tv NBC Bay Area News at 11AM NBC June 21, 2022 11:00am-11:30am PDT
findlay email mr. chezbro politely to say this is your task. you are responsible for electoral college issues moving forward. and this was my way of taking that responsibility to zero. >> the committee learned the white house council's office thought the plan was potentially illegal. >> helped organize the effort. >> we were just kind of useful idiots at that point. you know, a strong part of me
really feels that it is just kind of as the road continued and as it was failure, failure, failure that that got formulated as what do we have on the table. let's just do it. >> and now after what we have told you today about the select committee's investigation about the conclusion of the professional lawyers on the campaign staff, clark, matt moore morgan and finally about the convening of these electors, what was your understanding of these issues? >> i'm angry because i think -- i think in a sense, you know, no one really cared if -- if people were potentially putting themselves in jeopardy. >> would you have not wanted to participate in this any further as well? >> i absolutely would not have had i known that the three main lawyers for the campaign that i
have spoken to in the past and were leading up were -- were not onboard. yeah. >> i was told that these were to only count if a court ruled in our favor, so that would have been using our electors -- well, it would have been using our electors in ways that we weren't told about and we wouldn't support. >> documents indicate that instructions were given to the electors in several states that needed to cast their ballots in complete secrecy. because the scheme involved secret electors, the state had no way to comply with certain election laws. one group even considered hiding overnight to ensure they could access the state capitol as required in michigan. >> did mr. norton say who he was working with at all on this effort to have electors meet?
>> he said he was working with the president's campaign. he told me that the michigan republican electors were planning to meet in the capitol and hide overnight so that they could refill the role casting their vote in, per law, in the michigan chambers. and i told him in no uncertain terms that that was insane and inappropriate. >> in one state the fake e welcome tors asked for a promise that the campaign would pay their legal fees if they got sued or charged with a crime. ultimately fake electors did meet on december 15th, 2020 in arizona, georgia, michigan, pennsylvania, new mexico, nevada and wisconsin. at the request of the trump campaign, the electors signed
documents falsely asserting that they were the, quote, duly electors electors from their state and submitted them to the national archives and to vice president pence in his capacity as president of the senate. here is what some of the fake elector certificates looked like as compared to the real ones. these ballots had no legal effect. in an e-mail produced to the select committee, dr. eastman told a trump campaign that it did not matter. quote, the fact that we have multiple slates of electors demonstrates the uncertainty of either. that would be enough. he urged that pence act boldly and be challenged. documents produced to the select committee show that the trump campaign took steps to ensure that the physical copies of the fake electors electoral votes from two states were delivered to washington for january 6th. text messages exchanged between republican party officials in wisconsin show that on january 4th the trump campaign asked for someone to fly their fake electors' documents to
washington. a staffer for wisconsin senator ron johnson texted a staffer for vice president pence minutes before the joint session. this staffer stated that senator johnson wished to hand deliver to the vice president the fake electors' votes from michigan and wisconsin. the vice president's aid unambiguously instructed them not to deliver the fake votes to the vice president. even though they were transmitted to congress and the executive branch, the vice president held firm in his position that his role was to count lawfully submitted electoral votes. >> joseph r. biden jr. of the state of delaware has received 306 votes. donald j. trump with the state of florida has received 232 votes. >> which is what he did when the joint session resumed on january 6th after the attack on the capitol. >> 538. >> what we just heard in that video was an aid to the white house chief of staff telling
this committee that the white house counsel's office set that this fake electors' plan was not legally sound. nevertheless, the trump campaign went forward with a scheme anyway. sneaker, were you apair that fake electors met and purported to cast electoral votes for president trump? >> i was not. >> when you learned these electors had met and sent their electoral votes to washington, what did you think? >> well, i thought of the book "the game that couldn't shoot straight," and i just thought this is a -- this is a tragic parody. >> mr. bower, as i understand as you flew from phoenix to washington yesterday, you reflected upon some passages from a personal journal that you were keeping in december 2020 while all this was taking place. with your permission, i'm wondering if you would be
willing to share one passage in particular with us. >> thank you very much. it is painful to have friends who have been such a help to me turn on me with such ranker. i may in the eyes of men not hold correct opinions or act according to their vision or convictions, but i do not take this current situation in a light manner, a fearful manner or a vengeful manner. i do not want to be a winner by cheating. i will not play with laws i swore allegiance to. with any contrived desire towards deflection of my deep foundation desire to follow
god's will as i believe he led my conscious to embrace, how else will i ever approach him in the wilderness of life knowing that i asked of this guidance only to show myself a coward in defending the course he let me take? he led me to take. thank you. >> mr. speaker, those are powerful words. i understand that taking the courageous positions that you did following the 2020 election in defense of the rule of law and protecting the voters of arizona resulted in you and your family being subjected to protests and terrible threats. can you tell us how that impacted you and your family? >> well, as others in the videos have mentioned, we received --
my secretaries would say in excess of 20,000 e-mails and tens of thousands of voice mails and texts which saturated our offices and we were unable to work, at least communicate. but at home, up until even recently, it is the new pattern or a pattern in our lives to worry what will happen on saturdays because we have various groups come by and they have had video panel trucks with videos of me, proclaiming me to be a pedophile and a pervert and corrupt politician and blaring loud speakers in my neighborhood and living literature both on my
property but arguing and threatening with neighbors and with myself. and i don't know if i should name groups, but there was one gentleman that had the three bars on his chest, and he had a pistol and was threatening my neighbor, not with the pistol but just vocally. when i saw the gun, i knew i had to get close. and at the same time, on some of these, we had a daughter who is gravely ill who was upset by what was happening outside. and my wife, that is a valiant person, very, very strong, quiet, very strong woman.
