publicly.
Dr. John Eastman: (22:07)
You could also do what the Florida legislature was prepared to do, which is to adopt a slate of electors yourself. When you add in the mix of the significance of statistical anomalies and sworn affidavits and video evidence of outright election fraud, I don’t think it’s just your authority to do that. Quite frankly, I think you have a duty to do that, to protect the integrity of the election, here, in Georgia.
Josh Roselman: (22:31)
Republican officials, in several states, released public statements recognizing that president Trump’s proposal was unlawful. For instance, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp called the proposal unconstitutional, while Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers wrote that the idea would undermine the rule of law. The pressure campaign to get state legislators to go along with esteem intensified, when president Trump invited delegations from Michigan and Pennsylvania to the White House.
Video 3: (22:58)
Either you or Speaker Chatfield, did you make the point, to the president, that you were not going to do anything that violated Michigan law?
Mike Shirkey: (23:06)
I believe we did. Whether or not it was those exact words or not… I think that the words that I would’ve more likely used is, “We are going to follow the law.”
Josh Roselman: (23:16)
Nevertheless, the pressure continued. The next day, President Trump tweeted, “Hopefully, the courts and/or legislatures will have the courage to do what has to be done to maintain the integrity of our elections and the United States of America itself. The world is watching.” He posted multiple messages on Facebook, listing the contact information for state officials, and urging his supporters to contact them, to, “Demand a vote on de-certification.” In one of those posts, President Trump disclosed Mike Shirkey’s personal phone number to his millions of followers.
Mike Shirkey: (23:52)
All I remember is receiving just shy of 4,000 text messages, over a short period of time, calling to take action. It was a loud noise, loud, consistent cadence of… “We heard that the Trump folks are calling and asking for changes in the electors and you guys can do this.” Well, they were believing things that were untrue.
Josh Roselman: (24:27)
These efforts also involve targeted outreach to state legislators.
Angela McCallum: (24:31)
Hi, representative. My name is Angela McCallum. I’m calling from Trump campaign headquarters in Washington, DC. You do have the power to reclaim your authority, and send us a slate of electors that will support President Trump and Vice President Pence.
Josh Roselman: (24:46)
From President Trump’s lawyers and from Trump himself.
Donald Trump: (24:50)
I’ve become friendly with legislators that I didn’t know four weeks ago-
Josh Roselman: (24:55)
Another legislator, Pennsylvania House Speaker Brian Cutler, received daily voicemails from Trump’s lawyers, in the last week of November.
Rudy Giuliani: (25:03)
Mr. Speaker, this is Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis. We’re calling you together, because we’d like to discuss obviously the election.
Jenna Ellis: (25:13)
Hello, Mr. Speaker, this is Jenna Ellis and I’m here with Mayor Giuliani.
Rudy Giuliani: (25:18)
Hey Brian, it’s Rudy. I really have something important to call to your attention, that I think really changes things.
Josh Roselman: (25:25)
Cutler felt that the outreach was inappropriate and asked his lawyers to tell Rudy Giuliani to stop calling, but Giuliani continued to reach out.
Rudy Giuliani: (25:33)
I understand that you don’t want to talk to me now. I just want to bring some facts to your attention and talk to you as a fellow Republican.
Josh Roselman: (25:42)
On December 30th, Trump ally, Steve Bannon announced a protest at Cutler’s home.
Steve Bannon: (25:47)
We’re getting on the road and we’re going down to Cutler. We’re going to start going to offices, and, if we have to, we’re going to go to homes and we’re going to let them know what we think about them.
Bryan Cutler: (25:54)
There were multiple protests, I actually don’t remember the exact number. There was at least three, I think, outside either my district office or my home. You’re correct, my, then, 15 year old son, was home by himself for the first one. All of my personal information was doxxed online. It was my personal email, my personal cell phone, my home phone number. In fact, we had to disconnect our home phone for about three days, because it would ring all hours the night and would fill up with messages.
Audio 1: (26:27)
Brian Cutler, we are outside.
Audio 2: (26:30)
Clerks facing felony charges in Michigan. Poll watchers denied access in Pennsylvania-
Josh Roselman: (26:35)
These ads were another element, in the effort. The Trump campaign spent millions of dollars, running ads online and on television.
Audio 3: (26:41)
The evidence is overwhelming. Call your governor and legislators. Demand they inspect the machines and hear the evidence.
Josh Roselman: (26:49)
Public pressure on state officials often grew dangerous, in the lead up to January 6th.
Video 4: (27:03)
Let us in, let us in, let us in!
Video 4: (27:03)
Special session, special session!
Video 4: (27:05)
We’ll light the whole shit on fire.
Nick Fuentes: (27:08)
What are we going to do? What can you and I do to state legislative, besides kill them? Although, we should not do that. I’m not advising that, but what else can you do, right?
Video 5: (27:18)
Video 5: (27:20)
The punishment for treason is death.
Adam Schiff: (27:26)
The state pressure campaign and the danger it posed to state officials and to state capitals around the nation, was a dangerous precursor to the violence we saw on January 6th at the U.S. capital. Today, you will hear from Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives. He will tell us about his conversations with the president, with Rudy Giuliani, and John Eastman, and what the president’s team asked of him and how his oath of office would not permit it. You will then hear from Brad Raffensperger, the Republican Secretary of State of Georgia, who Trump directed to quote find 11,780 votes that did not exist, but just the exact number of votes needed to overtake Joe Biden. You will also hear from Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer, his chief operating officer, about the spurious claims of fraud and the elections in Georgia, and who, responding to a cascading set of threats to his elections team, warned the president to stop, that someone was going to get killed.
Adam Schiff: (28:29)
You’ll hear from Andrea Shaye Moss, a former local elections worker in Fulton County, Georgia, about how all of the lies about the election impacted the lives of real people who administer our elections and still do. You’ll hear what they experienced, when the most powerful man in the world, the president of the United States, sought to cling to power after being voted out of office by the American people. The system held, but barely. The system held because people of courage, Republicans and Democrats, like the witnesses you will hear today, put their oath to the country and constitution above any other consideration. They did their jobs, as we must do ours. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
Bennie Thompson: (29:23)
I, now, welcome our first panel of witnesses. We’re joined today by a distinguished legislator from Arizona, Rusty Bowers, who’s a Republican speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives. Mr. Bowers was first elected to the State Legislature in 1993, and has served as speaker since 2019. Welcome, Speaker Bowers.
Bennie Thompson: (29:48)
Brad Raffensperger is the 29th secretary state of Georgia, serving, in this role, since 2019. As an elected official and a Republican, Secretary Raffensperger is responsible for supervising elections in Georgia and maintaining the state’s public records. Welcome, Mr. Secretary.
Bennie Thompson: (30:11)
Gabriel Sterling is the chief operating officer in the Georgia secretary of state’s office. Mr. Sterling was the statewide voting systems implementation manager, for the 2020 election in Georgia, responsible for leading the secretarial state’s response to the COVID pandemic and rolling out modernized voting equipment.
Bennie Thompson: (30:34)
I will swear in our witnesses. The witnesses will please stand and raise their right hand. Do you swear on the form, on the penalty of perjury, that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? Thank you, please be seated. Let the record reflect that the witnesses answered in the affirmative.
Bennie Thompson: (31:04)
Speaker Bowers, thank you, for being with us today. You’re the speaker of the Arizona House and a self-described Conservative Republican. You campaigned for President Trump and with him, during the 2020 election. Is it fair to say that you wanted Donald Trump to win a second term in office? Please?
Rusty Bowers: (31:27)
Yes, sir. Thank you.
Bennie Thompson: (31:30)
Is it your understanding, that President Biden was the winner of the popular vote, in Arizona, in 2020?
Rusty Bowers: (31:37)
Bennie Thompson: (31:39)
Thank you. Pursuant to Section 5C8 of House Resolution 503, the chair recognizes the gentleman from California, Mr. Schiff, for questions.
Adam Schiff: (31:52)
Speaker Bowers, thank you, for being with us today. Before we begin with the questions that I had prepared for you, I wanted to ask you about a statement that former President Trump issued-
Adam Schiff: (32:03)
… about a statement that former President Trump issued, which I received just prior to the hearing. Have you had a chance to review that statement?
My counsel called from Arizona and read it to me, yes sir.
Adam Schiff: (32:14)
In that statement, I won’t read it in its entirety. Former President Trump begins by calling you a RINO, Republican In Name Only. He then references a conversation in November 2020, in which he claims that you told him that the election was rigged and that he had won Arizona. To quote the former president, “During the conversation he told me the election was rigged and that I won Arizona.” Did you have such a conversation with the president?
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.
Adam Schiff: (33:00)
The part that I read you is that false?
Anywhere anyone anytime has said that I said the election was rigged that would not be true.
Adam Schiff: (33:14)
When the former president in his statement today claimed that you told him that he won Arizona, is that also false?
That is also false.
Adam Schiff: (33:26)
Mr. Bowers I understand that after the election, and I don’t know whether this is the conversation the former president is referring to, but after the election you received a phone call from President Trump and Rudy Giuliani in which they discussed the result of the presidential election in Arizona. If you would tell us about that call and whether the former president or Mr. Giuliani raised allegations of election fraud?
Thank you. My wife and I had returned from attending our church meetings, it was on a Sunday. We were still in the driveway and I had received a call from a colleague telling me that the White House was trying to get in touch with her and I, and that she said please if you get a call let’s try to take this together. Immediately I saw that the White House on my Bluetooth was calling, and I took the call and was asked by the I would presume the operator at the White House if I would hold for the president, which I did. Mr. Giuliani came on first and niceties. Then Mr. Trump, President Trump, then President Trump came on and we initiated a conversation.
Adam Schiff: (34:44)
During that conversation did you ask Mr. Giuliani for proof of these allegations of fraud that he was making?
On multiple occasions, yes.
Adam Schiff: (34:55)
When you asked him for evidence of this fraud what did he say?
He said that they did have proof. I asked him do you have names? For example, we have 200,000 illegal immigrants, some large number, five or 6,000 dead people, etcetera. I said, “Do you have their names?” “Yes.” “Will you give them to me?” “Yes.” The president interrupted and said, “Give the man what he needs Rudy.” He said, “I will.” That happened on at least two occasions, that interchange in the conversation.
Adam Schiff: (35:31)
So Mr. Giuliani was claiming in the call that there were hundreds of thousands of undocumented people and thousands of dead people who had purportedly voted in the election?
Adam Schiff: (35:42)
You asked him for evidence of that?
Adam Schiff: (35:46)
Did you ever receive from him that evidence either during the call, after the call or to this day?
Adam Schiff: (35:57)
What was the ask during this call? He was making these allegations of fraud, but he had something or a couple things that they wanted you to do, what were those?
The ones I remember were first that we would hold, that I would allow an official committee at the Capitol so that they could hear this evidence, and that we could take action thereafter. And I refused. I said up to that time the circus, I called it the circus had been brewing with lots of demonstrations both at the counting center, at the Capitol and other places. And I didn’t want to have that in the House. I did not feel that the evidence granted in its absence merited a hearing, and I didn’t want to be used as a pawn if there was some other need that the committee hearing would fulfill. That was the first ask that we hold an official committee hearing.
Adam Schiff: (37:01)
What was his second ask?
