- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Tuesday said his wife received “sexualized texts” from Trump supporters after he rebuffed calls to overturn his state’s 2020 election results.

Testifying at a hearing before the House Jan. 6 committee, Mr. Raffensperger blamed radicalized Trump fans for the text messages.

“After the election, my email, my cellphone was doxxed and so I was getting texts [from] all over the country, and then eventually my wife started getting texts and hers typically came in sexualized texts, which were disgusting,” he said.

“You have to understand that Trish and I — we met in high school. We’ve been married over 40 years now and so they started going after her I think just to probably put pressure on me,” he said.

Mr. Raffensperger said people also broke into his daughter-in-law’s home as part of a pressure campaign by Trump supporters when he refused to reverse Georgia’s vote count. 

“My son has passed and she is a widow and has two kids and so we’re very concerned about her safety also,” he said.

The committee heard testimony from Mr. Raffensperger and other elections officials on Tuesday to build the case that Mr. Trump continued his pressure campaign to overturn the election, despite knowing that it could spark violence against state and local officials.

“When he used the power of his presidency to put the enormous pressure on state, local and local elections officials and his own vice president, it became downright dangerous,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who spearheaded Tuesday’s hearing. “On Jan. 6, that pressure became deadly.”

He said Mr. Trump break a “sacred and centuries-old covenant” in his “unpatriotic” and “fundamentally un-American” push to remain in power. 

“Whether his actions were criminal will ultimately be for others to decide,” Mr. Schiff said.

Mr. Raffensperger, a Republican, was in the national spotlight days before the Capitol riot when, in a phone call, he rebuffed Mr. Trump’s request to “find 11,780 votes” for him. A recording of the Jan. 2, 2021, call was obtained the following day by The Washington Post.

Georgia’s election officials certified President Biden’s win in the state by an 11,779-vote margin after counting the votes three times.

Other election officials from the state came under similar attacks by the president’s supporters.

Wandrea Moss, a voter registration officer, and her mother, elections temp worker Ruby Freeman, told the committee they were targeted in a relentless harassment campaign spurred by election fraud claims peddled by Mr. Trump and former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, by then a Trump legal adviser.

“There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere,” Ms. Freeman said. “Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you? The president of the United States is supposed to represent everyone, not to target one.”

Mr. Trump accused the two women of rigging the election for Mr. Biden by bringing in “suitcases” of ballots on election night. The duo was also featured in a video that Mr. Giuliani called a “smoking gun” for voter fraud that took place.

State and federal investigators determined the two women weren’t carrying fraudulent ballots to add to the mix of legitimate votes.

The committee also dug into Mr. Trump’s scheme to submit illegitimate Electoral College certificates in his favor during Tuesday’s hearing.

The push was part of Mr. Trump’s challenge to the results in several swing states in which his campaign alleged that the vote-by-mail laws passed during the coronavirus pandemic had resulted in improprieties.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told the committee in a video-recorded deposition revealed Tuesday that the RNC was asked by one of Mr. Trump’s aides in late 2020 to help gather “contingent electors in case any of the legal challenges that were ongoing changed the result of any of the states.”

“More just helping them reach out and assemble them,” Mrs. McDaniel said. “My understanding is that the campaign did take the lead and we just were helping them in that role.”

The RNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The committee members said the role of the alternate electors was significantly more nefarious than let on by the Trump campaign. They allege that Mr. Trump plotted to have the alternative electors enter state houses and disrupt the approval of the electors pledged to Mr. Biden.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testified that Rep. Andy Biggs had pressured him to decertify his state’s Electoral College slate, which was chosen to back Mr. Biden, in favor of a pro-Trump slate of electors.

Mr. Bowers, a Republican, told the committee that he objected to the congressman’s request, citing his oath to the Constitution.

Mr. Biggs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The system held, but barely,” Mr. Schiff said. “And the system held because people of courage, Republicans and Democrats … put their oath to the country and the constitution above any other consideration.”

“They did their jobs. As we must do ours,” he said. 

Tuesday’s hearing marked the fourth in a series of public appearances this month to unpack the findings from the panel’s nearly yearlong investigation.

Republicans, who nearly unanimously oppose the committee, accuse Democrats of staging the hearing to smear Mr. Trump and the GOP and as a distraction from the party’s failure to address inflation and other issues that matter more to voters.

Mr. Trump has said the committee is a “kangaroo court” convened with the sole aim of barring him from running in the 2024 presidential election.

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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