Jan. 6 hearing updates: A former Georgia election worker describes being singled out by Trump

Published June 21, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT
A woman with long hair speaks into a microphone
Mandel Ngan
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AFP via Getty Images
Former Georgia election worker Shaye Moss testifies during the Jan. 6 committee hearing on Thursday.

Shaye Moss and her mother were targets of a false conspiracy theory spread by the former president and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani. "I felt horrible for picking this job, for being the one who wants to help," she said.

Here's what else we're following:

Arizona's House speaker under pressure: Both former President Trump and Giuliani pushed Republican Rusty Bowers to set up a vote in the Arizona legislature to decertify its electors. “You are asking me to do something against my oath, and I will not break my oath,” he said.

The debate over criminal charges: Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., urged the Department of Justice to pay attention to the evidence the committee is presenting amid a debate over whether the committee should send a formal criminal referral to DOJ.

"Unparalleled access and exclusive interviews": A British documentary filmmaker said he complied with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee to turn over never-before-seen footage of Trump in the leadup to the insurrection.

Upcoming hearings

Next up for the Jan. 6 committee: pressure on the Justice Department

Posted June 21, 2022 at 4:51 PM EDT
US Representative Adam Kinzinger looks on during a House Select Committee hearing.
Mandel Ngan
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AFP via Getty Images
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., looks on during a House select committee hearing.

One of the committee's two Republican members, Adam Kinzinger, will lead the next hearing, scheduled for Thursday afternoon, which will focus on the intense pressure former President Donald Trump put on the Justice Department to try to help overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue are expected to testify. Both repeatedly pushed back on Trump's efforts to enlist the department in advancing bogus claims of fraud in the election. They also refused to throw the Justice Department's weight behind strategies that would overturn the election results.

Trump badgered them in at least nine calls and meetings that began shortly after former Attorney General Bill Barr announced his resignation, and continued into early January 2021, according to a report by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

At one point, Trump said, "Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen," according to testimony from the former Justice Department lawyers.

In a high-stakes meeting at the White House, only days before the assault on the Capitol, Donoghue and other DOJ lawyers threatened to resign en masse if Trump replaced the acting attorney general with environmental lawyer Jeffrey Bossert Clark, perceived by Trump as more willing to go along with the questionable strategies. Steven Engel, who headed the Office of Legal Counsel, told Trump he would have no choice but to quit — and that others would follow. He also is likely to appear in person at Thursday's hearing

Clark appeared before the House committee in February for a deposition and asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination dozens of times.

Witness testimony

In Jan. 4 call, Eastman told Bowers to decertify electors' votes in Arizona

Posted June 21, 2022 at 4:37 PM EDT
Left: John Eastman Right: Rusty Bowers
Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post; Mandel Ngan
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AFP via Getty Images
Trump lawyer John Eastman is at left, while Arizona Republican House Speaker Rusty Bowers is at right.

John Eastman, a lawyer for then-President Donald Trump, called Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers on Jan. 4, 2021 — two days before the Capitol insurrection.

Bowers said that in the phone call Eastman essentially asked him to violate his oath of office. After telling Bowers he should take a vote in Arizona to decertify the electors who went for President Biden, Eastman said that Bower had the authority to do so and there was strong justification for it, Bowers recalled.

"'Again, I took an oath. For me to do what you do would be counter to my oath,' " Bowers said he told Eastman in the phone call.

Bowers said that after he asked Eastman, "What would you have me do?" Eastman said, "Just do it and let the courts sort it out."

Bowers recalled that he then told Eastman: "You're asking me to do something that’s never been done in 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? ... No, sir."

Witness testimony

Georgia election officials fact-check the infamous Trump phone call in real time

Posted June 21, 2022 at 4:24 PM EDT
Two men wearing suits and ties sit at a table with microphones.
Mandel Ngan
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AFP via Getty Images
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, left, and the chief operating officer for the office, Gabriel Sterling, arrive to testify Tuesday.

