Embattled Georgia Secretary of State Brad Riffensperger is set to testify on Tuesday in the House 1/6 committee that he faced extraordinary pressure from former President Donald Trump to find “11,780” votes, which would prevent Joe Biden’s election victory. could overturn the state.
Riffensperger, along with his deputy Gabe Sterling and Arizona’s Rusty Bowers, are set to be key witnesses when the uprising resumes Tuesday when the House committee is investigating January 6, 2021. The focus will be on how the former president and his allies vigorously pressure officials in key battleground states with plans to reject ballots or entire state ballots to keep the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“We will show courageous state officials who stood up and said they would not go with this plan to call legislatures back in session or nullify Joe Biden’s results,” said Representative Adam Schiff, D-California, one of the Democratic members of the committee told CNN on Sunday.
The fourth hearing by the panel this month is the latest attempt to delve into Trump’s unprecedented effort to stay in power, a sprawling plan that the January 6 committee chairman likened to a “coup attempt.” The committee will review how Trump leaned on Riffensperger to invalidate ballots that voters had cast for Biden. And then he tapped state legislators in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and other disputed states to disallow election results from their voters.
While the committee cannot accuse Trump of any crimes, the Justice Department is watching the panel’s work closely. Trump’s actions in Georgia are also the subject of a grand jury investigation, with the district attorney expected to announce the findings this year.
Georgia’s top election official Raffensperger rejected Trump’s request to “search” enough votes to reverse Biden’s victory in the state — a request caught on tape during a phone call before the January 6 attacks.
During the call, Trump repeatedly cited unsubstantiated claims of fraud and raised the possibility of a “criminal offense” if Georgia officials did not change the vote count. The state counted its votes three times before Biden’s victory was certified by a margin of 11,779.
The select committee also plans to open up on Tuesday an elaborate “fake voter” plan that was intended to thwart Biden’s election victory. The plan saw fake voters in seven battleground states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico — sign certificates saying Trump, Biden had not won their states.
Trump’s lawyer, conservative law professor John Eastman, put forward fake voters in the weeks following the election. Trump and Eastman called hundreds of voters on a call on January 2, 2021, encouraging them to send alternate voters from their states where Trump’s team was claiming fraud.
Fake electoral certificates were produced and sent to the National Archives and Congress. But the effort ultimately failed, as Vice President Mike Pence rejected Trump’s repeated demands that he withhold the certification of Biden’s victory on January 6, 2021 – a power he had in his purely ceremonial manner. was not in the role.
The committee says it will also show on Tuesday that it has gathered enough evidence through its more than 1,000 interviews and thousands of documents to link separate attempts to directly reverse the election from Trump.
At least 20 people were summoned by a House panel in relation to the bogus voter scheme, which included former Trump campaign members, state party officials and state legislators.
“While we will show during a hearing what the president’s role was in trying to get states to name alternative slates of voters, the plan initially relied on the expectation that the legislature would reconvene and bless it,” Schiff said.
Schiff told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that the hearing will also investigate former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ “intimate role” in a conspiracy to pressure Georgia state legislators and election officials.
Raffensperger’s public testimony comes weeks after he appeared before a special grand jury in Georgia investigating whether Trump and others tried to illegally interfere in the state’s 2020 election.
Despite being on the receiving end of the former president’s anger since the election, Riffensperger defeated a Trump-backed challenger in last month’s Republican primary.