so it was disturbing. it was disturbing. >> mr. speaker, i want to thank you for your service to the state of arizona and to the country. mr. chairman, at this point, i think it would be appropriate to take a short recess. accordingly, i reserve the balance of my time. >> the chair requests that those in the hearing room remain seated until the capitol police have escorted members and witnesses from the room. we'll have five minutes. a five-minute recess. all right. we are going to do a quick five-minute recess here. the committee has been focusing on its former claims that president donald trump that the former president tried to
pressure state-level officials to overturn the election results in any way possible. even some of his own advisers said there was no legal basis for claims that the election was stolen. the committee argues these claims put sate officials' safety at risk when they refused to go along with the plans. we also heard some surprisingly emotional testimony from rusty bowers who spoke about how the president directly tried to get him to reject the election results but he simply kept telling him it was against the law. and i have to tell you, kristin welker, if there is, quote, the emotional testimony of speaker bower's definitely, i think, is certainly going to be what we focus on here, and i want to focus on it second. but i can't get over the one sentence he kept saying, which sums up the trump strategy. we have lots of theories, we just don't have the evidence. i mean, that -- i don't know what better illustrates why
we're here than that. >> yes. it is just extraordinary to hear him say that that was said to him by rudy giuliani. and it is said within the context of him asking over and over again in the face of these phone calls and this public pressure campaign from rudy giuliani, from jenna ellis, from the president himself, where's the evidence and they couldn't ever produce a shred of evidence. and that quote you just read sums it all up. i think his emotional testimony is one of the most extraordinary things that we have seen in this hearing so far. it speaks to the pressure that he was feeling, the squeeze that he has been feeling. and he talked about this, chuck, as a matter of faith. he said, i swore an oath to my office and to this country. and for him, it's engrained in religious principals, and i think that's part of what makes him so credible. this is the top republican in the arizona house saying this,
and it speaks to what he endured but also to the ongoing threat, which is a key part of the argument that the committee is trying to lay out. >> arizona republican politics is really divided in two. you have rusty bowers as part of the jeff flake wing, doug ducey wing. there's always been a fringe element that has had an extraordinary amount of influence inside the arizona republican apologize going in the way back machine, a delusional man that ended up as governor. he was impeached. there was a fringe wing of the party and clearly speaker bower is one of those that has to worry about that fringe element. it is a weird divide. but the byu graduate there, he clearly is a man of faith. and he's been a republican for so long in arizona, i think he's unassailable. what do you think? >> this comes down to the danger
to our democracy and the danger to physical life. what russky bowers did was break down both. he told you rudy giuliani told him, we're both republicans here. why are you pushing back the political loyalty? >> the man who made famous the phrase country before party, i'm referring to john mccain, he is saying party over country. >> yes. and for rusty bowers to put party over god because he saw that as you're not just asking me about my country, you're asking me about my faith. you're asking me about all the different things that make e me. his family, hick daughter, his quiet but powerful wife, they were all scared and continue to be scared. so the democracy is not just about also what's happening in new mexico two weeks ago, but also what's happening every
saturday in his neighborhood. that is the legacy of former president trump on his doorstep with him having to deal with people who are armed at his door claiming he's a pedophile, which goes to qanon and all these different conspiracy theories. the fact he was about to cry tells you just how disturbed he is that all this happened. >> garrett haack, you were in the hearing room. you're outside of it now. look, all of us were caught off guard by how emotional he got. he strikes me as somebody that doesn't lead with emotion, which i think made it all the more powerful. >> i think that's right, chuck. this is part of the committee strategy. it always has been to try to have republican witnesses be the ones telling the story. that's part of what makes him effective here because as he laid out the idea that he wasn't open to what rudy is suggesting, he was. he was repeatedly saying, where is the evidence? what do you have?