I said, “To what end, to what end the hearing?” He said, “Well, we have heard by an official high-up in the Republican legislature, that there is a legal theory or a legal ability in Arizona that you can remove the electors of President Biden and replace them. We would like to have the legitimate opportunity through the committee to come to that end and remove that.” I said, “That’s totally new to me, I’ve never heard of any such thing.” He pressed that point and I said, “Look, you are asking me to do something that is counter to my oath when I swore to the constitution to uphold it, and I also swore to the constitution and the laws of the state of Arizona. This is totally foreign as an idea or a theory to me, and I would never do anything of such magnitude without deep consultation with qualified attorneys.” I said, “I’ve got some good attorneys and I’m going to give you their names. But you are asking me to do something against my oath and I will not break my oath.” I think that was up to that point.
Adam Schiff: (38:35)
During the conversation, and you heard I think when we played a snippet of Mr. Giuliani calling other state legislators and saying that he was calling as essentially a fellow Republican. Did he make a similar appeal to you or bring up the fact that you shared a similar party?
Whether it was in that call or in a later meeting he did bring that up more than once.
Adam Schiff: (38:56)
How would he bring that up?
He would say, “Aren’t we all Republicans here? I would think we would get a better reception. I mean I would think you would listen a little more open to my suggestions that we’re all Republicans.”
Adam Schiff: (39:12)
This evidence that you asked him for that would justify this extraordinary step, I think you said they never produced. Why did you feel either any absence of that evidence, or with it what they were asking you to do would violate your oath to the constitution?
First of all, when the people and in Arizona I believe some 40 plus years earlier, the legislature had established the manner of electing our officials, or the electors for the presidential race. Once it was given to the people, as in Bush v. Gore illustrated by the Supreme Court, it becomes a fundamental right of the people. So as far as I was concerned for someone to ask me, I would call it a paucity, there was no evidence being presented of any strength. Evidence can be hearsay evidence it’s still evidence but it’s still hearsay. But strong judicial quality evidence, anything that would say to me you have a doubt, deny your oath. I will not do that. On more than one occasion throughout all this that has been brought up, and it is a tenet of my faith that the constitution is divinely inspired of my most basic foundational beliefs. For me to do that because somebody just asked me to is foreign to my very being, I will not do it.
Adam Schiff: (41:11)
During that conversation Speaker Bowers, did you ask him if what he was proposing had ever been done before?
Adam Schiff: (41:20)
What did he say?
He said, “Well, I’m not familiar with Arizona law or any of the laws, but I don’t think so.” That also was brought up in other conversations, both with him and with John Eastman and others.
Adam Schiff: (41:37)
Speak Bowers I understand that a week after that call Mr. Giuliani appeared with others associated with President Trump’s effort to overturn the result of the election at a purported legislative hearing in a hotel ballroom in Phoenix. Was this an official hearing of the state legislature?
It was not.
Adam Schiff: (41:55)
Why was it not a real official hearing of the legislature?
A legislator can hold a group meeting, you can call it a hearing. But when they ask me to have an official hearing, we establish it by protocols, public notice, etcetera. It’s typically held at the Capitol but doesn’t need to be, we can authorize a hearing off campus. In this case, I had been asked on several occasions to allow a hearing. I had denied it, but said you’re free to hold a meeting, any meeting you want to the person who asked, and which he ultimately did. I think he was a little frustrated, but he ultimately did.
Adam Schiff: (42:41)
This meeting was the same day I believe that the governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey certified Biden as the winner of the presidential election in Arizona. Did you meet with Mr. Giuliani and his associates while they were in Phoenix sometime after that purported legislative hearing at the hotel?
Yes I did sir.
Adam Schiff: (43:00)
At that meeting, did Mr. Giuliani raise any specific allegations of election fraud again?
His initial comments were again the litany of groups of illegal individuals or people deceased, etcetera. He had brought that up. I wasn’t alone in that meeting, there were others and other members of the Senate aggressively questioned him. Then I proceeded to question him on the proof that he was going to bring me etcetera, but he did bring those up yes.
Adam Schiff: (43:36)
These other legislators were also Republican members of the Senate?
They were, yes sir.
Adam Schiff: (43:43)
Did they also press him for proof of these allegations?
They pressed him very strongly, two of them especially very strongly.
Adam Schiff: (43:52)
At some point did Mr. Giuliani ask one of the other attorneys on his team to help him out with the evidence?
He did, he asked Jenna Ellis who was sitting to his right. One thing was that it was more to the point of was there sufficient evidence or action that we could justify the recalling of the electors? But at that part of the conversation I know he referred to someone else. But he did ask do we have the proof to Jenna, Ms. Ellis. She said yes. I said, “I want the names. Do you have the names?” Yes. “Do you have how they voted?” “We have all the information.” I said, “Can you get to me that information? Did you bring it with you?” She said, “No.” Both Mr. Giuliani asked her and I asked generally if they’d brought it with them. She said, “No, it’s not with me, but we can get it to you.” I said, “Then you didn’t bring me the evidence,” which was repeated in different iterations for some period of time.
Adam Schiff: (45:03)
At some point did one of them make a comment that they didn’t have evidence but they had a lot of theories?
That was Mr. Giuliani.
Adam Schiff: (45:12)
What exactly did he say and how’d that come up?
My recollection he said, “We’ve got lots of theories we just don’t have the evidence.” I don’t know if that was a guff, or maybe he didn’t think through what he said, but both myself and others in my group, the three in my group and my counsel both remembered that specifically and afterwards we kind of laughed about it.
Adam Schiff: (45:35)
Getting back to the ask in that phone call that preceded this meeting. He wanted you to have the legislature dismiss the Biden electors and replace them with Trump electors on the basis of these theories of fraud?
He did not say it in those exact words, but he did say that Arizona law, according to what he understood, that that would be allowed, and that we needed to come into session to take care of that. Which initiated a discussion about again, what I can legally and not legally do, and I can’t go into session in Arizona unilaterally or on my sole prerogative.
Adam Schiff: (46:13)
In this meeting or at any other later time, did anyone provide you with evidence of election fraud sufficient to affect the outcome of the presidential election in Arizona?
No one provided me ever such evidence.
Adam Schiff: (46:27)
The select committee has uncovered evidence in the course of our investigation that at stop the steal protests at state capitols across the country, there were individuals with ties to the groups or parties involved in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. One of those incursions took place in the Arizona House of Representatives building as you can see in this footage. This is previously undisclosed video of protestors illegally entering and refusing to leave the building. One of the individuals prominently shown in this video is Jacob Chansley.
Adam Schiff: (47:08)
Perhaps better known as the Qanon Shaman, this rioter entered the Capitol on January 6th, was photographed leaving a threatening note on the dais in the U.S. Senate chamber and was ultimately sentenced to 41 months in prison after pleading guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding. Other protestors who occupied the Arizona House of Representatives building included Proud Boys while men armed with rifles stood just outside the entrance. I understand these protestors were calling for you by name Speaker Bowers, is that correct?
That is correct.
Adam Schiff: (47:43)
Speaker Bowers did the president call you again later in December?
He did sir.
Adam Schiff: (47:50)
Did you tell the president in that second call that you supported him, that you voted for him, but that you were not going to do anything illegal for him?
I did sir.
Adam Schiff: (48:00)
Nevertheless, his lawyer, John Eastman called you some days later on June 4th, 2021. And he did have a very specific ask that would’ve required you to do just what you had already told the president you wouldn’t do, something that would violate your oath. Is that correct?
That’s correct. It wasn’t just me, I had my counsel and others on the call.
Adam Schiff: (48:22)
What did Dr. Eastman want you to do?
That we would in fact vote, take a vote to overthrow, or I shouldn’t say overthrow. That we would de-certify the electors because we had plenary authority to do so. He cited Article II, Section 1 I think it’s clause two, and said that in his opinion that gave us the authority if there was, I don’t recall him saying sufficient evidence, but there was some call or some strong reason to do so that we, or justification to do so that we could do that. That he was asking that we… His suggestion was that we would do it. I said again, I took an oath, for me to do what you do would be counter to my oath. I don’t recall if it was in that conversation clearly that we talked more about the oath, but I said, “What would you have me do?”
He said, “Just do it and let the court sort it out.” I said, “You’re asking me to do something that’s never been done in history, the history of the United States and… I’m going to put my state through that without sufficient proof, and that’s going to be good enough with me? That I would put us through that my state, that I swore to uphold both in constitution and in law, no sir.” He said, “Well, my suggestion would be just do it and let the courts figure it all out.” He didn’t use that exact phrase but that was what his meaning was and I declined and I believe that was close to the end of our phone call.
Adam Schiff: (50:35)
Again, this took place after you had recently spoken with President Trump and told him that you wouldn’t do anything illegal for him, is that right?
It wasn’t days after, obviously it was days after but a few days had gone by.
Adam Schiff: (50:49)
But you had told President Trump you would not do anything illegal for him?
I did both times.
Adam Schiff: (50:56)
You told Dr. Eastman that you did not believe there was legal support to justify what he was asking, but he still wanted you to do it and effectively let the courts work it out?
I’ve been warned don’t say things you think maybe he said. But I do remember him saying that the authority of the legislature was plenary and that you can do it. I said then you should know that I can’t even call the legislature into session without a two thirds majority vote. We’re only 30 plus one, there’s no way that could happen.
Adam Schiff: (51:34)
But in your view, what he was asking you to do would have violated your oath to the constitution, both the United States constitution and the constitution of the state of Arizona.
Adam Schiff: (51:44)
Did you also receive a call from U.S. Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona on the morning of January 6th?
Adam Schiff: (51:52)
What did Mr. Biggs ask you to do?
I believe that was the day that the vote was occurring to each state to have certification, or to declare the certification of the electors. He asked if I would sign on both to a letter that had been sent from my state, and/or that I would support the de-certification of the electors and I said I would not.
Adam Schiff: (52:24)
Mr. Speaker on December 4th, 2020, shortly after your meeting with Rudy Giuliani and other allies of President Trump, you released a statement publicly addressing “Calls for the legislature to overturn the 2020 certified election results.” The statement is very straightforward in explaining the “breathtaking request” made by representatives of President Trump. “That the Arizona legislature overturn the certified results of last month’s election and deliver the state’s electoral college votes to President Trump.” Why did you believe, as you wrote in this statement, that the rule of law forbid you from doing what President Trump and his allies wanted you to do?
Representative, I’m sorry I should be saying Mr. Chairman and Representative Schiff. There’s two sides to the answer. One is what am I allowed to do and what am I forbidden to do? We have no legal pathway, both in state law nor to my knowledge in federal law, for us to execute such a request. I am not allowed to walk or act beyond my authority. If I’m not specifically authorized as a legislator as a legislature, then I cannot act to the point of calling us into session. Some say that just a few legislators have plenary authority, and that is part of all of this discussion I’ll call it. To not have authority and be forbidden to act beyond my authority on both counts, I am not authorized to take such action and that would deny my oath.
Adam Schiff: (54:21)
In your statement you included excerpts from President Ronald Reagan’s inaugural address in 1981. The newly inaugurated president told the country ” The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the constitution routinely takes place as it has for almost two centuries, and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every four year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.” Tell us if you would Mr. Speaker, why did you include President Reagan’s words in your public statement?
Mr. Chairman Representative Schiff because I have a lot of admiration for Ronald Reagan. I’ve had the opportunity of going through his home with one other person and walking through, and I have a lot of admiration for him. When he pointed out, which is I have lived in other country for a period of time and have visited a few countries during election times. The fact that we allow an election, support an election and stand behind the election, even in the past when there have been serious questions about the election, and then move on without disturbance and with acceptance, that we choose, we choose to follow the outcome of the will of the people. That will means a lot to me and I know it meant a lot to him so we included that.
