The revelations of Trump’s utter contempt for democracy because of his attempts to overturn the election results get worse with each day of public congressional hearings, if you can believe it. The fourth day of congressional hearings yesterday saw a stream of solidly Republican state election officials in Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, all of whom voted for Trump, describe the awful abuse and harassment they experienced when they refused to go along with the Trump gang’s demands that they reject the results of the elections in their state and substitute alternate delegates, and the blatant lies that they were told as to the supposed evidence that existed of mass fraud. It should be emphasized that Trump was not simply uttering falsehoods about fraud. He consistently displayed a blatant disregard for truth, repeatedly telling lies that he had been told were lies even by his own administration officials.
The evidence is mounting that the events of January 6th, 2021 were not isolated but the culmination of a concerted effort by Trump and his cronies to overturn the election, and that they were willing to go to almost any lengths to do so. After listening to these hearings, what surprises me is that he did not order the military to act to keep him in power, so determined was he to stay in power.
The Republican speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives Rusty Bowers said that Trump’s minions told him that they had evidence of widespread fraud and would give it to him. But that evidence never came even to this day. He also described the pressure campaign.
“We received, my secretaries would say, in excess of 20,000 emails, tens of 1000s of voicemails and texts which saturated our offices and we are unable to work,” Bowers said.
Every Saturday, Bowers said organizations that he did not name would stage protests near his house.
“We have various groups combined. They have had video panel trucks with videos of me, proclaiming me to be a pedophile and a pervert and a corrupt politician and blaring loudspeakers in my neighborhood, and leaving literature, both on my property and arguing and threatening with neighbors, and with myself,” Bowers said.
Here’s another official’s experience.
“All of my personal information was doxed online. It was my personal email, my personal cell phone, my home phone number. In fact, we had to disconnect our home for about three days because it would rain all hours of the night would fill up with messages,” Bryan Cutler, the Republican speaker of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives told the committee.
There was also gripping testimony from a lowly Georgia poll poll worker Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother Ruby ‘Lady Ruby’ Freeman, whom I had not heard of before, who described how they were threatened by Trump’s goons and were advised by the FBI to abandon their homes after being targeted by name as being crooks who had cheated in the election.
Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman are detailing how Trump and Giuliani’s promotion of a conspiracy theory that they somehow rigged the vote has disrupted their lives.
Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman are passing around USB ports “as if they are vials of heroin or cocaine,” Giuliani said in video testimony to the Georgia senate that the committee just played. In reality, Moss testified, what’s being shown in the video was a ginger mint. But that video began the campaign of attacks by Trump supporters against the mother and daughter.
Moss, who is Black, said people found her Facebook profile and left her “hateful” and “racist” messages, including one saying “Be glad it’s 2020 and [not] 1920.”
“I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere. I gained about 60 pounds,” Moss said of the the threats’ effects on her. “I don’t want to go anywhere. I second-guessed everything that I do.”
Moss’s mother Ruby Freeman described what it was like for her, as an ordinary person and small business owner, to be targeted by name by the president of the country and be accused as a ‘vote scammer’ and to have his goons go after her.
The committee also showed Trump attacking Freeman as a “vote scammer” in a call with the Georgia secretary of state. Moss and Freeman are ending their testimony with the latter describing how it feels to be personally attacked by the president.
“There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States to target you? The President of the United States is supposed to represent every American. Not to target one. But he targeted me,” Freeman said in recorded testimony played by the committee.
Earlier, Moss had described just how intense the attacks from Trump supporters against them became. People would repeatedly make large pizza orders to Freeman’s home, sending delivery drivers to her door. In one instance, Moss said, strangers turned up at Freeman’s home and tried to force their way in to attempt a “citizens arrest” of her. Around January 6, Freeman was advised by the FBI to leave her home for her safety.
Here is part of the heartbreaking testimony given by Moss and her mother.
Those of you who have voted in US elections will know that poll workers are ordinary people, many of whom are often retired and acting out of a sense of civic duty. They are not elected officials who understand at some level that they can be the target of attacks. It is unconscionable for the president of a country to paint poll workers as villains out to undermine democracy and single them out by name so that they can be threatened.
Raffensperger’s testimony provided a possible answer to a puzzle. In the Georgia election, while Trump lost to Biden by nearly 12,000 votes, down ballot Republicans won against Democratic opponents. Why would that be? Raffensperger said that 33,000 voters did not vote for Trump but voted for other Republicans. In other words, Trump lost Georgia because many Republicans did not particularly like him personally. That should worry him and those in the Republican party who still are supporting him.
Stephen Colbert gave his take on the day’s hearings.