3 takeaways from day four of the January 6 hearings

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(TSWT) – The latest hearing before the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurgency on Tuesday revealed new details about how former President Donald Trump lobbied state officials for the help cancel the 2020 presidential election.

The panel featured testimony from three Republican officials who were all recipients of Trump’s post-election outreach: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, his deputy Gabe Sterling, and the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives. , Rusty Bowers.

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As in previous hearings, these officials testified to their reluctance to participate in legally dubious schemes that would jeopardize the election, including efforts to overthrow the Electoral College with bogus pro-Trump voters.

Here are the main takeaways from Tuesday’s hearing:

Committee reveals new details about how congressional Republicans helped Trump’s effort to void election

Tuesday’s hearing featured new details about two congressional Republicans who played a role in Trump’s sprawling efforts to try to undo his 2020 election defeat.

The first was Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, who called Bowers on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, asking him to support his state’s voter decertification for Biden.

“I said I wouldn’t,” Bowers said Tuesday.

The second occurred several hours later, minutes before then-Vice President Mike Pence swung the gavel during the joint session of Congress to certify the electoral votes. According to text messages obtained by the committee, an aide to GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin asked an aide to Pence how Johnson could hand-deliver to him the fake Trump voter lists from Michigan and Wisconsin, which had no not been sent to the National Archives. Pence’s aide replied that Johnson should “not give him that.”

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The effort to decertify Biden voters and come up with fake Trump voters was part of Team Trump’s plan to stop congressional certification of the Jan. 6 election. The role played by Trump allies in Congress was of interest to the committee, which subpoenaed five House GOP members, including Biggs and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

House Republicans did not comply with the subpoenas and denounced the panel’s investigation.

The committee’s chairman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, told TSWT’s Manu Raju during a hearing adjournment on Tuesday that the committee had “not yet” contacted Johnson amid revelations about his involvement. in the scheme of false voters.

“The committee has not made a decision” on whether to call him to testify, Thompson said.

Republican officials take initiative to testify against Trump

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Again, the Democratic-led Jan. 6 committee turned to Republican officials to make their case against Trump. In fact, the majority of in-person witnesses so far have been Republicans.

Tuesday’s hearing featured in-person testimony from three conservative Republicans who endorsed Trump in 2020. The committee also played deposition clips from two other GOP officials: the state Senate majority leader of Michigan, Mike Shirkey, and Pennsylvania House Speaker, Bryan Cutler.

They all provided damning testimony against Trump, describing how he repeatedly tried to twist their arms and cajole them to undo the results. They also described the threats and pressure they faced from Trump supporters who believed his election was a lie and demonstrated outside their homes and offices, and bombarded them with calls and text messages.

One of the GOP’s main complaints about the committee is that it’s packed with Democrats. And that’s largely because Republican leaders declined to participate last summer. But so far, the most damaging testimony has come from Republicans and members of Trump’s inner circle.

Arizona’s top Republican rebuts Trump in real time

Bowers said under oath on Tuesday that Trump lied about him in a press release issued shortly before the start of the hearing, where Trump claimed that Bowers told him in November 2020 that he thought the election was over. rigged.

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In the statement, Trump attacked Bowers and described a call they had after the election, saying “during the conversation he told me the election was rigged and I won Arizona.” . Trump added: “Bowers should hope there is no recording of the conversation.”

Asked by Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, Bowers confirmed that he “had a conversation with the president, but that’s definitely not it.”

“There are parts that are true, but there are parts that aren’t,” Bowers said of Trump’s statement. “…Anywhere, anyone at any time who said I said the election was rigged – that wouldn’t be true.”

The comments were a real-time rebuttal from the former president. While Trump can say whatever he wants in a press release, Bowers is required to testify honestly before Congress and could be prosecuted for lying under oath.

The back and forth recalls Trump’s infamous conversations with former FBI Director James Comey in 2017, where Trump lied about what they discussed and raised the specter of “tapes.” Like Bowers, Comey testified to Congress, under penalty of perjury, about conversations with Trump.

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