Adam Schiff: (56:15)
Thank you Speaker Bowers. I now want to look even more deeply at the fake electors scheme. Every four years citizens from all over the United States go to the polls to elect their president. Under our constitution when we cast our votes for president, we are actually voting to send electors pledged to our preferred candidate to the electoral college. In December the electors in each state meet, cast their votes and send those votes to Washington. There is only one legitimate slate of electors from each state. On the sixth day of January Congress meets in a joint session to count those votes, and the winner of the electoral college vote becomes the president.
Adam Schiff: (57:10)
In this next segment you’ll hear how President Trump and his campaign were directly involved in advancing and coordinating the plot to replace legitimate Biden electors with fake electors not chosen by the voters. You’ll hear how this campaign convinced these fake electors to cast and submit their votes through fake certificates, telling them that their votes would only be used in the event that President Trump won his legal challenges. Yet when the president lost those legal challenges, when courts rejected them as frivolous and without merit, the fake elector scheme continued. At this point, President Trump’s own lawyers, so-called team normal walked away rather than participate in the plan, and his own White House counsel’s office said that the plan was not legally sound. Let’s play the following video produced by the select committee.
Casey Lucier: (58:04)
My name is Casey Lucier, I’m an investigative counsel for the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol. On November 18th, a lawyer working with the Trump campaign named Kenneth Chesebro wrote a memo arguing that the Trump campaign should organize its own electors in the swing states that President Trump had lost. The select committee received testimony that those close to President Trump began planning to organize fake electors for Trump in states that Biden won in the weeks after the election.
Speaker 1: (58:32)
Who do you remember being involved in those early discussions around the Thanksgiving time regarding having alternate electors meet?
Cassidy Hutchinson: (58:41)
Mr. Giuliani, several of Mr. Giuliani’s associates, Mr. Meadows, members of Congress although it’s difficult to distinguish if the members that I’m thinking of were involved during Thanksgiving or if they were involved as we progressed through December.
Casey Lucier: (59:04)
At the president’s direct request, the RNC assisted the campaign in coordinating this effort.
Speaker 2: (59:09)
What did the president say when he called you?
Ronna Romney McDaniel: (59:11)
Essentially he turned the call over to Mr. Eastman, who then proceeded to talk about the importance of the RNC helping the campaign gather these contingent electors in case any of the legal challenges that were ongoing changed the result of any of the dates. I think more just helping them reach out and assemble them. My understanding is the campaign did take the lead and we just were helping them in that role.
Casey Lucier: (59:47)
As President Trump and his supporters continued to lose lawsuits, some campaign lawyers became convinced that convening electors in states that Trump lost was no longer appropriate.
Justin Clark: (59:57)
I just remember I either replied or called somebody saying unless we have litigation pending in these states, I don’t think this is appropriate or this isn’t the right thing to do. I don’t remember how I phrased it but… I got into a little bit of a back and forth, and I think it was with Ken Chesebro where I said all right, you just get after it I’m out.
Matt Morgan: (01:00:23)
At that point I had Josh Finley email Mr. Chesebro politely to say this is your task, you are responsible for the electoral college issues moving forward. This was my way of taking that responsibility into zero.
Casey Lucier: (01:00:46)
The committee learned the White House counsel’s office also felt the plan was potentially illegal.
Speaker 1: (01:00:51)
To be clear, did you hear the White House counsel’s office say that this plan to have alternate electors meet and cast votes for Donald Trump in states that he had lost was not legally sound?
Cassidy Hutchinson: (01:01:03)
Speaker 1: (01:01:04)
Who was present for that meeting that you remember?
Cassidy Hutchinson: (01:01:07)
It was in our office. It was Mr. Meadows, Mr. Giuliani and a few of Mr. Giuliani’s associates.
Casey Lucier: (01:01:14)
The select committee interviewed several of the individual fake electors, as well as Trump campaign staff who helped organize the effort.
Robert Sinners: (01:01:21)
We were just useful idiots or rubes at that point. A strong part of me really feels that it’s just kind of as the road continued and as there was failure, failure, failure that that got formulated as what do we have on the table, let’s just do it.
Casey Lucier: (01:01:41)
Now after what we’ve told you today about the select committee’s investigation about the conclusion of the professional lawyers on the campaign staff, Justin Clark, Matt Morgan and Josh Finley about their unwillingness to participate in the convening of these electors, how does that contribute to your understanding of these issues?
Robert Sinners: (01:02:00)
I’m angry. I’m angry because I think in a sense no one really cared if people were potentially putting themselves in jeopardy.
Casey Lucier: (01:02:19)
Would you have not wanted to participate in this any further as well?
Robert Sinners: (01:02:22)
I absolutely would not have had I known that the three main lawyers for the campaign that I’d spoken to in the past and were leading up were not on board yeah.
Andrew Hitt: (01:02:36)
I was told that these would only count if a court ruled in our favor. That would’ve been using our electors, well it would’ve been using our electors in ways that we weren’t told about, and we wouldn’t have supported.
Casey Lucier: (01:02:55)
Documents obtained by the select committee indicate that instructions were given to the electors in several states that they needed to cast their ballots in complete secrecy. Because this scheme involved fake electors, those participating in certain states had no way to comply with state election laws, like where the electors were supposed to meet. One group of fake electors even considered hiding overnight to ensure that they could access the state capitol as required in Michigan.
Speaker 1: (01:03:19)
Did Mr. Norton say who he was working with at all on this effort to have electors meet?
Laura Cox: (01:03:28)
He said he was working with the president’s campaign. He told me that the Michigan Republican electors were planning to meet in the Capitol and hide overnight so that they could fulfill the role of casting their vote per law in the Michigan chambers. I told him in no uncertain terms that, that was insane and inappropriate.
Laura Cox: (01:04:03)
Know in certain terms that was insane and inappropriate.
Speaker 3: (01:04:04)
In one state, the fake electors even asked for a promise that the campaign would pay their legal fees if they got sued or charged with a crime. Ultimately, fake electors did meet on December 14th, 2020 in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada, and Wisconsin. At the request of the Trump campaign, the electors from these battleground states signed documents, falsely asserting that they were the, “Duly elected electors from their state,” and submitted them to the national archives and Vice President Pence in his capacity as President of the Senate. Here is what some of the fake elector certificates look like as compared to the real ones. But these ballots had no legal effect.
Speaker 3: (01:04:45)
In an email produced to the Select Committee, Dr. Eastman told a Trump campaign representative that it did not matter that the electors had not been approved by a state authority, “The facts that we have multiple slates of electors demonstrates the uncertainty of either. That should be enough.” He urged that Pence act boldly and be challenged. Documents produced to the Select Committee show that the Trump campaign took steps to ensure that the physical copies of the fake electors electoral votes from two states were delivered to Washington for January 6th.
Speaker 3: (01:05:16)
Text messages exchanged between Republican Party officials in Wisconsin, show that on January 4th the Trump campaign asked for someone to fly their fake elector’s documents to Washington. A staffer for Wisconsin. Senator Ron Johnson texted a staffer for Vice President Pence just minutes before the beginning of the joint session. This staffer stated that Senator Johnson wished to hand deliver to the Vice President. The fake elector’s votes from Michigan and Wisconsin. The Vice President’s aid unambiguously instructed them not to deliver the fake votes to the Vice President. Even though the fake elector’s 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.
Vice President Pence: (01:05:59)
[inaudible 01:05:59] President of the United States are as follows, Joseph R. Biden Jr. of the State of Delaware has received 306 votes. Donald J. Trump of the State of Florida has received 232 votes.
Speaker 3: (01:06:10)
Which is what he did when the joint session resumed on January 6th after the attack on the capital.
Vice President Pence: (01:06:15)
[inaudible 01:06:15] 538.
Adam Schiff: (01:06:22)
What we just heard in that video was an aid to the White House, chief of staff telling this committee that the White House council’s office felt that this fake elector’s plan was not legally sound. Nevertheless, the Trump campaign went forward with the scheme anyway. Speaker Bowers, were you aware that fake electors had met in Phoenix on December 14th and purported to cast electoral votes for President Trump?
I was not.
Adam Schiff: (01:06:49)
When you learned that these electors had met and sent their electoral votes to Washington, what did you think?
Well, I thought of the book, The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight and I just thought this is a tragic parody.
Adam Schiff: (01:07:12)
Mr. Bowers, I understand that as you flew from Phoenix to Washington yesterday, you reflected upon some passages from a personal journal that you were keeping in December 2020, while all of this was taking place. With your permission I’m wondering if you would be willing to share one passage in particular with us.
Thank you very much.
It is painful to have friends who have been such a help to me, turn on me with such ranker. I may in the eyes of men not hold correct opinions or act according to their vision or convictions, but I do not take this current situation in a light manner, a fearful manner or a vengeful manner. I do not want to be a winner by cheating. I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to. With any contrived desire towards deflection of my deep foundational desire to follow God’s will, as I believe he led my conscience to embrace. How else will I ever approach him in the wilderness of life knowing that I ask this guidance only to show myself a coward in defending the course he led me to take. Thank-
Adam Schiff: (01:08:58)
Thank you Mr. Speaker. Those are powerful words. I understand that taking the courageous positions that you did following the 2020 election in defense of the rule of law and protecting the voters of Arizona resulted in you and your family being subjected to protest and terrible threats. Can you tell us how this impacted you and your family?
Well, as others in the videos have mentioned, we received, my secretaries would say, in excess of 20,000 emails and tens of thousands of voicemails and texts, which saturated our offices and we were unable to work or at least communicate. But at home, up till even recently, it is the new pattern or a pattern in our lives to worry what will happen on Saturdays, because we have various groups come by and they have had panel trucks with videos of me proclaiming me to be a pedophile and a pervert and a corrupt politician and blaring loud speakers in my neighborhood and leaving literature, both on my property but arguing and threatening with neighbors and with myself. I don’t know if I should name groups, but there was a one gentleman that had the three bars on his chest and he had a pistol and was threatening my neighbor, not with the pistol, but just vocally. When I saw the gun, I knew I had to get close. At the same time on some of these, we had a daughter who was gravely ill, who was upset by what was happening outside. And my wife, was a valiant person, very strong, quiet, very strong woman. So it was disturbing. It was disturbing.
Adam Schiff: (01:11:39)
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you for your service to the State of Arizona and to the country. Ms. Chairman, at this point, I think it’d be appropriate to take a short recess. Accordingly, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. Thompson: (01:11:56)
The chair requests that those in the hearing room remains seated until the Capitol police have escorted members and witnesses from the room. We’ll have five minutes? Five minute recess. The committee will be in order.
Mr. Thompson: (01:26:53)
President Trump’s pressure campaign against state officials existed in all the key battleground states that he lost. But the former president had a particular obsession with Georgia. Here is the president on the afternoon of January 6th, after his own Attorney General won him that the claims you are about to hear are patently false.
President Trump: (01:27:20)
They should find those votes. They should absolutely find that. Just over 11,000 votes, that’s all we need. They defrauded us out of a win in Georgia and we’re not going to forget it.
Mr. Thompson: (01:27:36)
So the State of Georgia is where we will turn our attention to next. I want to emphasize that our investigation into these issues is still ongoing. As I stated in our last hearing, if you have relevant information or documentary evidence to share with the Select Committee, we welcome your cooperation. But we will share some of our findings with you today. Secretary Raffensperger thank you for being here today. You’ve been a public servant in Georgia since 2015, serving first as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives. And then since January 2019, as Georgia’s secretary of state. As a self-described conservative Republican, is it fair to say that you wanted President Trump to win the 2020 election?
Secretary Raffensperger: (01:28:31)
Yes, it is.
