The congressional inquiry into last year’s Capitol riot will on Tuesday focus on former President Donald Trump’s alleged attempts to appoint false voters and change voting totals in states he lost.
Key election officials from the southern state of Georgia and the western state of Arizona, who both lost to Trump, are expected to testify about his efforts to reverse the result.
The House of Representatives inquiry panel has already heard evidence that key Trump aides told him he had lost the 2020 election and that there were a minimal number of voting irregularities, not enough to secure the National Electoral College victory for the Democrat Joe Biden to stop.
In addition, Trump was told it would be illegal for then-Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally block Biden’s victory, as Trump privately and publicly begged Pence to do.
At the heart of Trump’s efforts was a daring scheme to name fake voters who support Trump in states where Biden had just beaten him to certify that Trump had won enough states to keep him in power for another four years. .
In the US, presidents are effectively elected in separate elections in each of the 50 states, not by the national popular vote. Each state’s number of electoral votes depends on its population, with the largest states ruling the most.
About 2,000 Trump supporters stormed the Capitol for hours on January 6, 2021, preventing lawmakers from certifying Biden’s eventual 306-232 victory in Electoral College.
But in the days and weeks before the certification, Trump worked to turn ballots into states he had just lost, hoping to change the overall national outcome. Much of his effort centered on Georgia, which he lost by 11,779 votes out of the 5 million cast. Trump’s defeat in Georgia was the first time a Republican has lost the state since 1992.
“We will show evidence of the president’s involvement in this scheme,” committee member Adam B. Schiff said on Nation World News’s State of the Union program on Sunday. “We will also again show evidence of what his own lawyers started thinking about this scheme. And we will show courageous government officials who have stood up and said they will not go along with this plan to either call lawmakers back into session (to name Trump voters) or deny the (Election College) results for Joe Biden. ”
The Jan. 6 commission of inquiry is expected to hear testimony from George Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s chief electoral officer, his colleague Gabriel Sterling and Arizona Republican House President Rusty Bowers, who torpedoed a bill which legislators the results of an election.
While the House committee cannot file criminal charges, the Department of Justice is closely monitoring the hearings to determine whether anyone, including Trump, should be charged with illegally trying to reverse the election result to keep him in power. A prosecutor in Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, has launched a major jury trial to investigate Trump’s actions to reverse the vote in that state.
In a call to Raffensperger on January 2, 2021, Trump pleaded with him to reverse the state’s vote. The ballots were counted three times, and each time Biden won.
But Trump persisted, telling Raffensperger: “The people of Georgia are angry. The people of the land are angry, and there is nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you have recalculated. All I want to do is: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. … People, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a chance. “
“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” Trump told Raffensperger. “There is no way. We have won by hundreds of thousands of votes. And you will be respected, really respected, if this thing could be rectified.”
Trump goes on to argue that he was cheated out of another term in the White House and has hinted that he may run for the presidency again in 2024.
He complained on social media over the weekend about the House investigation and defended his call to Raffensperger.
“My phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State, with many other people, including numerous attorneys, knowingly on the line, was absolutely PERFECT and appropriate,” Trump wrote. “YES, it was a PERFECT CALL ….”
“The highly biased Unselects (on the inquiry committee) are trying to create a FALSE narrative, for whatever reason, but only with an evil intent, that ‘He (I) knew he lost the election’,” he said. Trump said. “It is completely untrue. I felt the election was DIRECTED & STOLEN (sic), went from the beginning, and only got stronger in that faith with time and large amounts of additional evidence and proof. ”