January 6 Commission | “The President of the United States targeted me”

“There is no place where I feel safe. Do you know how it feels when the President of the United States takes aim at you? The President of the United States is meant to represent every American, not target one. But he set his sights on me. Lady Ruby. »

Posted at 5:00 am
Updated at 6:34 am

Richard Hetu

Richard Hetu
special collaboration

Since beginning its public hearings, the Jan. 6 commission has heard witnesses who could help it demonstrate the illegal or unconstitutional nature of efforts by Donald Trump and members of his entourage to void the 2020 presidential election.

On Tuesday, during its fourth hearing, the commission didn’t abandon that approach, returning to the pressure the former president and his allies had been putting on Republican officials in Arizona and Georgia, among others, to change the election results.

But she did more, giving a voice to two Fulton County, Georgia poll workers who were victims of Donald Trump’s personal cruelty.

Along with Rudolph Giuliani and other allies, the former president invented a conspiracy theory and falsely accused Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Shaye Moss, of voter fraud and then subjected them to threats that ruined their lives.

“I’ve lost my name and reputation,” Ruby Freeman, a 70-year-old, said in a statement provided by the commission. “I lost my sense of security, all because of a group of people starting with number 45 [Donald Trump] and his ally Rudy Giuliani decided to make me a scapegoat to spread his own lies about how the presidential election was stolen. »

His daughter, who testified in person, particularly recalled the racist messages sent to her on Facebook. One of Donald Trump’s supporters wrote, “Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920.”

During her testimony, Shaye Moss recalled the joy she had through 2020 in helping African Americans of a certain age exercise the right to vote that some had been denied.

Des menaces devant chez lui

Trois responsables républicains ont également témoigné en personne. L’un d’eux, Rusty Bowers, président de la Chambre des représentants de l’Arizona, a qualifié de « troublantes, tout simplement troublantes », les menaces dont lui et sa famille ont fait l’objet après son refus de céder aux pressions de Donald Trump.

« Chez nous, jusqu’à récemment, c’était un nouveau rituel dans nos vies de s’inquiéter de ce qui va se passer le samedi », a-t-il raconté en évoquant les divers groupes qui venaient manifester devant son domicile pour l’accuser de pédophilie et de corruption, entre autres.

M. Bowers, qui a voté deux fois pour Donald Trump, a raconté que l’ancien président et M. Giuliani l’avaient pressé de tenir une audition parlementaire sur le scrutin présidentiel en Arizona et de remplacer les grands électeurs de Joe Biden par une liste favorable à Donald Trump.

Il s’est souvenu d’avoir demandé à M. Giuliani de lui fournir des preuves de fraude électorale en Arizona. L’ancien maire de New York a répondu, selon son témoignage : « Nous avons beaucoup de théories. Nous n’avons tout simplement pas de preuves. »

« Je ne voulais pas être utilisé comme un pion », a déclaré M. Bowers devant la commission du 6-Janvier.


Rusty Bowers

J’ai dit [à Donald Trump] “Listen, you’re asking me to do something that’s against my oath, even though I’m sworn by the Constitution to uphold it.”

Rusty Bowers, Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives

An hour before Mr. Bowers’ hearing began, Donald Trump released a statement that Arizona lawmakers had told him that the Arizona presidential election was “rigged.” During his testimony, Mr Bowers denied making any such comments.

votes “to find”

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his right-hand man Gabriel Sterling also testified personally about pressure from Donald Trump and his allies to change the results of their state’s presidential election.

“There were no votes to be found,” Mr. Raffensperger said, referring to his January 2, 2021 phone interview with Donald Trump, in which the latter asked him to find the “11,780 votes” he needed to beat Joe Biden in the peach state.

“We had an accurate count that was confirmed,” he added.

The Jan. 6 commission heard testimony implicating Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs and Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson in efforts by the Trump camp to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The commission’s next hearing, scheduled for Thursday, will focus on the pressure Donald Trump is using to “corrupt” the US Justice Department.

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