“I will not break my oath”: How Republican state officials became targets for choosing democracy over Trump

In damning and sometimes emotional testimony before the Jan. 6 committee Tuesday, election officials told investigators that donald trump and their allies subjected them to an intense pressure campaign to undermine the will of the people in the swing states they lead after the 2020 vote, a desperate effort they resisted, despite explicit threats from the former president and his supporters.

“I will not break my oath,” Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives rusty bowers he told the bipartisan panel, outlining his refusal to give in to the demands of Trump and allies like attorney John Eastman and congressman Andy Biggs to decertify the results of the 2020 elections. “It is a tenet of my faith that the constitution is divinely inspired… for me to do that because someone just asked me to is foreign to my very being.” (Trump, unsurprisingly, attacked Bowers in a “RINO” on Tuesday.)

Bowers’ powerful testimony came during the fourth day of hearings, which Tuesday focused on the unrelenting: and potentially illegal — efforts by Trump and his team to get state and local election officials to help undermine Joe BidenThe victory of 2020. “What happened to mike pence It was not an isolated part of Donald Trump’s plan to annul the election,” the president said. bennie thompson he said, referring to efforts to pressure the former vice president to hand the election over to Trump. “In fact, pressuring public servants to betray their oaths was a critical part of the playbook.”

Some of the material presented at Tuesday’s hearing, which also included testimony from the Georgia Secretary of State brad raffensperger and Georgia election official gabriel sterling, who warned after the 2020 election that Trump’s lies could turn to violence, was already known. But the select committee also released new details about the multi-pronged effort to throw the 2020 election at Trump, including a text message from an aide to the senator. Ron Johnson indicating that the Wisconsin Republican had wanted to pass a list of bogus voters to Pence. (A Johnson spokesman later said the senator “was not involved in the creation of an alternative list of voters and had no prior knowledge that it would be delivered to our office”).

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That plot had received less attention than, say, Trump’s crude efforts to get Raffensperger to “find” enough votes for him to overtake his Democratic rival in the state. (“There were no votes to be found,” Raffensperger testified Tuesday.) But on Tuesday, the voter fraud scheme, in which Republican legislatures would send their own pro-Trump constituents to be certified instead of official ones, took center stage, with witnesses and the committee detailing how the former president and his team pushed the anti-democratic strategy in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill.

“This is a tragic travesty,” Bowers said of the scheme, in which Trump apparently had a direct hand.

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