Mr. Thompson: (01:28:33)
Was secretary many witnesses have told the Select Committee that election day, November 3rd 2020 was a largely uneventful day in their home states. In spite of the challenges of conducting an election during a pandemic, you wrote in the Washington Post, that the election was, “Successful.” Tell us, what was your impression of how election day had proceeded in Georgia.
Secretary Raffensperger: (01:29:03)
On election day and November our election went remarkably smooth. In fact, we meet at the GEEMA headquarters, that’s the Georgia Energy Emergency Management Association meeting location, but we are following wait times in line, in the afternoon our average wait time was three minutes statewide that we were recording for various precincts. And it actually got down to two minutes. And at the end of the day, we felt that we had a successful election from the standpoint of the administration and the operation of the election.
Mr. Thompson: (01:29:36)
Thank you. The chair recognized the gentleman from California, Mr. Schiff.
Adam Schiff: (01:29:41)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary Raffensperger, did Joe Biden win the 2020 Presidential election in Georgia, and by what margin?
Secretary Raffensperger: (01:29:50)
President Biden carried the State of Georgia by approximately 12,000 votes.
Adam Schiff: (01:29:56)
And Mr. Secretary, as I understand it, your office took several steps to ensure the accuracy of the vote count in Georgia, reviewing the vote count in at least three different ways. These steps included a machine recount, a forensic audit and a full hand recount of every one of the 5 million ballots cast. Did these efforts, including a recount of literally every ballot cast in the State of Georgia confirmed the result?
Secretary Raffensperger: (01:30:20)
Yes they did. We counted the ballots where the first tabulation would be scanned. Then when we did our 100% hand audit of the entire all 5 million ballots in the State of Georgia, all cast in place, all absentee ballots, they were all hand recounted and they came remarkably close to the first count. And then upon the election being certified, President Trump, because he was in within half percent, excuse me, could ask for a recount. And then we recounted them again through the scanners and we got, remarkably, the same count. Three counts, all remarkably close, which showed that President Trump did come up short.
Adam Schiff: (01:30:55)
Nevertheless, as you will see, the President and his allies began making numerous false allegations of voter fraud. False allegations that you and Mr. Sterling among others had to address. Mr. Sterling, thank you also for being here today. Following the 2020 election, in addition to your normal duties, I understand that you became a spokesperson to try to combat disinformation about the election and the danger it was creating for elections officials among others. In a December one press conference, you addressed some of your marks directly to President Trump. Let’s take a look at what you said that day.
Speaker 4: (01:31:35)
Mr. President, it looks like you likely lost the State in Georgia. We’re investigating. There’s always a possibility. I get it, you have the rights to go through the courts. What you don’t have the ability to do, and you need to step up and say this is stop inspiring people to commit potentialize of violence. Someone’s going to get hurt. Someone’s going to get shot. Someone’s going to get killed. And it’s not right. It’s not right.
Adam Schiff: (01:32:05)
Mr. Sterling, what prompted you to make these remarks?
Mr. Sterling: (01:32:09)
Mr. Schiff, we had had a previously scheduled press conference that day as we were in the habit of doing, trying to be as transparent as we could about the election and the counts going on. A little after lunch that day, lunchtime, I received a call from the project manager from Dominion Voting Systems who was oddly audibly shaken. She’s not the kind of person I would assume would be that way. She has a master at MIT, a graduate of Naval Academy and was very much on the ball and pretty unstoppable. She informed me about a young contractor they had, who had been receiving threats from a video been posted by some QAnon supporters. And at that point we had been sort of been steeping in this kind of stuff, so it was around us all the time. So I didn’t take note of it more than adding to the pile of other stuff we were having to deal with. I did pull up Twitter and I scrolled through it, and I saw the young man’s name. It was a particular tweet that, for lack of a better word, it was a straw that broke the camels back. Had the young man’s name, it was a very unique name, I believe it was a first generation American and had his name, you committed treason, may God have mercy on your soul with a slowly twisting gift of a noose. For lack of a better word, I lost it. I just got irate. My boss was with me at the time, the Deputy Secretary Jordan Fuchs, and she could tell that I was angry. I tend to turn red from here up when that happens, and that happened at that time. And she called Secretary Raffensperger to say, we are seeing these kind of threats and Gabe thinks we need to say something about it. And Secretary said, yes. And that’s what prompted me to do what I did. I lost my temper, but it seemed necessary at the time because it was just getting worse. I could not tell you why that particular one was the one that put me over the edge, but it did.
Adam Schiff: (01:34:04)
Now, after you made this plea to the President, did Donald Trump urge his supporters to avoid the use of violence?
Mr. Sterling: (01:34:11)
Not to my knowledge.
Adam Schiff: (01:34:13)
Now, as we know, the President was aware of your speech because he tweeted about it later that day. Let’s take a look at what the president said. In the tweet, Donald Trump claims that there was, “Massive voter fraud in Georgia.” Mr. Sterling, that was just plain false. Wasn’t it?
Mr. Sterling: (01:34:33)
Adam Schiff: (01:34:35)
Nevertheless, the very next day on December 2nd, President Trump released a lengthy video again making false claims of election fraud in Georgia. Let’s take a look at what he said this time.
President Trump: (01:34:47)
They found thousands and thousands of votes that were out of whack all against me.
Adam Schiff: (01:34:56)
In fact, the day after Donald Trump released that video, so now we’re talking just two days after the emotional warning that you gave that someone’s going to get killed. Representatives of President Trump appeared in Georgia, including Rudy Giuliani and launched a new conspiracy theory that would take on a life of its own and threaten the lives of several innocent election workers. This story falsely alleges that sometime during election night election workers at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia kicked out poll observers. After the observers left, the story goes, these workers pulled so-called suitcases of ballots from under a table and ran those ballots through counting machines multiple times. Completely without evidence President Trump and his allies claimed that these suitcases contained as many as 18,000 ballots all for Joe Biden. None of this was true. But Rudy Giuliani appeared before the Georgia State Senate and played a surveillance video from State Farm Arena, falsely claiming that it showed this conspiracy taking place. Here’s a sample of what Mr. Giuliani had to say-
Adam Schiff: (01:36:03)
… Place. Here’s a sample of what Mr. Giuliani had to say during that hearing.
Rudy Giuliani: (01:36:06)
When you look at what you saw on the video, which to me was a smoking gun, powerful smoking gun, I don’t have to be a genius to figure out what happened, and I don’t have to be a genius to figure out that those votes are not legitimate votes. You don’t put legitimate votes under a table-
Speaker 5: (01:36:25)
Rudy Giuliani: (01:36:26)
… Wait until you throw the opposition out, and in the middle of the night, count them. We would have to be fools to think that.
Adam Schiff: (01:36:35)
President Trump’s campaign amplified Giuliani’s false testimony in a tweet, pushing out the video footage, Giuliani likewise pushed out his testimony on social media. As you can see in this tweet, Mr. Giuliani wrote that it was “now beyond doubt” that Fulton County Democrats had stolen the election. Later in this hearing, we’ll hear directly from one of the election workers in this video about the effect these lies had on her and on her family. Mr. Sterling, did the investigators in your office review the entire surveillance tape from the State Farm Arena on election night?
Mr. Sterling: (01:37:12)
They actually reviewed approximately 48 hours, going over the time period where action was taken place at the counting center at State Farm Arena.
Adam Schiff: (01:37:21)
What did the tape actually show?
Mr. Sterling: (01:37:24)
Depending on which time you want to start, because as was mentioned, this conspiracy theory took on a life of its own, where they conflated a water main break that wasn’t a water main break and throwing observers out and a series of other things, what it actually showed was Fulton County election workers engaging in normal ballot processing. One of the things that was very frustrating was the so-called suitcases of ballots from under the table. If you watch the entirety of the video, you saw that these were election workers who were under the impression they were going to get to go home around 10:00, 10:30. People are putting on their coats, they’re putting ballots that are prepared to be scanned into ballot carriers, that are then sealed with tamper proof seals so you know they’re not messed with. It’s an interesting thing, because there’s four screens of the video, and as you’re watching it, you can see the election monitors in the corner with the press as they’re taking these ballot carriers and putting them under the table, you see it there. One of the other hidden ones, if you looked at the actual tape, was on the outside of the table, just from the camera angle, you couldn’t see it originally.
Mr. Sterling: (01:38:34)
This goes under the “no good deed goes unpunished”, we were at [inaudible 01:38:39], as the secretary pointed out, and we were told that it looked like they were shutting down the Fulton County counting. Secretary expressed some displeasure at that, because we wanted to have everybody keep counting so we could get to the results and know what was happening. Our elections director called their elections director, who was at another location because this was election day. There was two different places where ballot things were being done by the Fulton County office. The elections director of Fulton then called Ralph Jones, who was at the State Farm Arena, and said, “What the heck are you doing? Go ahead and stay.”
Mr. Sterling: (01:39:13)
As you watch the video itself, you see him take the phone call as people are putting things away and getting ready to leave, and you can tell for about 15, 20 seconds, he does not want to tell these people they have to stay. He walks over, he thinks about it for a second, then you see him come back to the corner of the desk, and slumps his shoulders and says, “Okay, y’all, we’ve got to keep on counting.” Then you see them take their coats off, get the ballots out, and then a secondary thing that you’ll see on there is you’ll have people who are counting ballots, a batch will go through, they will take them off and run that through again. What happens there is a standard operating procedure, if there is a mis-scan, if there’s a misalignment, if it doesn’t read right, these are high speed, high capacity scanners, so three or four will go through after a mis-scan, and you have to delete that batch and put it back through again.
Mr. Sterling: (01:39:58)
By going through the hand tally, as the secretary pointed out, we showed that if there had been multiple ballots scanned without a corresponding physical ballot, your counts would’ve been a lot higher than the ballots themselves. By doing the hand tally, we saw two specific numbers that were met. The hand tally got us to a 0.1053% off of the total votes cast and 0.0099% on the margin, which is essentially dead-on accurate. Most academic studies say on a hand tally, you’ll have between one and 2%, but because we use ballot marketing devices where it’s very clear what the voter intended, it made it a lot easier for us to conduct that hand count and show that none of that was true.
Adam Schiff: (01:40:39)
Now, I understand that when you reviewed these tapes and did the analysis, it disproved this conspiracy theory, but you still had to take a lot of steps to try to make sure the public knew the truth about these allegations, and you did frequent briefings for the press. Let’s take a look at one of those press briefings, Mr. Sterling, that you held on December 7th, to make the point that you just did today.
Mr. Sterling: (01:41:06)
… Move on to what I’m going to call disinformation Monday. Out of the gate, many of y’all saw the videotape from State Farm Arena. I spent hours with our post certified investigators, Justin Gray from WSB spent hours with us going over this video to explain to people that what you saw, the “secret suitcases” of magic ballots were actually ballots that had been packed into those absentee ballot carriers by the workers, in plain view of the monitors and the press. What’s really frustrating is the president’s attorneys had this same videotape, they saw the exact same things the rest of us could see, and they chose to mislead state senators and the public about what was on that video.
Mr. Sterling: (01:41:53)
I am quite sure that they will not characterize the video if they try to enter it into evidence, because that is the kind of thing that could lead to sanctions, because it’s obviously untrue. They knew it was untrue, and they continue to do things like this.
Adam Schiff: (01:42:05)
Mr. Sterling, despite the efforts by your office to combat this misinformation by speaking out publicly and through local media, you were unable to match the reach of President Trump’s platform and social media megaphone spreading these false conspiracy theories. What was it like to compete with a president who had the biggest bully pulpit in the world to push out these false claims?
