Over practically an hour, Rusty Bowers, a Republican who's the speaker of the Home of Representatives in Arizona, testified on Tuesday in painstaking and emotional element in regards to the strain marketing campaign he confronted over a number of weeks after the Nov. 3, 2020, election, during which President Donald J. Trump misplaced the state.
Mr. Bowers, talking slowly, additionally informed the Home choose committee in regards to the harassment he skilled exterior his dwelling from Trump supporters within the weeks earlier than Jan. 6, 2021, during which he was referred to as a “pedophile” and different epithets.
Mr. Bowers, who spoke in regards to the Structure in reverential and non secular phrases, had tears in his eyes as he described his gravely sick daughter enduring among the harassment exterior their home. (She died in late January.)
“It was disturbing,” he stated. “It was disturbing.”
The hassle to influence him to take steps to flip the result in Arizona to Mr. Trump’s column — the state was gained by Joseph R. Biden Jr. — started with strain from Mr. Trump, and one in every of his legal professionals, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who maintained that he had proof of fraud. “Aren’t all of us Republicans right here? I'd assume we might get a greater reception,” Mr. Bowers recalled Mr. Giuliani saying at one level.
Quickly after Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, a Republican, licensed the state for Mr. Biden, Mr. Giuliani and an affiliate, Jenna Ellis, met with Arizona lawmakers, together with Mr. Bowers, Mr. Bowers recalled. Mr. Bowers described Ms. Ellis asserting that that they had proof of widespread voter fraud, solely to supply none.
“I stated, ‘I need the names. Do you've the names of the supposedly lifeless or fraudulent voters?’” Mr. Bowers stated. “She stated, ‘Sure.’”
Nothing was produced. Finally, he recalled, Mr. Giuliani stated, “We’ve bought numerous theories. We simply don’t have the proof.”
Mr. Bowers additionally recalled chatting with Mr. Trump, making clear to the president that he “wouldn’t do something unlawful for him,” as one questioner, Consultant Adam Schiff, Democrat of California, stated. Nonetheless, one other lawyer advising Mr. Trump, John Eastman, referred to as Mr. Bowers in early January and urged him to schedule a legislative vote to “decertify the electors, as a result of we had plenary authority to take action.”
Mr. Eastman, Mr. Bowers testified, stated that he ought to “simply do it and let the courts determine all of it out.”
Mr. Bowers once more rejected the push, saying, “I took an oath — for me to take that, to do what you do could be counter to my oath.”
Lastly, he testified, there was a name from one other Trump supporter, Consultant Andy Biggs, Republican of Arizona, on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, when the Electoral School vote was to be confirmed by a joint session of Congress. Mr. Biggs, he stated, pushed him once more to undo the state’s certification of its electors for Mr. Biden.
“We've no authorized pathway” to “execute such a request,” Mr. Bowers recalled saying. He additionally recalled his response when he realized that Trump advisers pushed forward with a scheme to place ahead slates of “alternate” electors. “I considered the e book, ‘The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight,’” Mr. Bowers stated.
Mr. Bowers’s private journal contained an entry during which he stated, “I don't need to be a winner by dishonest. I cannot play with legal guidelines I swore allegiance to.” He was invited to learn it into the testimony.
He was additionally requested for his response to a press release from Mr. Trump criticizing Mr. Bowers’s testimony upfront, during which he claimed that Mr. Bowers had informed him the election was “rigged” and that he had gained the state.
“I did have a dialog with the president,” Mr. Bowers stated. “That actually isn’t it.”
A second later, extra emphatically, he stated, “Anyplace, anybody, any time has stated that I stated the election was rigged — that may not be true.”
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