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Trump Thugs Terrorized Ordinary Americans
Jan 6 Committee Gets into the Nitty Gritty on Attempts to Overturn Election
Day 4 of the House Committee investigating the January 6 US Capitol attack sealed the deal with evidence that a fake electors scheme to change the results of the 2020 election wasn’t just some nutso fantasy.
According to testimony and documents by the committee, former President Donald Trump's team orchestrated a plot to overturn the 2020 election by organizing slates of alternate "fake electors" in seven pivotal states.
These fake electors submitted false certifications of Trump victories to the National Archives in hopes of having then-Vice President Mike Pence substitute them for the actual electoral votes that made Joe Biden president.
Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said in pre-recorded testimony that Trump called her so that one of his lawyers, John Eastman, could outline how the party organization could play its part in trying to certify Trump slates from states that voted for Biden.
Everybody from the then-President of the United States down to street thugs motivated by fabrications broadcast by Fox News had a role to play.
Donald Trump had a “direct and personal role” in the attempt to defraud the United States with a fake elector scheme, in concert with former Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said in her opening statement.
California Representative Adam Schiff pointed to a judicial ruling with the same conclusion, “According to federal district Judge David Carter, President Trump and others likely violated multiple federal laws by engaging in this scheme to defraud the United States.”
Despite all the big names names cited in early presentations, it was ordinary Americans who made this hearing special.
The witnesses appearing before the committee on this day were state election officials, testifying to the pressures brought upon themselves by the former president to change election results.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican; his deputy and Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Sterling—also a Republican—and Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker for the Arizona House of Representatives told their stories in the first round of testimony.
On Saturday, January 2, President Trump held an hour-long call to Raffensperger during which he repeatedly urged him to alter the outcome of the presidential vote in the state. He was joined on the call by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and several lawyers, including longtime conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell and Georgia-based attorney Kurt Hilbert.
The phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State was recorded, and the Washington Post published a transcript.
From NBC News:
As part of his effort, Trump threatened Raffensperger with criminal prosecution if he did not provide these votes. The then-president complained that Raffensperger’s office was not acting on the claims of election fraud being promoted by Trump and his allies, including claims that ballots had been shredded and that unsigned ballots had been counted — all claims that Raffensperger’s office correctly denied.
Trump told Raffensperger that not acting on these claims was “a criminal offense.”
As was true with all the committee witnesses who testified on Tuesday, Raffensperger and his family were then targets for an unrelenting campaign of threats.
Gabriel Sterling, the GA secretary of state chief operating officer, testified under oath today about the experience he had leading up to his now famous press conference where he beseeched Trump to stop promoting lies about fraud in the election.
Sterling says trying to push back against Trump's lies and misinformation about the Georgia results was "like a shovel trying to empty the ocean."
Rusty Bowers, speaker of Arizona’s state house, told the committee that the harassment continues to this day.
"We received... in excess of 20,000 emails and tens of thousands of voicemails and texts, which saturated our offices and we were unable to work, at least communicate"
The witness - who campaigned for Trump in 2020 - said the threats and insults have continued with protests outside his house and confrontations with neighbors.
He testified about pro-Trump protesters showing up at his house with trucks with video panels calling him a pedophile, a pervert, and a corrupt politician.
Round two of the day’s testimony featured an ordinary citizen caught up in a terrifying situation. She is an American hero for coming forth to tell her truth.
“Shaye” Moss, a former election worker in Georgia, was falsely accused by Trump and attorney Rudy Giuliani, who accused her and her mother Ruby Freeman of stuffing suitcases with ballots for Biden on election night.
The testimony was about as emotional as it gets for a Capitol Hill setting, and if you didn’t come away feeling as though Giuliani and his main client were scum, you weren’t listening.
Tuesday’s witnesses made it clear that the weeks leading up to Jan. 6 helped insert violence into
American elections. The Big Lie at the heart of the Trump strategy is connected to a rising domestic extremist threat, according to warnings from the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security.
Tom Nichols at The Atlantic has some insight into the origins of the real or threatened violence arising from MAGA-land.
We know from studies (and from experience as human beings) that being wrong makes us feel uncomfortable. It’s an actual physiological sensation, and when compounded by humiliation, it becomes intolerable. The ego cries out for either silence or assent. In the modern media environment, this fear expresses itself as a demand for the comfort of massive doses of self-justifying rage delivered through the Fox or Newsmax or OAN electronic EpiPen that stills the allergic reaction to truth and reason.
These outlets are eager to oblige. It’s not you, the hosts assure the viewers. It’s them. You made the right decisions years ago and no matter how much it now seems that you were fooled and conned, you are on the side of right and justice.
This therapy works for as long as the patient is glued to the television or computer screen. The moment someone like Bowers or Kinzinger or Liz Cheney appears and attacks the lie, the anxiety and embarrassment rise like reflux in the throat, and it must be stopped, even if it means threatening to kill the messenger.
No one who truly believes they are right threatens to hurt anyone for expressing a contrary view. The snarling threat of violence never comes from people who calmly believe they are in the right. It is always the instant resort of the bully who feels the hot flush of shame rising in the cheeks and the cold rock of fear dropping in the pit of the stomach.
Email me at WritetoDougPorter@Gmail.com