Former President Donald Trump infamously pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to overturn the state's presidential election result in a January 2021 phone call that lasted more than an hour.

At Thursday's hearing, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., played clips of that recording in front of Raffensperger and Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling, pausing to ask them questions and fact-check Trump's false claims in real time.

Schiff also led with some important context about what preceded the Jan. 2 call. The White House was persistent in trying to reach Raffensperger, with staffers including former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows calling and texting his office 18 times to try to set up a call with the president.

Meadows himself visited a signature-auditing site in Georgia to meet with the chief investigator who was supervising the process there. Trump spoke on the phone with that investigator, Frances Watson, the following day, continuing to push false claims and telling her that "when the right answer comes out, you'll be praised."

Notably, Trump had already been told repeatedly by top Justice Department officials that his claims about widespread voter fraud in Georgia — the claims he would go on to make in the 67-minute phone call with Raffensperger — were completely false. And Georgia had already investigated those claims, found none, and certified its election results.

"I've been traveling through the state of Georgia for a year now, and simply put, in a nutshell, what happened in fall of 2020 is that 28,000 Georgians skipped the presidential race, and yet they voted down-ballot in other races," Raffensperger said Tuesday. "And the Republican congressman ended up getting 33,000 more votes than President Trump, and that's why President Trump came up short."

Here are some highlights from their exchange.

Trump's Inner Circle

Cheney calls on former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to testify

Posted June 21, 2022 at 4:15 PM EDT
White House counsel Pat Cipollone.
Greg Nash
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Pool/The Hill/AP
Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.

More than 30 witnesses have invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination or not appeared before the committee, said Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., in closing remarks, adding that a number of Trump allies have spoken with the committee.

But another remains: Trump's former White House counsel, Pat Cipollone.

“Our committee is certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here,” Cheney said. “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 Jan. 6.”

Cipollone, a key attorney in Trump's Senate impeachment defense, was among the Trump aides whopushed back against a plan to pressure the Justice Department to overturn the 2020 election results, according to a Senate Judiciary Committee report.

Cheney said that in upcoming hearings, former White House staff will testify to what Cipollone said and did, including on Jan. 6.

“He should appear before this committee and we are working to secure his testimony,” Cheney said.

Election Workers

Former Georgia election worker on threats after being targeted by Trump and Giuliani: 'It's turned my life upside down'

Posted June 21, 2022 at 4:03 PM EDT
Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, a former Georgia election worker, and her mother Ruby Freeman, right.
Jacquelyn Martin
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AP
Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, a former Georgia election worker, and her mother Ruby Freeman, right.

The life of Shaye Moss, a former Georgia election worker who was the target of a conspiracy theory spread by former President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, changed after the 2020 election, with violent threats toward her and her family, forcing Moss to hide her identity and leave her job.

"It’s turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card. ... I don’t want anyone knowing my name," Moss told the hearing.

“I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere at all. I’ve gained about 60 pounds. I don’t do nothing anymore," she added, wiping away a tear.

"I second guess everything that I do. It's affected my life in a major way — in every way. All because of lies."

Moss said she hadn't known about threats being made against her by those who believed Trump and Giuliani's allegations until one of her supervisors called her into his office and told her to check her Facebook account, which she doesn't often use.

“I'm just panicky at this point, because this has never happened to me and my mom is involved," Moss told the committee. “I went to that icon and it was just a lot of horrible things there ... 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.' "

"A lot of them were racist," Moss said of the messages. "A lot them were just hateful."

In his false accusations, Giuliani said that Moss handed her mother, also an election worker, a thumb drive "like they were vials of heroin or cocaine." Moss said that, in reality, her mother handed her a ginger mint.

Moss said she blamed herself and her career choice for the attacks on her mother, and on her grandmother.

"I felt horrible for picking this job, for being the one who wants to help," she said. "I felt it was my fault for putting my family in this situation.”

Moss' mother, Ruby Freeman, did not testify in person but the committee played video from Freeman's testimony to the committee. Freeman was also personally targeted by the former president, who once used her name 18 times in a call with the Georgia secretary of state, the committee said.