Mr. Sterling: (01:42:30)
For lack of a better word, it was frustrating, but oftentimes I felt our information was getting out, but that there was a reticence of people who needed to believe it to believe it, because the president of the United States, who many looked up to and respected, was telling them it wasn’t true, despite the facts. I have characterized at one point it was kind of like a shovel trying to empty the ocean. Yes, 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. The problem you have is you’re getting into people’s hearts.
Mr. Sterling: (01:43:12)
I remember there’s one specific, an attorney that we know that we showed and walked him through, “This wasn’t true,” “Okay, I get that,” “This wasn’t true,” “Okay, I get that,” “This wasn’t,” five or six things, but at the end, he goes, “I just know in my heart they cheated.” Once you get past the heart, the facts don’t matter as much. Our job from our point of view was to get the facts out, do our job, tell the truth, follow the constitution, follow the law, and defend the institutions, and the institutions held.
Adam Schiff: (01:43:44)
Let’s take a look at what you were competing with, this is the former president speaking in Georgia on December 5th.
Donald Trump: (01:43:52)
… Evidence of fraud is overwhelming, and again, I’m going to ask you to look up at that very, very powerful and very expensive screen.
Speaker 6: (01:43:59)
Hidden cases of possible ballots are rolled out from under a table, four people under a cloud of suspicion.
Donald Trump: (01:44:08)
If you just take the crime of what those Democrat workers were doing, and by the way, there was no water main break, they said there was no water main break, that’s 10 times more than I need to win this state, 10 times more. It’s 10 times, it may be more than that, but it’s 10 times more, because we lost by a very close number.
Adam Schiff: (01:44:32)
This committee’s hearing last Monday, we heard from the senior-most federal law enforcement official in Atlanta at the time, US attorney for the northern district, BJay Pak, as well as former attorney general Bill Barr. They both testified that the allegations were thoroughly investigated, and found to have no merit. Here is US attorney Pak.
BJay Pak: (01:44:58)
Particular to attorney general Barr, I told him that we looked into it, we’ve done several things, including interviewing the witnesses. I listened to the tapes and reviewed the videotape myself, and that there was nothing there. Giuliani was wrong in representing that this was a suitcase full of ballots.
Adam Schiff: (01:45:19)
And here’s what attorney general Bill Barr had to say about the same allegations.
Bill Barr: (01:45:25)
Took a hard look at this ourselves, and based on our review of it, including the interviews of the key witnesses, the Fulton County allegations had no merit.
Adam Schiff: (01:45:42)
We also have testimony from senior department of justice officials establishing that they specifically told President Trump that these allegations had been thoroughly investigated, and were completely without merit. Here is acting deputy attorney general Richard Donahue, describing a phone conversation in which he specifically told President Trump that these allegations were false.
Richard Donahue: (01:46:06)
He kept fixating on the suitcase that supposedly had fraudulent ballots, and that the suitcase was rolled out from under the table. I said, “No, sir, there is no suitcase. You can watch that video over and over, there is no suitcase. There is a wheeled bin where they …”
Adam Schiff: (01:46:24)
“Where they carry the ballots.” No matter how many times senior department of justice officials, including his own attorney general, told the president that these allegations were not true, President Trump kept promoting these lies and putting pressure on state officials to accept them. On January 2nd, the president had a lengthy telephone conversation with Secretary Raffensperger. Prior to the president’s call though, I want to share a bit of important context. First, the White House, including the former president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, repeatedly called or texted the secretary’s office some 18 times in order to set up this call, they were quite persistent.
Adam Schiff: (01:47:06)
Second, chief of staff Mark Meadows took the extraordinary step of showing up at a signature audit site in Georgia, where he met with Secretary Raffensperger’s chief investigator, Francis Watson, who was supervising that audit process. Behind me is a photograph from that visit. Third, the day after Meadows’s Georgia visit, he set up a call between President Trump and Francis Watson. On the call between President Trump and Georgia investigator Francis Watson, the former president continued to push the false claim that he’d won the state of Georgia. Let’s listen to that part of the conversation.
Donald Trump: (01:47:47)
It’s just you have the most important job in the country right now, because if we win Georgia, first of all, if we win, you’re going to have two wins. They’re not going to win right now, they’re down, because the people of Georgia are so angry at what happened to me. They know I won by hundreds of thousands of votes, it wasn’t close.
Adam Schiff: (01:48:06)
In this next clip, he told this state law enforcement official that she’d be praised if she found the right answer.
Donald Trump: (01:48:13)
… When the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised. I don’t know why they made it so hard. They will be praised, people will say, ” Great,” because that’s what it’s about, that ability to check into it and to make it right, because everyone knows it’s wrong, there’s just no way.
Adam Schiff: (01:48:40)
Mr. Raffensperger, I know you weren’t on this call, but that you have listened to it. President Trump didn’t win by hundreds of thousands of votes in Georgia, did he?
Brad Raffensperger: (01:48:49)
No, he did not. I’ve been traveling through the state of Georgia for a year now, and simply put in a nutshell, what happened in the fall of 2020 is that 28,000 Georgians skipped the presidential race, and yet they voted down ballot in other races. The Republican congressmen ended up getting 33,000 more votes than President Trump, and that’s why President Trump came up short.
Adam Schiff: (01:49:16)
Thank you, Mr. Secretary. The president on this call doesn’t stop here, let’s listen to another part of the conversation between President Trump and Ms. Watson.
Donald Trump: (01:49:29)
Anyway, but whatever you can do, Francis, it’s a great thing, it’s an important thing for the country, it’s so important. You have no idea, it’s so important, and I very much appreciate it.
Adam Schiff: (01:49:42)
“Whatever you can do, Francis,” this is the president of the United States calling an investigator looking into the election in which he is a candidate, and asking her to “do whatever you can do”. Mr. Secretary, he placed this call to your chief investigator on September 23rd, 2020. The select committee has received text messages indicating that Mark Meadows wanted to send some of the investigators into her office, in the words of one White House aide, “A shitload of POTUS stuff, including coins, actual autographed MAGA hats, et cetera.” White House staff intervened to make sure that didn’t happen. It was clear at the time of this call that the former president had his sights set on January 6th. Listen to this portion, when he told Francis Watson about a very important date.
Donald Trump: (01:50:27)
Do you think they’ll be working after Christmas to keep it going fast? Because we have that date of the 6th, which is a very important date.
Adam Schiff: (01:50:38)
That important date, of course, was the joint session of Congress where Georgia’s electoral votes would be counted for Joe Biden. A little over a week after this call to Francis Watson, the president was finally able to speak with you, Secretary Raffensperger. Bear in mind as we discuss this call today that by this point in time early January, the election in Georgia had already been certified, but perhaps more important, the president of the United States had already been told repeatedly by his own top justice department officials that the claims he was about to make to you about massive fraud in Georgia were completely false.
Adam Schiff: (01:51:15)
Mr. Secretary, the call between you and the president lasted 67 minutes, over an hour. We obviously can’t listen to the entire recording here today, although it is available on the select committee’s website, but we’ll listen to selected excerpts of it now, so that we can get your insights. Let’s begin with the president raising the thoroughly debunked allegations of suitcases of ballots.
Donald Trump: (01:51:39)
… In an official voter box, they were in what looked to be suitcases or trunks, suitcases, but they weren’t in voter boxes. The minimum number it could be, because they watched it certified in slow motion instant replay, if you can believe it, but they had slow motion, and it was magnified many times over. The minimum it was was 18,000 ballots, all for Biden.
Adam Schiff: (01:52:10)
These are the allegations that the department of justice, the attorney general, the Georgia bureau of investigation, and your office had all said were false, is that right?
Brad Raffensperger: (01:52:19)
Correct, and even more importantly, when BJay Pak resigned as US attorney of the northern district, President Trump appointed as acting US attorney of the northern district Bobby Christine. Bobby Christine looked at that, and he was quoted in the AJC that he had found nothing, and he dismissed that case early on.
Adam Schiff: (01:52:39)
Thank you, Mr. Secretary. The president references suitcases or trunks, Mr. Sterling, were the objects seen in these videos suitcases or trunks, or were they just the ordinary containers that are used by election workers?
Mr. Sterling: (01:52:52)
They’re standard ballot carriers that allow for seals to be put on them, so that they’re tamper proof.
Adam Schiff: (01:52:57)
Finally, the president claims that there was a minimum of 18,000 ballots somehow smuggled in, all for Biden, I take it, gentlemen, that that was also categorically false.
Mr. Sterling: (01:53:08)
A, there’s no physical way he could know who those ballots were for, but secondarily, Fulton County for years has been an issue in our state when it comes to elections, so they had a very difficult time during the primary, in large part because of COVID. We had put them under a consent decree the secretary got negotiated, where we had a monitor onsite, and his name was Carter Jones. He took a notation, he had gone from State Farm to the English Street warehouse to look at election activities, but before he left the State Farm Arena, he noted how many ballots had been counted on each one of the machines. When he came back, after we found out they were working again, he took note again when they closed. I believe the final number was something around 8,900 total ballots were scanned from the time he left to the time of about 12:30 or 1:00 in the morning, so way below 18,000.
Adam Schiff: (01:53:59)
Let’s play the next clip.
Donald Trump: (01:54:00)
I heard it was close, I said, “There’s no way,” but they dropped a lot of votes in there late at night, you know that, Brad.
Adam Schiff: (01:54:10)
Mr. Secretary, did somebody drop a lot of votes there late at night?
Brad Raffensperger: (01:54:15)
No. I believe that the president was referring to some of the counties when they would upload, but the ballots had all been accepted, and had to be accepted by state law by 7:00 PM, so there were no additional ballots accepted after 7:00 PM.
Adam Schiff: (01:54:30)
Let’s play the next clip, in which the present makes claims about so-called dead voters.
Donald Trump: (01:54:38)
The other thing, so dead people voted, and I think the number is close to 5,000 people. They went to obituaries, they went to all sorts of methods to come up with an accurate number, and the minimum is close to about 5,000 voters.
Adam Schiff: (01:54:59)
Secretary, did your office investigate whether those allegations were accurate? Did 5,000 dead people in Georgia vote?
Brad Raffensperger: (01:55:07)
No, it’s not accurate, and actually in their lawsuits, they alleged 10,315 dead people. We found two dead people, when I wrote my letter to congress that’s dated January 6th, and subsequent to that, we found two more. That’s one, two, three, four people, not 4,000, but just a total of four, not 10,000, not 5,000.
Adam Schiff: (01:55:27)
Let’s play the next clip.
Donald Trump: (01:55:31)
There’s nothing wrong with saying that you’ve recalculated, because the 2,236 in absentee ballots, they’re all exact numbers that were done by accounting firms, law firms, et cetera. Even if you cut them in half, cut them in half, and cut them in half again, it’s more votes than we need.
Adam Schiff: (01:55:57)
Mr. Secretary, is there any way that you could’ve lawfully changed the result in the state of Georgia, and somehow explained it away as a recalculation?
Brad Raffensperger: (01:56:06)
No, the numbers are the numbers, and the numbers don’t lie. We had many allegations, and we investigated every single one of them. In fact, I challenged my team, “Did we miss anything?” They said that there was over 66,000 underage voters, we found that there was actually zero. You can register to vote in Georgia when you’re 17 and a half, you have to be 18 by election day, we checked that out, every single voter. They said that there was 2,423 non- registered voters, there were zero. They said that there was 2,056 felons, we identified 74 or less that were actually still on a felony sentence. Every single allegation we checked, we ran down the rabbit trail to make sure that our numbers were accurate.
Adam Schiff: (01:56:45)
There’s no way you could have recalculated, except by fudging the numbers?
Brad Raffensperger: (01:56:50)
The numbers were the numbers, and we could not recalculate because we had made sure that we had checked every single allegation. We had many investigations, we had nearly 300 from the 2020 election.
