Shaye Moss and Election Officials Describe Trump’s Threats

WASHINGTON – Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker at Arizona’s House, prepares every weekend for hordes of Trump supporters, some with weapons, who storm his home and launch videos calling him a the pedophile.

“We have a daughter who is seriously ill, who is upset about what happened outside,” she said. He died shortly afterwards, in late January 2021.

Gabriel Sterling, a senior Georgia state election official, recalls that he received an animated photo of a slow noose twist along with a note accusing him of treason. His employer, Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, reported that Trump supporters entered the home of his widowed daughter -in -law and threatened his wife with sexual violence.

And Wandrea Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, two Black women who served as election workers during the Georgia pandemic, suffered an attack of racist abuse and went into hiding after Rudolph W. Giuliani, the attorney for President Donald J. Trump, lied that they rigged the election against Mr. Trump.

“I lost my name and I lost my reputation,” Ms. Freeman, who added as he raised his voice in emotion, “Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States focus on you?”

Election official after the election official tried to House Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday in searing, emotional detail on how Mr. Trump and his aides issued violent threats and retaliated against them for refusing to yield to his pressure to reverse the election in his favor.

The testimony shows how Mr. Trump and his aides encouraged his followers to target election officials in major states-even to the point of posting their personal cellphone numbers on social media channel of Mr. Trump, cited by the committee as the president’s most brutal attempt to seize power.

“Donald Trump has ignored threats of violence,” said Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican and the committee’s vice chairman. “He did not judge them. He didn’t try to stop them. He continues his fake allegations though.

Stakes for the country, Ms. warned. Cheney, said. “We will not allow America to be a country of conspiracy theories and thief violence,” he said.

Mr. Bowers of Arizona was the first to testify. For nearly an hour, he described the pressure campaign he faced in the weeks after Nov. 3, 2020, election, after Mr. Trump lost to the state. He spoke of the fear he felt when a man carrying the Three Percent mark, an extremist branch of the gun rights movement, appeared in his neighborhood.

“He had a pistol and threatened my neighbor,” Mr. Bowers said. “Not with the pistol, but just with the voice. When I saw the gun, I knew I had to come.

The threats, he said, have persisted for a long time: “Until recently, it was the new pattern, or pattern of our lives, of worrying about what would happen on Saturday. Because we were different groups coming and they had video panel trucks with videos declaring me a pedophile and a pervert and a corrupt politician and loud loudspeakers in my neighborhood and left literature, ”he said, as well as arguing with and threatening him and his neighbors.

Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s secretary of state, who has rejected attempts to sway state voters, described trying to put her son to sleep when she heard a growing noise. Armed protesters with bullhorns picketed outside his house. “My stomach churned,” he said. “It was the scariest moment, just not knowing what was going to happen.”

Mike Shirkey, the majority leader of the Republican-controlled State Senate in Michigan, was subjected to nearly 4,000 text messages from followers of Mr. Trump after the president and his campaign publicly posted Mr. Trump’s personal cellphone number. Shirkey.

“It’s a loud noise, a fast steady rhythm,” Mr. Shirkey. “We’ve heard Trump people calling and asking for voter changes, and ‘You can do it.’ Well, they believe things that aren’t true. ”

Si Ms. Moss, who went with Shaye, and his mother became targets of Trump supporters after they were accused by Mr. Giuliani at a Georgia State Senate hearing of passing USB drives such as “bowls of heroin or cocaine” to steal the election from Mr. .Trump.

What her mother actually handed her, Ms. tried. Moss on Tuesday, a ginger mint candy.

But Mr. Giuliani’s claim-was later raised by Mr. Trump himself, referring to Ms. Moss on name more than a dozen times in a call with Mr. Raffensperger – ripping far right circles on the internet. Shortly afterwards, the FBI notified Ms. Freeman that it was no longer safe for him to stay in his house.

The urgency of the warning became clear after Trump supporters showed up at the door of Ms. Moss. They forced their way into his home, claiming they were there to arrest a citizen of his granddaughter.

“This woman is everything to me,” Ms. Moss about his grandmother. “I’ve never heard or seen her cry since my life, and she called me screaming at the top of her lungs.”

While hiding, Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman went on to face threats that were apparently asking for their difference, including a comment that Ms. Moss and his mother should be “glad it’s 2020 and not 1920.”

“A lot of them are racists,” Ms. Moss. “A lot of them just hate it.”

Tried by two women nearly two years ago, they are still plagued by the threat of violence. Ms. remembers. Moss who listened to Mr. Trump’s audio tape attacked him and his mother and immediately felt “like it was all my fault.”

“I was just sad for my mom, and I was sad for choosing this job,” she tried, added to the emotion. “And someone who always wants to help and is always there, hasn’t lost even an election. I just feel like that – it’s my fault for putting my family in this situation.

“It’s not your fault,” Representative Adam B. Schiff, a California Democrat, quietly replied from the dice.

Confirmed by Ms. Freeman that he no longer goes to the grocery store, and feels nervous every time he gives his name – which was once proudly worn on T -shirts – for food orders.

“There’s no place I feel safe,” Ms. Freeman. “The president of the United States should represent every American. Not to target one.”

Aishvarya Kavi and Maggie Haberman contributed to reporting.

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