Now, Freeman said in the video, she doesn't use her name in public, after years of being known as "Lady Ruby" in her community.

"I don’t introduce myself by name anymore. ... I'm worried about who's listening," she said. “I get nervous when I have to give my name for food orders."

“I’ve lost my name. I’ve lost my reputation. I’ve lost my sense of security," Freeman said.

Witness testimony

Trump campaign tried to use 'fake electors' to sway the electoral vote certification

Posted June 21, 2022 at 3:11 PM EDT

As Rep. Adam Schiff reminded listeners and viewers, every four years Americans cast their votes not directly for presidential candidates but for electors pledged to those candidates to the Electoral College.

In December, electors in each state meet, cast their votes and send those votes to Congress, which meets in January to count those votes, and the winner becomes president.

Schiff spent several minutes detailing how, as he put it, former President Donald Trump and his campaign "were directly involved in advancing and coordinating the plot to replace Biden electors with fake electors not chosen by the voters."

He said that entailed convincing fake electors to cast and submit votes through fake certificates that said they would only be used in the event that Trump won his legal challenges — but continued the scheme even after courts rejected those lawsuits. Even Trump's own lawyers doubted the legal basis of the plan and some walked away rather than participate, he added.

He then played a video showing Casey Lucier, investigative counsel for the committee, outlining the details of that plan. She said the committee heard testimony that people close to Trump hatched a plan to organize fake electors for Trump in states that he lost in the weeks after the election.

Video clips captured testimony from former Trump staffers who were involved in or knew of the plot, lawyers who warned against it and Republican Party officials. They also detailed the lengths the Trump campaign and fake electors took to carry out the scheme.

Lucier said one group of fake electors even considered hiding overnight to ensure that they could access the state capitol in Michigan. In one state, fake electors asked for a promise that the Trump campaign would pay their legal fees if they were sued or charged with a crime.

Fake electors did ultimately meet on Dec. 14, 2020, in the battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada and Wisconsin, she said. At the request of the Trump campaign, the electors signed documents falsely asserting that they were the "duly elected" electors, then submitted them to the National Archives and to Vice President Mike Pence in his capacity as president of the Senate.

The committee also obtained documents showing that the Trump campaign took steps to ensure the physical copies of those votes from two states were delivered to Washington, D.C., for Jan. 6, the day the vote was to be certified.

Lucier cited text messages between Republican Party officials in Wisconsin showing that on Jan. 4, the Trump campaign asked for someone to fly the fake electors' documents to Washington.

She also displayed a screenshot of a text that a staffer for Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson sent to a Pence staffer just minutes before Congress began its joint session on Jan. 6. The Johnson staffer — identified as Sean Riley, the senator's chief of staff — said Johnson needed to hand something to Pence, explaining that they were an "alternate slate of electors for MI and WI because archivist didn't receive them."

Pence's aide, Chris Hodgson, instructed Riley not to deliver them to the vice president.

Shortly after the testimony, a spokesperson for Johnson, Alexa Henning, said the senator had no involvement in the creation of an alternate slate of electors and didn't know that they would be delivered to his office.

"This was a staff to staff exchange. His new Chief of Staff contacted the Vice President’s office," Henning tweeted. "The Vice President’s office said not to give it to him and we did not. There was no further action taken. End of story."

Even though the fake elector 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.

Testimony

Arizona Republican lawmaker details pressure campaign and threats

Posted June 21, 2022 at 2:35 PM EDT
Rusty Bowers, Arizona House Speaker, testifies during today's hearing.
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Rusty Bowers, Arizona House Speaker, testifies during Tuesday's hearing.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican, told the committee during today's hearing about the pressure put on him by former President Donald Trump and his allies, including Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Bowers testified that Giuliani told him of allegations of voter fraud committed by undocumented immigrants or dead people who were listed as having voted.

Bowers said he and other GOP legislators pushed for explanations into the theories and for Giuliani to provide sufficient evidence to justify recalling the state's presidential electors.

