WASHINGTON: US state lawmakers and poll workers described on Tuesday (Jun 21) how their lives had been upended by threats of violence as Donald Trump singled them out in his bid to overturn the 2020 US election.
Trump was personally involved in an intense campaign of pressure on officials in key swing states he had lost to Joe Biden, the fourth congressional hearing into the former president’s bid to cling to power after his defeat was told.
Members of the committee probing the January 2021 assault on the US Capitol that followed the election have spent much of June setting out their initial findings that Trump led a multi-pronged conspiracy to overturn the results, culminating in the insurrection in Washington.
On Tuesday they heard from poll worker Shaye Moss, who was falsely accused by Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani alongside her mother Ruby Freeman of “rigging” the election count in Georgia with “suitcases” full of ballots for Biden.
Moss, who is black, described people making “hateful” and “racist” threats of violence following the baseless accusations, including one message saying: “Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920.”
“This turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card, I don’t transfer calls,” Moss testified.
“I don’t want anyone knowing my name … I don’t go to the grocery store. Haven’t been anywhere at all.”
Freeman said in her deposition she had lost her good name and sense of security because “number 45 and his ally Rudy Giuliani decided to scapegoat me and my daughter Shaye, to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen”.
The mother and daughter were among poll workers or election officials in several states who found themselves pressured to thwart the will of millions of voters based on bogus claims of fraud, the panel said.
Rusty Bowers, speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, testified that he asked Giuliani “on multiple occasions” for evidence of his stolen election claims.
He told committee members Giuliani said “we’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence”.