Pressure, intimidation, threats… The Republican President-elect of Arizona on Tuesday recounted the methods of Donald Trump and his lawyers to try to persuade him to annul the result of the November 2020 US presidential election in this conservative state that he won. Joe Biden.
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The Republican billionaire justified his requests by convicting that the elections were “stolen” from him by repeating accusations of fraud, for which he had never provided evidence, and which swept the courts.
But the billionaire’s supporters stormed the US Congress on January 6, 2021 in an attempt to prevent the Democratic candidate’s victory from being certified, plunging the country into chaos for several hours.
Rusty Powers, the speaker of that state’s House of Representatives, confirmed before the panel investigating this attack in Washington, that Mr. Trump’s claims about his victory in Arizona were “false.”
The elected official added, “Anyone who would say, anywhere and anytime, that I said the election was rigged, it wouldn’t be true.”
He also called the allegations by former president’s attorney Rudy Giuliani “false,” evoking “hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants and thousands of dead who voted” for Joe Biden.
Despite multiple requests, Power said he “never saw” evidence of the allegations, citing a conversation with the former New York mayor.
He said, “We have a lot of theories, we don’t have any evidence. And I don’t know if it was a huge mistake.”
“A tragic parody”
Mr. Powers refused to call the local assembly to invalidate the ballot, and then replace the elected electors, responsible for certifying the result of the vote, by Mr Trump’s supporters.
In the American electoral system, it is these voters who choose the winner of the elections in their states.
He said he was then inundated with “more than 20,000 emails and tens of thousands of phone calls and texts” as protesters, sometimes threatening, gathered outside his home to insult him, with tears in his eyes.
However, Mr. Trump’s legal team went ahead with their plan. Billionaire supporters, chosen as parallel voters in key states won by Joe Biden, have nullified the result of the ballot with false certificates.
But Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding over the vote, resisted White House pressure to declare Donald Trump the winner.
“I thought it was a tragic parody,” commented Rusty Powers, who voted for the billionaire in 2016 and backed it in 2020.
Brad Ravensburger, Georgia’s secretary of state, received a phone call from Donald Trump in which he asked the president to find nearly 12,000 ballot papers in his name, enough to beat Joe Biden in the Republican-controlled state in the south.
He again mentioned electoral fraud and ballot box stuffing, charges that were rejected by the courts.
But Brad Ravensburger did not give up. “Numbers are numbers and we cannot recount the votes because we have made sure to check every claim,” he told the commission on Tuesday.
He pointed out that “no ballot papers were found, the calculation is accurate and approved.”
He has also been the target of harassment and threats, like Shaye Moss, a minor election agent from Atlanta who participated in vote-counting on election night with his mother.
Donald Trump has accused them of being “professional fraudsters”.
“It turned my life upside down,” she said on Tuesday, recounting that she had received racist messages and death threats.
For more than a year, the investigative committee — made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans — heard more than 1,000 witnesses, including two children of the former president, to shed light on Donald Trump’s actions before, during and after the January 6 attack.
The panel’s fifth session will take place on Thursday and will look at the president’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to stay in power.
Donald Trump, who has never conceded defeat in the presidential election, on Tuesday denounced on social media “political thugs who have criminalized justice on an unprecedented level in our country.”
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