Former Fulton County election worker Wandrea “Shaye” Moss testified at a U.S. House congressional hearing on Tuesday that her life has been “turned upside down,” after former President Donald Trump falsely accused her of ballot fraud in his quest to regain the White House.
Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, also a Fulton election worker during the 2020 presidential election, endured more than a year of death threats and character assassinations, which resulted in Moss becoming a recluse.
“I don’t want anyone knowing my name,” Moss tearfully told the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. “I haven’t been anywhere at all. I’ve gained about 60 pounds. … I second-guess everything I do. It’s affected my life in a major way.”
Freeman sat behind her daughter during the nearly three-hour hearing. She didn’t speak publicly but the committee showed videos of her talking about her ordeal.
Two Georgia Republicans, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Gabe Sterling, who oversaw Georgia’s voting system for the 2020 election, also testified. Day 4 of the hearing zeroed in on Trump’s efforts to pressure state and local officials in Georgia and several other key swing states to alter the presidential election results.
“Today, we’ll show that what happened to [former Vice President] Mike Pence wasn’t an isolated part of Donald Trump’s scheme to overturn the election,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat chairing the committee, said in his opening statement. “In fact, pressuring public servants into betraying their oaths [of office] was a fundamental part of the playbook.”
Even though Biden won Georgia by 4,000 votes and Raffensperger ordered several vote recounts, Trump continued to insist the election was stolen. The committee dug into a now-famous Jan. 2, 2021 phone call lasting 67 minutes, where Trump asked Raffensperger to find more votes.
“I knew we had followed the law, we had followed the Constitution,” Raffensperger told the committee when asked why he didn’t resign in the face of extreme intimidation from “Stop the Steal” proponents, which included harassment against himself, his wife and other family members.
“Sometimes moments require you to stand up and just take the shots. You’re doing your job, and that’s all we did,” he said.”At the end of the day, President Trump came up short, but I had to be faithful to the Constitution. And that’s what I swore an oath to do.”
Arizona House Speaker and former Trump supporter Rusty Bowers told the committee that Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman asked him to remove Biden’s electors from the Arizona electoral college contingent. Bowers refused. He and his family–including a daughter who was in the final stages of terminal cancer–also endured sustained harassment.
Why Tuesday’s testimony matters: The Jan. 6 attack didn’t happen in a vacuum. The investigative committee contends that Tuesday’s testimonies from Raffensperger, Sterling, Bowers, Moss, and Freeman revealed events that ultimately led to the Capitol insurrection.
The House panel is trying to build a case against the former president with each hearing. It aims to show that Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was stolen, followed by pressure tactics on state officials to alter votes, and then on former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the electoral college results all led to the Jan. 6 insurrection.
While the investigative committee has no power to bring charges against Trump or anyone else, the hearings are a way to counter ongoing misinformation about vote fraud in the 2020 election, also known as the “Big Lie.” They’re also a way for the Democratic-led lawmakers to present their findings on the Capitol insurrection directly to voters before the Nov. 8 midterm election.
Most damning testimony: “You’re asking me to do something against my oath and I will not break my oath,” Bowers said when Guiliani and Eastman asked him to nullify Biden’s Arizona electors.
Most heartfelt testimony: “There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you?” Ruby Freeman said in taped testimony.
“The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American. Not to target one. 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.”
Most revealing testimony: “I’ve been traveling through Georgia for a year now and, simply put, in a nutshell, what happened in fall of 2020 is that 28,000 Georgians skipped the presidential race, and yet they voted down-ballot in other races,” Raffensperger said. “The Republican congressman ended up getting 33,000 more votes than President Trump, and that’s why President Trump came up short.”
Most alarming testimony: “After the election, my email and my cell phone were doxxed, so I was getting texts from all over the country,” Raffensperger said. ”And then eventually, my wife started getting texts and hers typically came in as sexualized texts, which were disgusting. They started going after her just to probably put pressure on me [to resign]. … And then some people broke into my daughter-in-law’s home. My son has passed and she’s a widow and has two kids. So we’re very concerned about her safety also.”
When’s the next hearing? The final hearing is set for Thursday, June 23 at 3 p.m.
Want to catch up on the hearings? Watch them on YouTube.
What happens next? The Jan. 6 committee is expected to continue its investigation and issue a final report by the end of the year.