Adam Schiff: (01:57:03)
Mr. Secretary, you were trying to push back when the president made these unsupported claims, whether they were about suitcases of ballots or that Biden votes were counted three times. Let’s play the next clip.
Brad Raffensperger: (01:57:16)
… President, they did not put that. We did an audit of that, and we proved conclusively that they were not scanned three times. Yep. Mr. President, we’ll send you the link from WSB that [inaudible 01:57:27]-
Donald Trump: (01:57:27)
I don’t care about a link, I don’t need it. [inaudible 01:57:29] Brad, I have a much better link.
Adam Schiff: (01:57:35)
You told the president you would send him a link from WSB, which I understand is a local television station that had an unedited video from the State Farm Arena, but the president wasn’t interested in that. He said he had a much better link. Mr. Secretary, at the time that you were on the call with the president, as we have shown, both the FBI and the Georgia bureau of investigation had proven these claims to be nonsense, and you told him about these investigations on the phone. Let’s listen to what President Trump had to say about the state and federal law enforcement officers who investigated these false claims.
Donald Trump: (01:58:12)
There’s no way they could find … Then they’re incompetent, they’re either dishonest-
Ms. Mitchell: (01:58:17)
Well, what did they find?
Donald Trump: (01:58:18)
… Or incompetent, okay? There’s only two answers, dishonesty or incompetence, there’s just no way. Look, there’s no way.
Adam Schiff: (01:58:25)
But the president didn’t stop at insinuating that law enforcement officers were either dishonest or incompetent, he went on to suggest that you could be subject to criminal liability for your role in the matter. Before I play that portion of the conversation, I’d like to show you something that the president retweeted a couple weeks before your call with him. Here’s the president retweeting a post from one of his allies, a lawyer who was later sanctioned by a judge in Michigan for making false claims of election fraud. Let’s take a look at that tweet.
Adam Schiff: (01:58:58)
The tweet read, “President Trump @ realDonaldTrump is a genuinely good man, he does not really like to fire people. I bet he dislikes putting people in jail, especially ‘Republicans’. He gave @BryanKempGA and @GaSecofState every chance to get it right, they refused. They will soon be going to jail.” On your call, this was not the first time the president was suggesting you might be criminally liable. With that, let’s listen to this portion of the call.
Donald Trump: (01:59:32)
I think you’re going to find that they are shredding ballots because they have to get rid of the ballots, because the ballots are unsigned, the ballots are corrupt, and they’re brand new and they don’t have seals. There’s a whole thing with the ballots, but the ballots are corrupt, and you’re going to find that they are … Which is totally illegal, it’s more illegal for you than it is for them, because you know what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal offense, and you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer, that’s a big risk.
Adam Schiff: (02:00:10)
Secretary Raffensperger, after making a false claim about shredding of ballots, the president suggested that you may be committing a crime by not going along with his claims of election fraud. After suggesting that you might have criminal exposure, President Trump makes his most explicit ask of the call. Let’s play a part of that conversation.
Donald Trump: (02:00:34)
So [inaudible 02:00:35] look, all I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state.
Adam Schiff: (02:00:48)
Mr. Secretary, was the president here asking you for exactly what he wanted, one more vote than his opponent?
Brad Raffensperger: (02:00:58)
What I knew is that we didn’t have any votes to find, we had continued to look, we investigated, like I just shared the numbers with you, there were no votes to find. That was an accurate count that had been certified, and as our general counsel said, there was no shredding of ballots.
Adam Schiff: (02:01:15)
Mr. Secretary, after making this request, the president then goes back to the danger of having you deny these allegations of fraud. Let’s listen to that part of the clip.
Ms. Mitchell: (02:01:26)
I watched you this morning, and you said, ” Well, there was no criminality,” but all of this stuff is very dangerous stuff. When you talk about no criminality, I think it’s very dangerous for you to say that.
Adam Schiff: (02:01:42)
Secretary Raffensperger, you wrote about this in your book, and you said, “I felt then and still believe today that this was a threat.” Others obviously thought so too, because some of Trump’s more radical followers have responded as if it was their duty to carry out this threat. Please tell us what you, your wife, even your daughter-in-law experienced regarding threats from Trump’s more radical followers.
Brad Raffensperger: (02:02:08)
After the election, my email, my cell phone was doxxed, and so I was getting texts all over the country, and then eventually my wife started getting the texts, and hers typically came in as sexualized texts, which were disgusting. You have to understand that Trisha and I, we met in high school and we’ve been married over 40 years now, and so they started going after her, I think, just to probably put pressure on me, “Why don’t you just quit, walk away?” That happened, and then some people broke into my daughter-in-law’s home. My son has passed, and she’s a widow and has two kids, and so we’re very concerned about her safety also.
Adam Schiff: (02:02:50)
Mr. Secretary, why didn’t you just quit and walk away?
Brad Raffensperger: (02:02:55)
Because I knew that we had followed the law and we had followed the constitution, and I think sometimes moments require you to stand up and just take the shots when you’re doing your job, and that’s all we did. We just followed the law and we followed the constitution, and at the end of the day, President Trump came up short. I had to be faithful to the constitution, and that’s what I swore an oath to do.
Adam Schiff: (02:03:20)
During the remainder of the call, the former president continued to press you to find the remaining votes that would ensure his victory in Georgia. Let’s listen to a little more.
Donald Trump: (02:03:31)
Why wouldn’t you want to find the right answer, Brad, instead of keep saying that the numbers are right? Look, can you get together tomorrow? Brad, we just want the truth, it’s simple. Everyone’s going to look very good if the truth comes out, it’s okay, it’ll take a little while, but let the truth come out. The real truth is I won by 400,000 votes, at least, so what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes, fellas, I need 11,000 votes, give me a break.
Adam Schiff: (02:04:07)
Four days after the president’s call with Secretary Raffensperger was January 6th. The president whipped up the crowd in front of the ellipse, once again promoting the allegation that Secretary Raffensperger and the president’s own attorney general had told him was false. Here he is on the ellipse.
Donald Trump: (02:04:27)
In Fulton County, republican poll watchers were rejected, in some cases physically from the room under the false pretense of a pipe that burst, “A water main burst, everybody leave,” which we now know was a total lie. Then election officials pulled boxes, Democrats, and suitcases of ballots out from under a table, you all saw it on television, totally fraudulent, and illegally scanned them for nearly two hours totally unsupervised. Tens of thousands of votes, this act coincided with a mysterious vote dump of up to 100,000 votes for Joe Biden, almost none for Trump. That sounds fair. That was at 1:34 AM.
Adam Schiff: (02:05:16)
Mr. Secretary and Mr. Sterling, I want to thank you for your service to the state of Georgia and to the country. Speaker Bowers, likewise, I want to thank you for your service to the state of Arizona and to the country. You have served not only your home states but our nation and our democracy. Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
Bennie Thompson: (02:05:36)
Thank you, Mr. Schiff. I thank the witnesses for joining us today, you are now dismissed. I now welcome our final witness this afternoon, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss. Ms. Moss worked in the department of registration and elections in Fulton County, Georgia, from 2017 until 2022. In that job, Ms. Moss handled voter applications and absentee ballot requests, and also helped to process the vote count for several elections. In December 2020, Ms. Moss and her mother, Ms. Ruby Freeman, became the target of nasty lies spread by President Trump and his allies, as they sought to overturn the election results in Georgia. Ms. Moss and her mother, Ms. Freeman-
Mr . Chairman: (02:08:03)
Georgia, Ms. Moss and her mother, Ms. Freeman are two of the unsung heroes in this country doing the hard work of keeping our democracy functioning for every American. Ms. MOS, welcome. Thank you for your service and I thank you for being here today. I will now swear you in, please stand. Do you swear or affirm on the penalty of perjury that the testimony you’re about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God? Thank you. Please be seated. Let the record reflect that the witness answered in the affirmative. Ms Moss, thank you very much for being here today. I understand that you are here along with your mother today. Would you like to introduce your mama? Hi, mom.
Mr . Chairman: (02:09:14)
Ms. Moss, today we’ll be asking you about some of the threats that you received following the 2020 election. Since you’ve been an election worker for over 10 years, I want to ask you in your decade of service, had you ever experienced threats like these before? Don’t be nervous, I understand. And I want to make sure that the record reflects that you’ve done it for quite a while and you’ve never received a threat. And your answer was no. Thank you. Pursuant to Section 5-C-8 of the house resolution 503, the chair recognizes a gentlemen from California, Mr. Schiff for questions.
Adam Schiff: (02:10:15)
Good afternoon, Ms. Moss. Thank you for being here. I understand that you were employed by the Fulton County Registration and Elections department for more than 10 years. And I understand that you love that job. Please tell us what made you so fond of the work that you did?
Ms. Moss: (02:10:37)
Well, I’ve always been told by my grandmother how important it is to vote and how people before me, a lot of people, older people in my family did not have that right. So what I loved the most about my job were the older voters. Younger people could usually, do everything from their phone or go online but the older voters like to call, they like to talk to you, they like to get my card.
Ms. Moss: (02:11:12)
They like to know that every election I’m here and even college students, a lot of parents trusting me to make sure their child does not have to drive home. They’ll get an absentee ballot, they can vote and I really found pleasure in that. I liked being the one that if someone can’t navigate my voting page or they want a new precinct card and they don’t have a copy machine or a computer or all of that, I could put it in the mail for them. I was excited always about sending out all the absentee ballots for the elderly, disabled people. I even remember driving to a hospital to give someone her absentee application. That’s what I love the most.
Adam Schiff: (02:12:12)
So you really enjoyed helping people vote and participate and that was something… The right to vote that your grandmother taught you was precious.
Ms. Moss: (02:12:21)
Adam Schiff: (02:12:24)
Well, I know the events that we’re here to talk about today are incredibly difficult to relive. Your proud services as an election worker took a dramatic turn on the day that Rudy Giuliani publicized the video of you and your mother counting ballots on election night. President Trump, Rudy Giuliani and others claimed on the basis of this video that you and your mother were somehow involved in a plot to kick out observers, bring suitcases of false balance for Biden into the arena and then run them through the machines multiple times. None of that was true, was it?
Ms. Moss: (02:13:02)
None of it.
Adam Schiff: (02:13:04)
I’d like to show you some of the statements that Rudy Giuliani made in a second hearing before the Georgia state legislators a week after that video clip from State Farm Arena was first circulated by Mr. Giuliani and president Trump. I want to advise viewers that these statements are completely false and also deeply disturbing.
Speaker 7: (02:13:27)
Tape earlier in the day of Ruby Freeman and Shaye Freeman Mars, and one other gentleman quite obviously surreptitiously passing around USB ports as if their vials of heroin or cocaine. I mean, it’s obvious to anyone who’s a criminal investigator or prosecutor they’re engaged in surreptitiously illegal activity again that day and after a week ago and they’re still walking around Georgia lying. They should have been questioned already. Their places of work, their homes should have been searched for evidence of ballots for evidence of USB ports, for evidence of voter fraud.
Adam Schiff: (02:14:13)
That video was from Rudy Giuliani’s appearance at a Georgia state Senate hearing on December 10. How did you first become aware that Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer was accusing you and your mother of a crime?
Ms. Moss: (02:14:33)
I was at work like always and the former chief, Mr. Jones asked me to come to his office. And when I went to his office, the former director, Mr. Baron was in there and they showed me a video on their computer. It was just a very short clip of us working at State Farm. And it had someone on the video, talking over the video just saying that we were doing things that we weren’t supposed to do, just lying throughout the video and that’s when I first found out about it.
