ATLANTA — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger will be center stage as the Jan. 6 Committee’s hearings get back underway Tuesday morning.
Raffensperger and his deputy Gabe Sterling are scheduled to be the key witnesses when the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection resumes Tuesday.
Raffensperger has already spoken with the committee privately over the now-infamous phone call with former President Donald Trump, where Raffensperger rebuffed Trump’s request that he “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s win in the state — a request caught on tape during a phone call days before the Jan. 6 attack.
During the call, Trump repeatedly cited disproven claims of fraud and raised the prospect of a “criminal offense” if Georgia officials did not change the vote count. The state had counted its votes three times before certifying Biden’s win by a 11,779 margin.
The focus of Tuesday’s hearing will be on how the former president and his allies vigorously pressured officials in key battleground states with schemes to reject ballots or entire state tallies to upend the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Additionally, the panel will underscore how Trump knew his unrelenting pressure campaign could potentially cause violence against state and local officials and their families but pursued it anyway, according to a select committee aide.
Also expected to testify Tuesday is Sterling, Raffensperger’s chief operating officer.
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Sterling became a notable figure in Georgia’s long post-election counting and recounting of the presidential ballots, with his regular updates often broadcast live to a divided nation. At one point, the mild-spoken Republican implored Americans to tone down the heated rhetoric.
“Death threats, physical threats, intimidation — it’s too much, it’s not right,” said Sterling, a Republican.
Also testifying Tuesday is Wandrea “Shay” Moss, one of two Georgia election workers who filed a defamation lawsuit in December 2020 against a conservative website. Moss claimed One America News Network falsely spread allegations that she and her mother engaged in ballot fraud during the election.
The lawsuit, which was settled in April, also names Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as a vocal proponent of the baseless claim, which the mother and daughter say led to intense harassment, both in-person and online.
The select committee also plans Tuesday to untangle the elaborate “fake electors” scheme that was aimed at halting Biden’s election win. The plan saw fake electors in seven battlegrounds — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico — sign certificates falsely stating that Trump, not Biden, had won their states.
The public testimony from Raffensperger comes weeks after he appeared before a special grand jury in Georgia, which is investigating whether Trump and others illegally tried to meddle in the state’s 2020 election.
In retaliation for Raffensperger’s refusal to support his election lies, Trump recruited a primary challenger in an effort to remove him from office. But Raffensperger narrowly held back the threat in last month’s primary, leaving him positioned to compete against a Democrat in the general election.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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