give me the names? give me something i can work with. he said at the beginning, he wanted donald trump to win. and time and time again with his eyes wide open not seeing that evidence provided, not seeing any evidence of fraud, he became disillusioned to the point where he felt he was being pushed to betray his oath. and i think that moment deserves hearing again, when bowers clearly gets pushed beyond what he's willing to do. listen to what he told the committee. >> anything that would say to me, you have a doubt. deny your oath. i will not do that. and on more than -- on more than one occasion throughout all this, that has been brought up, and it is a tenant of my faith, that the constitution is
divinely inspired. aligned with my most basic foundational beliefs. >> reporter: so, chuck, you see he's only willing to get pushed so far. and that kind of language, that's the same kind of language i remember hearing from mitt romney when romney voted for the conviction in donald trump's first impeachment. he had the thing of a say correct oath here, the constitution held above all. he was willing to listen, but he was only willing to go so far and not betray what he considered to be a sacred principal. if you are this committee and you are trying to reach folks in this investigation, that seems like a pretty good way to do it. >> garrett, thank you. for the viewers hear, when they hear, look, i was stunned to hear how many alternative elector slates were sent into the national archives. what makes that a crime? >> the submission of these fake
elector slates to the national archives is potentially a crime in the sense that it may be falsifying documents in submitting them to the national archives. that might get you in federal land. but, i mean, there are a lot of different state crimes that address elections. and you might have a fraud or other crimes there. so you have both state and federal potential crimes here. and again and again, the defense comes back to one thing. how far is ignorance going to go? because it seems to me the facts in many cases are set in stone. they're covered by e-mails. they're covered by phone calls that were recorded. >> there is no doubt this is a legally questionable path to go down. >> it may be the only path. look, as a criminal defense attorney, sometimes you take the facts as you get them and you only have certain defenses available to you. and as i'm watching this unfold, more and more i start thinking, well, the only thing left is a knowledge-type defense. not quite an insanity defense,
but a knowledge. what did they know? and were they acting in good faith? and, so, when you hear that testimony, well, what did you have? well, we have theories. we don't really have any evidence. we don't have any facts. consider that -- the trump team is asking people like mr. bowers to do something that would be in violation of state law and arguably federal law. and in order to meet that high burden, he says what do you have? and they don't really have anything. and that becomes a problem for the trump team in that they are asking someone to do something. by the way, it's not an out for the trump team that these people refused their treaties because you have incomplete crimes. >> but not everybody refused them. some went along with him. so the electors went along with it. who has more legal exposure, the electors themselves or the folks on the trump campaign who convinced them to do it? >> well, look for the electors themselves to raise that, we were just duped. we were useful idiots. >> you're sort of hearing it.
>> you are hearing it. >> that one staffer who called himself a useful idiot. >> yep. well, think about it. you're right. you saw that staffer. think about it. in the law you sometimes have an advice of attorney defense. hey, my attorney told me to do this and i relied on the attorney. that's just some attorney somewhere. this is the president of the united states. you can imagine that a lot of these fake electors are starting to feel, my gosh, i had faith in someone i thought was the president. now i realize i was duped. >> this gets at the framing of this for the longest time with all things trump. and i confess to this, which is rusty bowers called it a tragic parody. keystone cops or caper, and i confess to it myself because everything trump does is so stupid, okay, and so dumb in how they go about it. but i think sometimes using the words "parody" or "caper," it diminishes the importance and the scariness of it. >> and i think he got to the fact that so many people
underestimated what the former president was capable of with that term as well. and that's part of the case that's being laid out here. what if russky bowers wasn't in that position? what if it was someone else? and that's part of the argument that the committee is trying to make. right now, more than 100 gop candidates have won their primaries who support former president trump's false claims of election fraud. >> yeah. >> and, so, part of the picture that the committee is trying to paint here and the argument is not just the legal jeopardy for trump but also the legal jeopardy again for the country's democracy moving forward. >> look, the importance of sometimes state officials, if you want to unpack the florida election back in 2000, the single most important election that impacted the results of florida took place two years earlier in 1998 when the republicans won the secretary of state's office rather than the m cans. why? they certified the election. had the election never been certified in florida, the supreme court probably lets the
recount go. there are a lot of secretary of state campaigns certainly that if, you know, their power of certification, you know, can -- can essentially legalize some of the -- some of the illegal acts here that the former president did. >> that's why it is so important when you think of the lawmakers talking about new mexico and two weeks ago but also pointing out there are election deniers that have won races and all sorts of places across this country. think like pennsylvania and what happened there. you have these republicans, and i think i go back to this idea of the limits of political loyalty, who see their limits of political loyalty as not having any really, as them seeing this as being able to say if a republican doesn't mean, i will not certify the election. that's the danger there. i do want to get back to one point, which is this idea of tragic parody. i think that the super power of the trump administration has always been that they were underestimated, that they sometimes come off as bafoons.
