Status: 06/21/2022 11:25 p.m
Several former Trump supporters have testified in the subcommittee on the storming of the US Capitol. The ex-president put them under massive pressure after losing the election – with dire consequences for them and their families.
Parliamentarians and government officials from US states have testified that they were pressured by then-US President Donald Trump’s team after losing the 2020 election. A hearing by the committee of inquiry into the attack on the US Capitol was about the time after the presidential election: Trump lost the election, but has denied it to this day.
At the meeting of the committee of inquiry, State Secretary Brad Raffensperger, who is responsible for election organization in the state of Georgia, testified. Georgia was one of the states that tipped the scales in favor of Joe Biden. In a phone call at the time, Trump openly asked Raffensperger to collect enough votes for his election success in Georgia.
A recording of the conversation was shared with the media at the time. Among other things, it was heard how Trump says: “I only want to find 11,780 votes.”
Kerstin Klein, ARD Washington, on the investigative committee after the storming of the Capitol in 2021
tagesschau24 9:30 p.m., June 21, 2022
argument on the phone
Various recordings of the 67-minute phone call were played during the hearing, in which Raffensperger repeatedly contradicted the President. Raffensperger said at the meeting there was no doubt Biden won the Georgia election by a margin of about 12,000 votes.
Several recounts came to the same conclusion. “The numbers are the numbers, and the numbers don’t lie,” said Raffensperger. “There were no voices to be found.” The count was correct. There were many allegations at the time, “and we investigated each one.”
Raffensperger reported threats against him and his wife after refusing to comply with Trump’s request. All of this was very worrying.
“The numbers are the numbers, and the numbers don’t lie,” Georgia Republican Secretary Raffensperger said.
Alleged voter fraud also in Arizona
The Republican chairman of the Arizona House of Representatives, Russell Bowers, reported something similar. The former Trump supporter described how his team approached him with claims after the 2020 election. Accordingly, there would have been cases of voter fraud in the state of Arizona. However, no one from Trump’s team has ever presented him with any evidence of this.
Bowers explained how Trump and his team had pressed him: They should have initiated a procedure in the Arizona House of Representatives that would have subsequently counteracted Trump’s election defeat in the state. But that would have been against the law as well as against his oath of office, Bowers said. He has also made it clear to Trump personally on several occasions that he will not do anything illegal for him.
“Relenting, destructive pressure campaign”
Bowers did not bow to the pressure. As a result, protesters marched in front of his house every week, he reported. They would have insulted him as a pedophile, perverted and corrupt, threatened him and tyrannized his neighborhood.
Bowers was at times on the verge of tears as he testified in the Senate. His wife was also insulted, and an angry mob raged in front of his seriously ill daughter’s house.
He is a man of principles and deep conviction: “It is a cornerstone of my belief that the constitution is divinely inspired. And to do it because someone wants it, that’s totally foreign to me.”
According to polls, more than two-thirds of Republicans believe Trump was robbed of his election victory. In their party program passed over the weekend, the Republicans in Texas describe the election of Joe Biden as president as illegal.
US investigative committee blames ex-President Trump for storming the Capitol
Kerstin Klein, ARD Washington, daily news at 8:00 p.m., June 10, 2022
“The lie hasn’t disappeared yet”
In recordings of previous witness interviews, other representatives from the states reported something similar to Raffensperger and Bower. Democratic committee chair Bennie Thompson said, “The relentless, destructive campaign of pressure on state and local officials was based on a lie.”
Trump knew that and did it anyway. Thompson said that lie still hasn’t gone away.
Death threats, racism and pure hatred
Ruby Freeman, who counted votes in Georgia, also testified before the panel. “Do you know how it feels to be targeted by the President of the United States?” she asked. “It’s about Ruby Freeman. She’s a professional election fraudster, a swindler,” Trump said at the time. Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss, according to Trump’s unproven accusation, are said to have smuggled fake ballots into the counting machines on a large scale.
A wave of hatred then broke out over the two African American women. No one gets her business card anymore, no one should know her name, says Moss.
“I no longer go anywhere with my mother who could call my name in the store. I don’t even go there anymore,” says Moss. “I haven’t gone anywhere at all. I’ve gained 30 kilos. It’s affecting my life quite a bit, in everything.” Death threats, racism and sheer hatred hit her.
Trump sticks to his narrative
Trump continues to claim – without any evidence – that he was deprived of victory in the 2020 presidential election through voter fraud. At that time, he had tried for weeks to subsequently overturn the election victory of his democratic challenger Biden. But Trump’s camp failed at the time with dozens of lawsuits against the election results. Opposition to the outcome of the election culminated in the attack on the US Capitol. The committee of inquiry is now working on this.
On January 6, 2021, Trump supporters violently stormed the seat of parliament in Washington. Congress met there to certify Biden’s election victory. Five people died in the riots. Trump had recently stirred up his followers at a rally by saying that the election victory had been stolen from him. He then had to face impeachment proceedings, at the end of which he was acquitted.
With information from Reinhard Baumgarten, ARD Studio Washington