“In my recollection,” Bowers said of Giuliani, “he said, We have lots of theories we just don’t have the evidence.' ”

Bowers said Giuliani pressured him to call the Arizona legislature back into session — a unilateral move Bowers said he cannot do — to recall the electors that would be going to President Biden after Biden beat Trump in the state.

“It is a tenet of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired,” he said, growing visibly emotional. “I would not do it.”

The former president asked him to hold a hearing to investigate allegations of fraud in Arizona, he said, but added he didn’t think the evidence “merited a hearing.”

“You are asking me to do something against my oath, and I will not break my oath,” he said he told Trump and Giuliani, to which the former New York mayor said: “Aren’t we all Republicans here? I would think we’d get a better reception.”

Lawyer John Eastman also put pressure on Bowers, asking him during a phone call to set up a vote in the legislature to decertify the electors for the state.

“His suggestion was that we would do it, and I said I can’t,” Bowers said, adding that Eastman pressured him by telling him to “just do it and let the courts sort it out.”

Bowers told the committee that his office was subject to over 20,000 emails, thousands of voicemails and texts from those who believed he was wrong to not recall the electors.

"Up until recently, it is a new pattern in our lives to worry what will happen on Saturdays," he said about his family. "Because we have various groups come by."

Groups have video trucks accusing Bowers of being a pedophile and corrupt politician, blaring loudspeakers and threatening him and his neighbors.

"It was disturbing," he said, getting emotional again.

Vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., hugs Rusty Bowers, Arizona state House Speaker, during a break.
Jacquelyn Martin
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AP
Vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., hugs Rusty Bowers, Arizona state House Speaker, during a break.

Opening statements

Trump's scheme was dangerous even though it ultimately failed, Schiff says

Posted June 21, 2022 at 2:01 PM EDT
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., dpeaks during fourth hearing.
J. Scott Applewhite
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AP
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during Tuesday's hearing.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said that Trump's pressure campaign to overturn the 2020 election damaged the country, even though it ultimately failed to accomplish his goal.

Schiff described in his opening remarks Trump's efforts to stop the counting of the vote on Election Day that included attempting to stop legislatures and governors from certifying the results.

When those efforts failed, Schiff said the Trump campaign "assembled groups of individuals in key battleground states and got them to call themselves electors, created phony certificates associated with these fake electors and then transmitted these certificates to Washington, and to the Congress, to be counted during the joint session of Congress on January 6th."

Describing the former president's lies as a "dangerous cancer on the body politic," Schiff cited federal district judge David Carter as saying Trump and others likely violated multiple federal laws — including conspiracy to defraud the United States — through their actions.

"If you can convince Americans that they cannot trust their own elections, that anytime they lose, it is somehow illegitimate, then what is left but violence to determine who should govern?" he added.

Trump and his campaign ratcheted up pressure on state legislatures and election officials, accusing all sorts of elected officials, public servants and volunteers of being criminals, and the former president's supporters took those claims as a call to action, Schiff said, before playing several video clips of targets describing the dangers they faced.

"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," he said. "This pressure campaign brought angry phone calls and texts, armed protests, intimidation, and, all too often, threats of violence and death."

He called those threats as "a dangerous precursor" to the violence the nation witnessed on Jan. 6, and characterized Tuesday's witnesses as some of the very last safeguards protecting American democracy.

"The system held, but barely," he said. "And the system held because people of courage, Republicans and Democrats, like the witnesses you will hear today, put their oath to the country and the constitution above any other consideration. They did their jobs. As we must do ours."

Opening statements

Thompson calls Trump's pressure campaign a 'fundamental part of the playbook'

Posted June 21, 2022 at 2:01 PM EDT
Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., to the hearing.
Jacquelyn Martin
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AP
Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., to the hearing.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chair of the Jan. 6 committee, said today's hearing would focus on former President Donald Trump's promotion of lies about the 2020 election, his pressure campaign on elections officials and its far-reaching consequences on democracy.