Adam Schiff: (02:15:30)
And were there social media posts that they showed you responding to those false claims?
Ms. Moss: (02:15:37)
Well, when I saw the video, of course, the first thing that I said was like, “Why are they doing this, what’s going on?” And they just told me that Trump and his allies were not satisfied with the outcome of the election. And they were getting a lot of threats and being harassed online and asked me, have I been receiving anything? And I need to check on my mom. And I told them I was like, “Where have you been getting these threats? I don’t believe I have any.” And Mr. Jones told me they’re attacking his Facebook and I don’t really use Facebook, I have one. So I went to the Facebook app and I’m just kind of panicky at this point because this has never happened to me and my mom is involved and I’m her only child. So I’m just asking him like, “Where are the messages? All I see is the feeds, how do you get to the messages?” And he said, “It’s another icon on your phone that says messenger,” and I went to that icon and it was just a lot of horrible things there.
Adam Schiff: (02:17:02)
And those horrible things, did they include threats?
Ms. Moss: (02:17:05)
Yes. A lot of threats, wishing death upon me, telling me that I’ll be in jail with my mother and saying things like, “Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920.”
Adam Schiff: (02:17:27)
Were a lot of these threats and vile comments racist in nature?
Ms. Moss: (02:17:33)
A lot of them were racist, a lot of them were just hateful but yes, sir.
Adam Schiff: (02:17:40)
In one of the videos we just watched, Mr. Giuliani accused you and your mother passing some sort of USB drive to each other. What was your mom actually, handing you on that video?
Ms. Moss: (02:17:52)
A ginger mint.
Adam Schiff: (02:17:56)
It wasn’t just Rudy Giuliani, we heard president Trump make these false allegations repeatedly during his call with Secretary Raffensperger. Let’s listen to a portion of what he had to say about you and your mother.
Speaker 8: (02:18:12)
We had at least 18,000 that’s on tape. We had them counted very mistakenly, 18,000 voters having to do with the Ruby Freeman, she’s a vote scammer, a professional vote scammer and hustler.
Adam Schiff: (02:18:34)
Donald Trump attacked you and your mother using her name 18 times on that call. Ms. Moss, can you describe what you experienced listening to former president Trump attack you and your mother in a call with the Georgia secretary of state?
Ms. Moss: (02:18:51)
I felt horrible. I felt like it was all my fault, if I would have never decided to be an elections worker I could have done anything else but that’s what I decided to do. And now people are lying and spreading rumors and lies and attacking my mom. I’m my only child, going to my grandmother’s house. I’m her only grandchild and my kid, it is just, I felt so bad. I just felt bad for my mom and I felt horrible for picking this job and being the one that always wants to help and always there and never missing out one election. I just felt like it was my fault for putting my family in this situation.
Adam Schiff: (02:19:46)
Well, it wasn’t your fault. Your mother was kind enough to come speak with us earlier. Let’s listen to her story and her words.
Ruby Freeman: (02:19:59)
My name is Ruby Freeman. I’ve always believed that when God says that he’ll make your name great but this is not the way it was supposed to be. I could have never imagined the events that followed the presidential election 2020. For my entire professional life, I was lady Ruby, my community in Georgia, where I was born and lived my whole life knew me as lady Ruby. I built my own business around that name, LaRuby’s Unique Treasures. Her pop-up shop catering to ladies with unique fashions. I wore a shirt that proudly proclaimed that I was and I am lady Ruby. Actually, I had that shirt on, I had that shirt of every color. I wore that shirt on election day 2020. I haven’t worn it since and I’ll never wear it again.
Ruby Freeman: (02:21:05)
Now, I won’t even introduce my myself by my name anymore. I get nervous when I bump into someone I know in the grocery store who says my name, I’m worried about who’s listening. I get nervous when I have to give my name for food orders. I’m always concerned of who’s around me. I’ve lost my name and I’ve lost my reputation. I’ve lost my sense of security all because a group of people starting with number 45 and his ally, Rudy Giuliani decided to scapegoat me and my daughter Shaye to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen.
Adam Schiff: (02:22:00)
Ms. Moss, how has this experience of being targeted by the former president and his allies affected your life?
Ms. Moss: (02:22:08)
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. I don’t want to go anywhere with my mom because she might yell my name out over the grocery aisle or something. I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere at all, I’ve gained about 60 pounds, I just don’t do nothing anymore. I don’t want to go anywhere. I second guess, everything that I do. It’s affect my life in a major way, in every way. All because of lies for me doing my job, same thing I’ve been doing forever.
Adam Schiff: (02:23:15)
Your mother also told us that committee about how she had to leave her own home for her safety and go into hiding. After the FBI told her that it would not be safe for her there before January 6th. And until the inauguration, let’s listen to a clip of her story in her own words.
Ruby Freeman: (02:23:34)
Around the week of January 6th, the FBI informed me that I needed to leave my home for safety and I left my home for safety around that time.
Speaker 9: (02:23:52)
Understood. How long did you stay out? Did remain outside of your home for your own safety?
Ruby Freeman: (02:23:59)
I stayed away from my home for approximately two months. It was horrible. I felt homeless, I can’t believe this person has caused this much damage to me and my family to have to leave my home. That I’ve lived there for 21 years and I’m having to have my neighbors watch out for me and I have to go and stay with somebody. It was hard, it was horrible.
Speaker 9: (02:24:36)
And your conversation with the FBI about needing to leave your home for your own safety or perhaps, recommending it, do you remember, was there a specific threat that prompted that or was it the accumulation of threats that you had received?
Ruby Freeman: (02:24:54)
What prompted it was getting ready to January 6th was about to come and they did not want me to be at home because of all the threats and everything that I had gotten. They didn’t want me to be there in fear of the people were coming to my home and I had a lot of that. So they didn’t want me to be there just in case something happened. I asked, “How long am I going to have to be at home?” And they said, at least until the inauguration.
Adam Schiff: (02:25:31)
Ms. Moss, I understand that people once showed up at your grandmother’s house, tell us about that experience.
Ms. Moss: (02:25:43)
I received a call from my grandmother. This woman is my everything, I’ve never even heard her or seen her cry ever in my life. And she called me screaming at the top of her lungs like “Shaye, oh my God,” just freaking me out saying that there were people at her home and they knocked on the door and of course, she opened it and seeing who was there, who it was. And they just started pushing their way through claiming that they were coming in to make a citizen’s arrest. They needed to find me and my mom, they knew we were there and she was just screaming and didn’t know what to do and I wasn’t there so I just felt so helpless and so horrible for her. And she was just screaming. I told her to close the door, don’t open the door for anyone.
Ms. Moss: (02:26:54)
And she’s a 70 something, I won’t say a old woman. And she doesn’t like having restrictions, she wants to answer the door. She likes to get her steps in, walking around the neighborhood and I had to tell her, “You can’t do that, you have to be safe.” She would tell me that at night, people would just continuously send pizzas over and over to her home. And they were expecting her to pay for these large amounts of pizzas and she went through a lot that she didn’t have to. And once again, it made me just feel so horrible.
Adam Schiff: (02:27:42)
In addition to the personal impact this experience has had on you and your family. One of the things that I find most disturbing is how these lies discourage longtime election workers from continuing to do this important work. Tell us if you would, of the other election workers shown in that State Farmer video and their supervisors. How many are still election workers in Fulton County?
Ms. Moss: (02:28:09)
There is no permanent election worker or supervisor in that video that’s still there.
Adam Schiff: (02:28:17)
And did you end up leaving your position as well?
Ms. Moss: (02:28:20)
Yes, I left.
Adam Schiff: (02:28:23)
Ms. Moss, I want to thank you for coming in to speak with us and to thank you for your service to our democracy. What we have just played is a truly horrible and appalling sample but just a sample of the things that were said about you and your mother following the election. I want to say how very sorry I think we all are for what you’ve gone through and tragically you’re not alone. Other election workers around the country have also been the subject of lies and threats. No election worker should be subject to such heinous treatment just for doing their job with your permission, I would like to give your mother the last word.
Ms. Moss: (02:29:01)
Adam Schiff: (02:29:04)
We’re just going to play the tape.
Ruby Freeman: (02:29:06)
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, lady Rudy, a small business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen who stand up to help Fulton County running the election in the middle of the pandemic.
Adam Schiff: (02:29:48)
Thank you, Ms. Moss. Thank you, Ms. Freeman or as America now knows her lady Ruby for your service to Fulton County, Georgia, our country and our democracy. Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
Mr. Chairman: (02:30:03)
Thank you, Mr. Schiff. Ms. Moss.
Ms. Moss: (02:30:07)
Mr. Chairman: (02:30:08)
I want to thank you for sharing with us the very troubling story of what you and your mother experienced. The harassment of election workers like you simply for doing your duty as public servants pose as a threat to our democratic process. Your testimony is an important contribution to the work of our committee and serves as a reminder to all of us that the safety of local election officials is vital to ensuring that our elections are always free and fair. I want to thank our witness for joining us today. The members of the select committee may have additional questions for today’s witness and we ask that you respond expeditiously in writing to those questions. Without objection, members will be permitted 10 business days to submit the statements for the record including opening remarks and additional questions for the witness. Without objection, the chair recognizes the gentleman from California, Mr. Schiff for a closing statement.
Adam Schiff: (02:31:28)
For more than 200 years, our democracy has been distinguished by the peaceful transfer of power. When an American raises their right hand and takes the presidential oath of office, they are transformed from an ordinary citizen into the most powerful person in the world, the president. This is an awesome power to acquire, it is even more awesome when it is handed on peacefully. When George, Washington relinquish the office of the presidency it set a precedent that served as a beacon for other nations struggling against tyranny. When Ronald Reagan described it as a kind of miracle in the eyes of the world, he was exactly right. Other countries use violence to seize and hold power but not in the United States, not in America. When Donald Trump used the power of the presidency to try to stay in office after losing the election to Joe Biden, he broke that sacred and centuries old covenant whether his actions were criminal will ultimately, be for others to decide.
Adam Schiff: (02:32:32)
But what he did was without a doubt unconstitutional, it was unpatriotic and it was fundamentally unAmerican. And when he used the power of his presidency to put the enormous pressure on state local and local elections officials and his own vice president, it became downright dangerous. On January 6th, that pressure became deadly. Ruby Freeman said the president is supposed to protect every American, not target them and she is right. If the most powerful person in the world can bring the full weight of the presidency down on an ordinary citizen, who is merely doing her job with a lie as big and heavy as a mountain who among us is safe? None of us is. In city councils and town councils, on school boards and election boards from the Congress to the courts, dedicated public servants are leaving their posts because of death threats to them and to their families. This is not who we are, it must not become who we are.
Adam Schiff: (02:33:49)
Our democracy held because courageous people like those you heard from today put their oath to the constitution above their loyalty to one man or to one party. The system held but barely and the question remains, will it hold again? If we are able to communicate anything during these hearings I hope it is this, we have been blessed beyond measure to live in the world’s greatest democracy. That is a legacy to be proud of and to cherish but it is not one to be taken for granted. That we have lived in a democracy for more than 200 years does not mean we shall do so tomorrow, we must reject violence. We must embrace our constitution with the reverence it deserves, take our oath of office and duties as citizens seriously, informed by the knowledge of right and wrong and armed with no more than the power of our ideas and the truth. Carry on this venerable experiment in self-governance. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and I yield back
Mr. Chairman: (02:35:00)
Without objection to chair recognized the gentlewoman from Wyoming, Ms. Cheney for a closing statement.
