The House select committee examining the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol will convene Tuesday for its fourth public hearing this month. This session will focus on President Trump's efforts to pressure state officials as part of his broader campaign to remain in office for a second term after losing the 2020 election.
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Expected to appear before the panel are two officials from Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, and Gabriel Sterling, the state's voting system implementation manager, as well as Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers. Trump lost both Georgia and Arizona to President Biden, but he and officials with his reelection campaign pushed top officials in those states to overturn the election results, in part through a scheme to submit alternate, pro-Trump slates of electors.
In Georgia, Trump urged Raffensberger in a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call to "find" enough votes to make him the winner, though Raffensperger repeatedly rebuffed the president's efforts and refuted claims of widespread voter fraud in Georgia.
Both Raffensperger and Sterling defended the integrity of Georgia's election and faced intense criticism for their actions, receiving death threats and, in the case of Raffensperger, a censure by the state Republican Party. Despite the backlash, Raffensperger defeated Trump-backed Rep. Jody Hice and two other candidates who challenged him in the Republican primary last month for secretary of state.
In Arizona, Bowers, who backed Trump in 2020, received a call from Trump and Rudy Giuliani, the former president's lawyer, in late November 2020 urging him to have the state legislature substitute a slate of presidential electors, overriding Mr. Biden's win in the state, according to the Arizona Republic.
Bowers also received an email from Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in early November 2020 urging him to select a "clean slate of electors," according to the Washington Post. The committee has asked to speak with Thomas, and she told The Daily Caller she looks forward to talking with House investigators.
Tuesday's hearing will kick off the third week of proceedings for the Jan. 6 select committee, which is laying out for Americans how Trump mounted a multi-pronged campaign to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and stop the peaceful transfer of power, culminating in the violent attack on the Capitol building.
Earlier hearings have focused on the violence that took place at the Capitol on Jan. 6 as law enforcement struggled to control the mob of Trump's supporters descending on the complex to stop Congress's counting of state electoral votes; Trump's decision to declare victory on election night even though his closest aides knew there was no evidence to support his claims the election was stolen from him; and the former president's efforts to strong-arm Vice President Mike Pence to reject state electoral votes and unilaterally declare him the winner of the election.
In its third hearing last week, aides to the former vice president said Trump's repeated lies about the election pushed the country to the brink of a constitutional crisis and put Pence in harm's way when a mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol building.
"Approximately 40 feet. That's all there was, 40 feet between the vice president and the mob," Rep. Pete Aguilar, a Democrat from California, said last week. "Make no mistake about the fact that the vice president's life was in danger."
Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, is expected to play a leading role in the fourth hearing. He told CNN on Sunday that the panel will demonstrate how Trump mounted a pressure campaign against state and local elections officials that endangered their lives, and present evidence of the former president's role in a scheme to convince states to name pro-Trump alternate slates of electors.
"The system held because a lot of state and local election officials upheld their oath to the Constitution," Schiff told CNN.
Since its creation nearly one year ago, the select committee has conducted more than 1,000 interviews — including with former White House and Trump campaign officials, and members of the former president's family — and collected more than 140,000 documents.
Trump, meanwhile, has continued to attack the committee and falsely claim he won the 2020 election. During remarks Saturday in Memphis as part of the "American Freedom Tour," Trump claimed without evidence the committee is doctoring video of depositions and accused its members of being "liars and con artists."