Thompson promised to show that the pressure Trump placed on former Vice President Mike Pence not to certify the election results was not an isolated incident, but part of a scheme to overturn the election.

"In fact, pressuring public servants into betraying their oaths was a fundamental part of the playbook," Thompson said. "And a handful of election officials in several key states stood between Donald Trump and the upending of American democracy."

Thompson reminded listeners and viewers of why only a handful of states played a role in this so-called scheme, based on how the Electoral College system works. Trump wanted local and state election officials to use allegations of widespread voter fraud to justify throwing out the results.

And Thompson said when public servants refused, Trump made sure they would face consequences, citing threats to their jobs and lives. Those dangers still remain, Thompson added.

"As in our other hearings, we can’t just look backward at what happened in late 2020 and early 2021," he said. "Because the danger hasn’t gone away. Our democracy endured a mighty test on Jan. 6 and in the days before. We say our institutions held. But what does that really mean? Democratic institutions aren’t abstractions or ideas. They’re local officials who oversee elections."

He pointed to New Mexico, which recently held primary elections. One county commission refused to certify its results, citing unsupported claims about its voting machines, and two of the three members finally relented only after the courts stepped in.

Thompson said the story illustrates two key points: Trump's claims about voter fraud were always based on lies (and that he knew that but spread them anyway), and that lies continue to corrupt democratic institutions.

"People who believe that lie are now seeking positions of public trust," he said. "And as we’ve 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 catastrophe."

Justice Department

Cheney urges DOJ to pay attention to the committee's evidence

Posted June 21, 2022 at 1:35 PM EDT
Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., gives opening remarks.
J. Scott Applewhite
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AP
Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., gives opening remarks.

House Jan. 6 committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., urged the Department of Justice to pay attention the evidence the committee is presenting, along with Congress, amid a debate over whether the committee should send a formal criminal referral to DOJ.

“Each of these efforts to overturn the election is independently serious; each deserves attention both by Congress and by our Department of Justice. But, 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,” Cheney said.

Walking through evidence that Trump knew he lost the election while he was pressuring state officials to overturn the results, Cheney also highlighted threats of violence against election officials that will feature in today’s hearing.

“I would urge all of those watching today to focus on the evidence the Committee will present,” Cheney added. “Do not be distracted by politics. This is serious. We cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who is taking a leading role in today’s hearing, told NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly last week that one factor that could weigh against a formal referral to DOJ is “the risk that a referral would be perceived by the Justice Department as politicizing the process somehow,” while also saying he believed DOJ should open a criminal investigation.

Ongoing threat

Thompson points to New Mexico election dispute as evidence of ongoing threat to democracy

Posted June 21, 2022 at 1:31 PM EDT
A man in a cowboy hat speaks into microphones outside a federal court building.
Gemunu Amarasinghe
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AP
Otero County, N.M., Commissioner Couy Griffin speaks to reporters at federal court in Washington on Friday. Committee chair Bennie Thompson quoted commissioner Griffin as saying his vote against certification “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.”

A recent dispute over certifying election results in New Mexico, rooted in conspiracy theories related to Dominion voting machines, was highlighted by the chair of the House Jan. 6 committee at the start of Tuesday’s hearing on the pressure former President Donald Trump placed on state and local election officials after the 2020 election.

“Democratic institutions aren’t abstractions or ideas,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said. “They’re local officials who oversee elections. Secretaries of state. People in whom we’ve placed our trust that they’ll carry out their duties. But what if they don’t?”

Thompson pointed to a recent clash over certifying election results in Otero County, N.M., where the state Supreme Court had to order results to be certified after citizens protested and a county commissioner held out on certification, citing unfounded claims about the security of Dominion voting systems that factored heavily in the conspiracy theories spread by Trump allies after the 2020 election.

Thompson quoted commissioner Couy Griffin as saying his vote against certification “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.”

Thompson added, “By the way, a few months ago, this county commissioner was found guilty of illegally entering the Capitol on January 6th.” Griffin is founder of “Cowboys for Trump” and was sentenced to 14 days in jail and a $3,000 fine, according to the Washington Post, which added that he was released on time served on Friday after his sentencing hearing.

