The Gist

 

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, his deputy Gabriel Sterling and Fulton County elections worker Wandrea ArShaye Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman were the star witnesses Tuesday, the fourth day of congressional hearings on the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The hearings, which lasted for nearly three hours, focused on the pressure former President Donald Trump put on top state officials and low-level election workers and the dangerous rhetoric that resulted in death threats, livelihoods disrupted and harassment.

 

Why it matters

 

Georgia was one of several battleground states that the former president lost to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, and the Congressional select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol has found that while efforts of intimidation were mirrored in other states such as  Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada, Trump was laser-focused on the Peach State. 

“President Trump’s pressure campaign against election officials existed in all the key battleground states he lost, but the former president had a particular obsession with Georgia,” said committee chairman U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi).

During Tuesday’s hearings, Georgians heard first-hand how that pressure affected not just top elections officials like Raffensperger and Sterling but the everyday citizens like Moss and her mother who worked as county-level elections workers.

Moss and Freeman, in gut-wrenching testimony, described how their lives were turned upside down after the 2020 election.

“There is nowhere I feel safe, nowhere,” Freeman said in tearful, pre-recorded testimony played by the committee.   

“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 every American, not target one. But he targeted me: Lady Ruby, a small business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen who stood up to help Fulton County run an election in the middle of the pandemic.”

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