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Jan. 6 hearing: State elections officials, workers debunk 'stolen' election lies

Georgia election worker Wandrea ArShaye Moss wipes her eyes as she testifies during a public hearing on the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The hearing on June 21 explored the pressure former President Donald Trump put on state election officials and workers to overturn the 2020 election results. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo

June 21 (UPI) -- State elections officials and workers on Tuesday debunked allegations made by former President Donald Trump and his team about the 2020 presidential election and testified how lies about the so-called "stolen" election upturned their lives.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said his office investigated "every single allegation" made by Trump about the election and found no evidence of widespread fraud.

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"Numbers don't lie," Raffensperger told the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

"We had many allegations and we investigated every single one of them. I challenged my team: 'Did we miss anything?'"

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He said ultimately 28,000 voters in Georgia declined to cast vote for president, even though they voted for Republicans down ballot.

"The Republican congressman ended up getting 33,000 more votes than President Trump. That's why President Trump came up short," Raffensperger said.

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The committee played segments of a phone call between Trump and Raffensperger in which the president asked the secretary of state to "find" the 11,780 votes he needed to defeat Joe Biden.

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Raffensperger was one of several Republican state elections officials to testify Tuesday during the committee's hearing, which focused on efforts Trump and his team made to pressure states to overturn the result of the presidential election and feeding into the false claim that Biden stole the election.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican, said Trump called him in late December 2020 asking him to interfere in the Electoral College process. Trump's legal counsel, John Eastman also urged Bowers to "just do it and let the courts sort it out."

"I swore to uphold both in the Constitution and in law -- no sir," Bowers recalled telling Eastman. "You're asking me to do something that has never been done in history, the history of the United States. And I'm gonna put my state through that without sufficient proof?

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"It is a tenet of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired, one of my most basic foundational beliefs," Bowers told the committee as he fought back tears. "And so for me to do that because somebody just asked me to is foreign to my very being. I will not do it."

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Many of those who testified Tuesday said they faced months of protests, harassment and threats after Trump and his team and followers targeted them for declining to overturn the election.

Bowers said he had to endure protests outside his home, as well as friends turning on him. He said the demonstrations disturbed his wife and daughter, who was "gravely ill" at the time.

"It is the new pattern or a pattern in our lives to worry what will happen on Saturdays because we have various groups come by," he said. "They had video panel trucks with video of me, proclaiming me to be a pedophile and a pervert and a corrupt politician."

Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer in Raffensperger's office, said his own family argued with him about the election results.

"The problem you have is you're getting at people's hearts," he said, later adding, "Once you get past the heart, the facts don't matter as much."

Two former Fulton County, Ga., election workers, Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, faced harassment at their homes, some of which was racist in tone.

"There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere," Freeman said in recorded testimony. "Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you? The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American. Not to target one. But he targeted me, Lady Ruby, a small business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen, who stood up to help Fulton County run an election in the middle of the pandemic."

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Moss said she received death threats and racist comments on Facebook.

"Tell me that, you know, I'll be in jail with my mother and saying things like 'be glad it's 2020 and not 1920,'" she said.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the ranking member of the House select committee, opened Tuesday's hearing taking aim at Trump and his legal team.

"Donald Trump had a direct and personal role in this effort, as did Rudy Giuliani, as did John Eastman," Cheney said of Trump's lawyers.

"In other words, the same people who were attempting to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to reject electoral votes illegally were also simultaneously working to reverse the outcome of the 2020 election at the state level."

The committee's third hearing last week centered on how Trump, mostly through the efforts of Eastman, worked to pressure Pence to reject the Electoral College's certification of the election results on Jan. 6.

Trump supporters also sought to interfere in the certification process in their attack on the Capitol that day.

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

Moss ultimately filed a defamation lawsuit against the right-wing One America News Network and Giuliani. The suit says that the network aired stories that falsely accused her and another worker of committing ballot fraud to favor Biden in Georgia.

No court challenge or investigation has found any evidence to support Trump's claims of voter fraud in any state. Trump's Attorney General William Barr said there was no evidence of fraud and the Homeland Security Department said the 2020 vote was the "most secure election in history."

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