Ms. Cheney: (02:35:06)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Lady Ruby and Shaye, thank you for your courage, thank you for your strength. Thank you for being here today. It means so much for everyone to hear your story so thank you for that. We have had tremendous testimony today. We’ve been reminded that we’re a nation of laws and we’ve been reminded by you and by speaker Bowers and Secretary of State Raffensperger, Mr. Sterling, that our institutions don’t defend themselves individuals do that. And we’re reminded that it takes public servants, it takes people who’ve made a commitment to our system to defend our system. We also have been reminded what it means to take an oath under God to the constitution, what it means to defend the constitution. And we were reminded by speaker Bowers that our constitution is indeed a divinely inspired document. And so it’s been an honor to spend time with you and with our previous witnesses here today. To date more than 30 witnesses called before this committee have not done what you’ve done but have invoked their fifth amendment rights against self-incrimination.
Ms. Cheney: (02:36:19)
Roger Stone took the fifth general, General Michael Flynn took the fifth, John Eastman took the fifth. Others like Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro simply refused to comply with lawful subpoenas and they have been indicted. Mark Meadows has hidden behind president Trump’s claims of executive privilege and immunity from subpoenas, we’re engaged now in litigation with Mr. Meadows. The American people in our hearings have heard from Bill Barr, Jeff Rosen, Richard Donoghue and many others who stood up and did what is right and they will hear more of that testimony soon. But the American people have not yet heard from Mr. Trump’s former White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone. Our committee is certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here.
Ms. Cheney: (02:37:09)
Indeed, our evidence shows that Mr. Cipollone and his office tried to do what was right. They tried to stop a number of president Trump’s plans for January 6th. Today and in our coming hearings, you will hear testimony from other Trump White House staff explaining what Mr. Cipollone said and did including on January 6th. But 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. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
Mr. Chairman: (02:37:49)
People answer the call to public service in such different ways. Some run for office, some volunteer to make sure that neighbors can get to their voting locations, some work at polling sites to help election day go smoothly, some look into problems to guarantee our elections are secure and accurate, just to name a few. As I mentioned at the start of this hearing, when we talk about our democratic institutions, we are talking about these individuals and many others who do these jobs across the country. They represent the backbone of our democracy at its most important moments when the citizens cast their votes and when those votes are counted. We’ve heard the stories of their courage, they’ve earned the thanks of a grateful nation but for Donald Trump, these witnesses and others like them were another roadblock to his attempt to cling to power.
Mr. Chairman: (02:38:57)
On Thursday, we’ll hear about another part of that scheme. His attempt to corrupt the country’s top law enforcement body, the justice department to support his attempt to overturn the election. Just as we heard today that Donald Trump was deeply involved in the scheme to pressure state officials to overturn the election results, we will hear on Thursday that Donald Trump was also the driving force behind the effort to corrupt the justice department. Listen to this clip from the former Acting Attorney General Richard Donoghue.
Richard Donoghue: (02:39:42)
The president says, “Suppose I do this, suppose I replace him 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.”
Mr. Chairman: (02:40:03)
You’ll hear from-
Speaker 10: (02:40:03)
You’ll hear from Mr. Donahue in person on Thursday, as my colleague, Mr. Kinzinger, presents details about this plan. The chair requests those in the hearing room remain seated until the Capitol Police have escorted members from the room. Without objection, the committee stands adjourned.
Speaker 11: (02:45:27)
[inaudible 02:45:27] secondary guy [inaudible 02:45:35].
Speaker 12: (02:45:27)
Where are you from?
Speaker 11: (02:45:27)
Speaker 12: (02:45:41)
Speaker 13: (02:46:32)
Witness [inaudible 02:46:32]?
Speaker 14: (02:46:32)
Speaker 13: (02:46:32)
Mr. Thompson: (02:47:14)
[inaudible 02:47:14] door to bring it back.
Speaker 15: (02:47:25)
She very quickly me asked [inaudible 02:47:26].
Speaker 16: (02:47:27)
Yeah, she actually said, “I’m sorry.”
Speaker 15: (02:47:28)
She said sorry?
Speaker 16: (02:47:31)
Speaker 15: (02:47:33)
Speaker 16: (02:47:36)
She kind of whispered it. She goes, she goes, “I’m sorry.”
Mr. Thompson: (02:47:40)
She says, “I’m sorry”?
Speaker 16: (02:47:41)
Sorry. Yeah, like, “I’m sorry, I… ”
Mr. Thompson: (02:47:45)
Come explain to us the sorry. Why?
Mr. Thompson: (02:52:03)
There’s two people here who are [inaudible 02:52:03] than us, and it’s not [inaudible 02:52:05]. I promise you. [inaudible 02:52:14].
Mr. Thompson: (02:53:22)
Given what you said about [inaudible 02:53:22] Malone, can you continue on the hearing schedule that you’re on right now?
Mr. Thompson: (02:53:26)
We’re going to continue to reach out to Mr. [inaudible 02:53:28].
Speaker X: (02:53:28)
But can you continue doing hearings next week with these gaps?
Speaker X: (02:53:33)
Bring everyone to the other side [inaudible 02:53:35].
Mr. Thompson: (02:53:35)
What about your gaps?
Speaker X: (02:53:42)
Mr. Thompson: (02:53:44)
Wait, did anybody shoot that?
Speaker X: (02:53:45)
Actually, my [inaudible 02:53:45].
Mr. Thompson: (02:53:45)
Do you have a moment to speak to the [inaudible 02:53:45] camera?
Speaker 17: (02:53:45)
Mr. Thompson: (02:53:45)
Given that the committee wants to speak with more people like Pat [inaudible 02:53:56], will the committee be able to continue with hearings next week?
Speaker 17: (02:54:00)
I’ll leave it to the committee to discuss the schedule ahead, but I thought the testimony today was enormously powerful. We had, I think, good illustrations of the courageous public servants who stood up to the President of the United States from the Republican speakers of the House of Representatives in Arizona to the Secretary of State of Georgia, to election workers whose lives were the subject of the most gruesome threats and were really upended.
Speaker 17: (02:54:36)
I’m glad the American people got to see these courageous public servants, but also I’m glad they got to see the danger that the President’s lies put elected officials in all around the country.
Speaker X: (02:54:51)
[inaudible 02:54:51] The committee showed this phone call between Ronna McDaniel and the committee? She’s talking about the phone call with Donald Trump about his push to name an alternate slate of electors. Does the committee have any other evidence showing Donald Trump’s direct involvement in trying to name those so-called fake electors?
Speaker 17: (02:55:09)
I’m not going to comment on the evidence beyond what we submitted today, but what people need to understand is this elector plot was illegitimate from the start. It was all premised on a big lie about the election, a big lie that there was massive fraud. As Speaker Bowers testified, they were never presented with any evidence of this. And as Secretary Raffensperger testified, all of the claims that the President was making vis-a-vis the fraud in Georgia were simply false. It was all built on the same big lie, and the idea that you could convene state legislatures or operate in the absence of state legislatures and appoint electors on the basis of a big lie was fraudulent and illegitimate from the start.
Speaker X: (02:55:57)
[inaudible 02:55:57] Today we saw another example of a member of Congress’s involvement with the former President’s efforts overturned the election. Congressman Biggs has been mentioned in Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony and Ali Alexander’s testimony. You had a detail in an earlier hearing about Scott Perry trying to secure a pardon from the White House.
Speaker X: (02:56:15)
At what point are we going to see the committee try to do a little more enforcement of the subpoenas of the five House Republicans that you sent out, and is contempt still something that’s on the table for those five Republicans?
Speaker 17: (02:56:27)
Well, at the end of the day, we are dependent on the Justice Department, if we move down the route with any witness of criminal contempt. We continue to consider what remedies we have with any recalcitrant witnesses, including members of the House of Representatives. I don’t have anything to announce on that subject today, but again, I want to bring our focus back to what we just heard. What we just heard is, the President was told over and over again, by his Attorney General, by his Deputy Attorney General, by the US Attorney, he appointed in Georgia, among others, that what he was telling the country was simply false. And you saw him go out time after time, after being told way after way, that what he was saying was just a lie. Leading up to his speech on the ellipse, where he continues to whip up this crowd with these lies.
Speaker 17: (02:57:22)
Tragically, the warning that Gabe Sterling gave that someone was going to get killed, came all too much to fruition on January 6th, when people outside this building did get killed because of that big lie, because of that incitement that Gabe Sterling warned against. The fact is, the lie lives on and with it, so does the danger. This is, I think, what these witnesses were so powerfully communicating. If the President of the United States, the most powerful person in the world can come down like a ton of bricks on an election worker, like Andrea Moss and Ruby Freeman, then they can come down on anyone.
Speaker X: (02:58:08)
[inaudible 02:58:08] did the committee want to hear from Senator Johnson after learning that one of his staffers communicated with the Pence aid to try to hand off the alternate slate of electors?
Speaker 17: (02:58:16)
I’m not going to comment on potential future witnesses at this point. I want to keep the focus on what we just heard today.
Speaker X: (02:58:24)
[inaudible 02:58:24] a potential criminal charges against the President Trump and referring that to the DOJ. It seems like every hearing so far, and going to the next, one is tying him in that he knew was a big line. That he incited the violence, that he was [inaudible 02:58:39]. No one’s given us a clear answer, but it seems like that’s the way all the evidence is leaned towards right now. Would that be correct?
Speaker 17: (02:58:46)
I’ll have to make this last question. Look, our responsibility at the end of the day is not a prosecutorial responsibility. That’s for the Justice Department to decide. I think Judge Carter in California was right when he said that there is evidence that Donald Trump and his associates engaged in a plot to overturn the election that violated multiple criminal laws.
Speaker 17: (02:59:09)
I think there’s sufficient evidence to open that investigation. Now, whether the Justice Department will conclude there’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that’ll be up to the Justice Department. Our role is different. Our role is to find the facts, to share them with the American people and to prescribe remedies to keep our country safe. As we saw today, one of the things that’s necessary for us to keep the country safe is to put this big lie to rest, to restore people’s confidence in our elections. To push back on the idea that whenever you lose an election, that’s somehow rigged and illegitimate, because that way goes the end of our democracy. Thank you.
Speaker X: (02:59:49)
Thank you, guys. Thank you so much. [inaudible 02:59:52].
Mr. Thompson: (02:59:58)
Nothing to see here, guys. Nothing to see.
Speaker X: (03:00:02)
[inaudible 03:00:02]. That was hysterical. [inaudible 03:00:24].
Mr. Thompson: (03:00:23)
Hey, guys, let’s keep the floor clear, please.
Speaker X: (03:00:27)
[inaudible 03:00:27] I took a picture of him, and he’s in the middle of [inaudible 03:00:29] answer, and he stopped. He stopped in the middle [inaudible 03:00:29] standing right here, wrote about it in this article being about how it takes the veneer that… it’s like happened a bunch of times. [inaudible 03:00:43] been like, “Hey, wait. Does he still make those?” It’s actually kind of cool to cut them short a little bit and be like, “We’re all… ” I don’t know. [inaudible 03:00:50].
Mr. Thompson: (03:00:50)
[inaudible 03:00:50] that’s hysterical. I;ve seen him trying to keep a straight face [inaudible 03:01:02].
Speaker X: (03:01:05)
I got a call. See you guys later.
Mr. Thompson: (03:01:07)
All right, bye.
Speaker X: (03:01:08)
See you, dude. Thanks, again. Appreciate it. Thank you.
Mr. Thompson: (03:01:15)
[inaudible 03:01:15]. Did anybody shoot video of Cheney? Oh, you did?
Speaker X: (03:01:15)
Mr. Thompson: (03:01:36)
Oh, she did. Okay. [inaudible 03:01:36]