Coming soon

Committee subpoenas a British filmmaker with previously undisclosed footage of Trump

Posted June 21, 2022 at 1:10 PM EDT
A screen shows an image of former President Donald Trump making a phone call from his office.
Drew Angerer
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Pool/AFP via Getty Images
An image of former President Trump is displayed during the third hearing of the House Jan. 6 committee Thursday.

British documentary filmmaker Alex Holder confirmed on Tuesday that he had complied with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee to turn over never-before-seen footage of former President Donald Trump in the leadup to the insurrection.

The committee will also conduct a deposition of Holder on Thursday, he said in a statement shared on Twitter.

Holder had access to Trump, as well as his family members and associates, while directing a documentary series surrounding the final six weeks of the former president's reelection campaign in 2020. He said the footage he turned over includes interviews with Trump and his family leading up to the election, as well as never-before-seen footage of the Capitol riot.

Holder said his team would never have predicted their work would be subpoenaed by Congress when they started the project in September 2020, but are cooperating fully.

"As a British filmmaker, I had no agenda coming into this," he said. "We simply wanted to better understand who the Trumps were and what motivated them to hold onto power so desperately."

He said the series includes "unparalleled access and exclusive interviews" with officials including Trump, his children, son-in-law Jared Kushner and former Vice President Mike Pence both before and after the events of Jan. 6, in a variety of locations: the White House, Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort and on the campaign trail.

The series, titled Unprecedented, was purchased by an unidentified streaming service last year and is set to be released in three parts this summer, Holder said, adding that he did not previously have the legal authority to release the material or publicly discuss the project.

Politico first reported that the committee subpoenaed Holder last week, seeking raw footage related to three things: the events of Jan. 6, discussions of election integrity surrounding the 2020 election and interviews with Trump, Pence and several Trump family members from September 2020 until the present.

Holder's cooperation and the footage itself came as a surprise to Trump associates, Rolling Stone reported.

The magazine reported that several former officials on Trump's reelection campaign have claimed they did not know that the documentary — about his reelection campaign — was being filmed in the first place, and heard about it for the first time after seeing the Politico report about the committee's subpoena of Holder.

“What the f*** is this?” a former top Trump 2020 official messaged the publication after seeing the news.

Republicans react

Where the GOP stands on the Jan. 6 committee hearings

Posted June 21, 2022 at 12:57 PM EDT
The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol hold their third hearing.
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Getty Images
The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol hold their third hearing.

Former President Donald Trump said it was a “bad decision” for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to opt against having additional GOP representation on the Jan. 6 committee.

Trump appeared on conservative talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root's show last week.

McCarthy nominated five Republican representatives to the panel — including three lawmakers who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results after the attack on the Capitol — and had tapped Indiana Rep. Jim Banks as ranking Republican. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of the nominations, prompting McCarthy to pull his other three.

During a speech at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's policy conference on Friday, Trump called the committee's investigation "fake and phony" and claimed that video interviews from former campaign officials and associates had been "doctored."

But GOP members like Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., are opting to pivot attention to rising inflation and gas prices.

While many members have been silent, others like Ohio’s Rep. Jim Jordan and Texas’ Rep. Troy Nehls have been vocal on social media about their opposition to the hearings.

Jordan and Nehls — two of the members that McCarthy originally nominated to sit on the committee — have both also come to the defense of Ginni Thomas — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife who allegedly participated in some of the schemes to overturn the election.

Several members, like Rep. Andy Biggs, R- Ariz., have dubbed the hearing a “sham" and believe those being charged with crimes after storming the Capitol are facing unjust political retribution.

The House Judiciary GOP Twitter has also bashed the Jan. 6 committee online, calling the hearings "boring."

Key witness

Georgia election worker who faced harassment testifies

Posted June 21, 2022 at 12:29 PM EDT
Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, former Georgia election worker, is sworn in prior to testifying during the today's hearing.
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Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, former Georgia election worker, is sworn in prior to testifying during the today's hearing.

