By Aaron Miller-
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he and his team investigated “every single allegation” of election fraud from former President Donald Trump — and they found no evidence of fraud.
Raffensberger was addressing the House Select Committee investigation into the January 6 attempt to change the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the January 20 elections. In the face of threats and harassment from people across the country, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he didn’t just walk away because he felt like he “had to be faithful to the Constitution.”
He was addressing the committee’s fourth public hearing, focused on how that pressure campaign by Trump and his allies played out in Arizona and Georgia, two swing states that were key to President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020.
Ahead of the hearing, Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo had declared its plans to detail how Trump “corruptly pressured state legislators and election officials to change election results.” Committee aides said the hearing would also delve into an “unprecedented scheme” by the Trump campaign to submit false alternate slates of electors.
Four state officials who were targeted as part of those efforts also testified before the panel, including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom Trump pressured to “find” votes in a leaked phone call; his chief operating officer, Gabriel Sterling; Republican Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers; and Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, also told of the frightening threats she endured from supporters of Trump, who were bent on the idea the lections results were false.
“Numbers don’t lie. We had many allegations and we investigated every single one of them. I challenged my team did we miss anything? [Trump and his associates] said there was over 66,000 underaged voters. We found there was zero,” he said.
“You can register to vote in Georgia when you’re 17 1/2, you have to be 18 by Election Day. We checked that out, every single voter. They said that there was 2,423 non-registered voters; there were 0. They said that there was 2,056 felons; we identified 74 or less that were actually still on felony status,” Raffensperger said.
“Every allegation we checked. We ran down the rabbit trail to make sure our numbers were accurate,” he said.
Trump also claimed there were ballots using dead people’s names, which Raffensperger said is highly inaccurate.
“In their lawsuits, they allege 10,315 dead people. We found two dead people when I wrote my letter to Congress that’s dated Jan. 6 and subsequent to that, we found two more. That’s one, two, three, four people. Not 4,000; just a total of four. Not 10,000, not 5,000,” he said.
Brad Raffensperger, a key witness whom Trump called to ask him to “find” the votes he needed to beat Joe Biden there gave detailed evidence to the investigation.
Arizona’s state House speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican, testified about the ways Trump, his attorneys and other allies pushed him to violate his oath of office and throw the decisive state to Trump. “I will not do that,” he said he told them, citing his faith.
“‘We’ve got lots of theories but we just don’t have the evidence,'” Bowers recalled Trump attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani telling him during a December 2020 meeting.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said at the hearing Tuesday that after the November 2020 election, he received threatening texts from all over the country and his wife also received texts that were “sexualized,” which he called “disgusting.”
Raffensperger said people were targeting his wife to “probably put pressure on me.” He said some people also broke into his daughter-in-law’s home, adding that she was a widow with two kids.
“We were very concerned about her safety also,” he said.
During Raffensperger’s testimony, Schiff played clips from the infamous call during which Trump told the the Georgia secretary of state that, “I just want to find 11,780 votes” — the amount he’d need to win Georgia.
Raffensperger, reiterating what he’s said many times before, testified that the request was impossible, because all the votes had been counted. There was no conspiracy and Trump simply lost, he said.
“We didn’t have any votes to find,” Raffensperger said Tuesday. “There were no votes to find. That was an accurate count that had been certified.”
His evidence was supported by Gabriel Sterling who told the Committee he did everything in his power to convinved the entire American public the election results were genuine and legitimate, but he could not compete with the vast reach of the president who had enormous audience through his social media platform.
“It was frustrating,” Sterling said in live testimony before the Jan. 6 committee. “But oftentimes, I felt our information was getting out, but there was a reticence of people who needed to believe it, to believe it because the President of the United States, who many looked up to and respected, was telling them it wasn’t true.”
Gabriel Sterling testifies on Tuesday. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)
Election worker Shaye Moss expressed the threats she experienced doing her job for the elections. said she loved receiving phone calls from older voters asking for help navigating the voting process and loved sending out absentee ballots to elderly and disabled people. She said she’s even driven to a hospital to deliver a voter an absentee ballot application.
Moss testified on Tuesday that she and her mother, Ruby Freeman, were targeted and harassed relentlessly after Giuliani seized on video footage of the pair working during the 2020 election to push lies.
“I’ve always been told by my grandmother how important it is to vote and how people before me, a lot of people, older people in my family, did not have that right. So what I love most about my job were the older voters,” she said at the hearing.
Moss said she loved receiving phone calls from older voters asking for help navigating the voting process and loved sending out absentee ballots to elderly and disabled people. She said she’s even driven to a hospital to deliver a voter an absentee ballot application.