Testifying before the Jan. 6 committee today is Shaye Moss, a former Georgia election worker who was the target of a conspiracy theory spread by former President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Moss’ family was inundated with violent and racist threats after Giuliani accused them of tampering with ballots and compared them to drug dealers.

Moss oversaw the most public part of Fulton County's mail-in ballot operation, as NPR previously reported, and she blames herself for the threats and harassment targeting her and her family because she encouraged her mother to work at the office.

Moss represents one of many election workers who received threats and were victims of harassment as a result of voter outrage over perceived corruption.

The pair were inundated with threatening phone calls, texts, racial slurs and threats and unsolicited pizza deliveries.

At the end of last year, Moss and another Georgia poll worker filed a lawsuit against One America News Network and Giuliani for defamation. The lawsuit with OAN was settled this spring, leaving Giuliani as the only defendant remaining, Reuters reported.

Earlier this year, Moss was honored with a John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Profile in Courage Award and was recognized for “doing the hard and unseen work to run our democracy.” Republican Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who is also testifying today about pressure from Trump and Giuliani, and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the committee’s vice chair, also received the award.

Key member

Schiff to play a key role in Tuesday's hearing

Posted June 21, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., leaves the hearing room after preparing for today's hearing in Washington, Tuesday, June 21, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite
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AP
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., leaves the hearing room Tuesday.

Tuesday’s hearing will be led by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who said the committee will show evidence of former President Donald Trump’s involvement in the plans to pressure state officials to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

“We’ll show during the hearing what the president’s role was in trying to get states to name alternate slates of electors, how that scheme depended initially on hopes that the legislatures would reconvene and bless it,” Schiff said over the weekend while appearing on CNN’sState of the Union.

Schiff also noted that additional subpoenas could be coming down the pipeline, including to former Vice President Mike Pence, who was the subject of the last hearing.

Theme of the day

Trump's pressure on state leaders

Posted June 21, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT
An image of former President Donald Trump is displayed during the third hearing.
Drew Angerer
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Getty Images
An image of former President Donald Trump is displayed during the third hearing.

Today's hearing will focus on the pressure campaign by former President Donald Trump and his allies on state officials across the country in the lead-up to Jan. 6, 2021.

Testimony from the witnesses are expected to focus on a January 2021 phone call from Trump to Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, urging him to declare him the winner.

“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said on a phone call with Raffensperger.

Aides also said the hearing will show how the Trump campaign organized slates of false electors in states that Trump lost to President Biden in order to facilitate disrupting the congressional proceedings to certify the election on Jan. 6.

This hearing marks the halfway point for the Jan. 6 committee's slate of hearings. In the first three hearings, members focused on Trump’s knowledge that he lost the election and decision to pursue conspiracy theories about election fraud, and his pressure on then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election.

Witnesses

State election officials and employees testify

Posted June 21, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT
Left: Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's Voting System Implementation manager Right: Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's secretary of state
Michael M. Santiago; Dustin Chambers
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Bloomberg; Getty Images
Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's voting system implementation manager, is at left, while on the right is Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's secretary of state.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Gabriel Sterling, chief operating officer at the Georgia secretary of state's office, are among those slated to testify this afternoon.

Raffensperger and Sterling, both Republicans, vociferously defended the state's handling of the 2020 election under both public and private pressure from former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn President Biden's victory in Georgia. Trump was recorded on a phone call with Raffensperger telling him to "find" enough votes to flip the state. Trump endorsed Georgia GOP Rep. Jody Hice in an unsuccessful primary bid against Raffensperger last month.

Another confirmed witness is Shaye Moss, a Georgia election worker who was the target of a conspiracy theory spread by Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Moss' family was inundated with violent and racist threats.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, also a Republican, is expected to appear in person as well, for the first time telling his complete story about the pressure campaign he received directly from the president and Guiliani.

The committee also said former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will also come under scrutiny on Tuesday.