there were things that made you laugh. rudy giuliani's hair dye, all these things that is like, what is going on? and then you realize there are real world consequences. and those consequences are that people that believe rudy giuliani, that they are having more and more power across the country. >> danny, to hear this, and i am curious of your thoughts of mr. schiff's questioning. and the issue i'm wondering is: how is this committee avoiding confirmation bias? because i don't know they are. >> i didn't think schiff's question was particularly effective. schiff was essentially testifying and then asking the witness to rubber stamp with a yes or no at the end. >> wouldn't you want it reversed for public relations purposes? i would want to hear bowers say the things schiff asked him. >> that's why we have rules like that in court. when it is direct testimony, when it is your witness, that witness has to tell the story.
you have to get the evidence from the witness. you can't state it and get the answer to say uh-huh or yes. >> he was a powerful witness any way. >> don't you want him to get emotional and tell his story? that makes it so real because, make no mistake about it, there have been a lot of witnesses. some have firsthand knowledge. others don't really in the same way. this is somebody that experienced the pressure not j from trump team, but in the threatened and made him fear for his own decisions as professional official decisions. >> and there is a bit of overlap with law in journalism in that as a journalist who has been watching other journalists and texting with lawyers, both people, both groups would say you want that person to tell the story themselves and start crying themselves and give you the story themselves. me and kristin are in a room with russky bowers as he's getting emotional, you pause
because you know you will get some of the strongest sound. i think that's an interesting decision these lawmakers are making. but maybe it is also their legal minds and what they want to make sure they get checked off their boxes. but it feels like a missed opportunity in some ways. >> it did there. anyway, the committee is seated. we will now hear from these georgia officials. like we said, some of these folks are well known. secretary of state of georgia who could have been in a run-off today and he's not. he won outright. >> existed in all the key battleground states that he lost. what the former president had a particular obsession with georgia. here is the president on the afternoon of january 6th after his own attorney general warned him that the claims you are about to hear are patently false. >> you should find those votes. they should absolutely find them. just over 11,000 votes. that's all we need.
they defrauded us out of a win in georgia, and we're not going to forget it. >> so the state of georgia is where we will turn our attention to next. i want to emphasize that our investigation into these issues is still ongoing. as i stated in our last hearing, if you have relevant information or documentary evidence to share with the select committee, we welcome your cooperation. but we will share some of our findings with you today. secretary secretary, thank you for being here today. you have served first as a member of the georgia house of representatives and then since january 2019 as georgia's secretary of state. as a self-described conservative republican, is it fair to say that you wanted president trump
to win the 2020 election? >> yes, it is. >> mr. secretary, many witnesses have told the select committee that election day, november 3rd, 2020, was a largely uneventful day in their home states. in spite of the challenges of conducting an election during a pandemic, you wrote in "the washington post" that election was, quote, successful. tell us what was your impression of how election day had proceeded in georgia. >> on election day in november, our election went remarkably smooth. in fact, we'd meet at the gima headquarters. that's the georgia management association meeting location. but we were following wait times in line. in the afternoon our average wait times was three minutes statewide that we were recording for various precincts.
at the end of the day, we felt we had a successful election from the administration of the election. >> thank you. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. schiff. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary, did joe biden win the 2020 election in georgia? and by what margin? >> president biden carried the state of georgia by approximately 12,000 votes. >> and mr. secretary, as i understand it, your office took several steps to ensure the accuracy of the vote count in georgia, reviewing the vote count in at least three different ways. these steps included a machine recount, a forensic audit and b. did these efforts including a recount of every ballot cast in the state of georgia reflect the results? >> yes, they did. the first would be scanned. then when we did our 100% hand
audit of the fire all five million ballots in the state of georgia all cast in place, they were all hand recounted and they came remarkable close to the first count. then upon the election being certified president trump, because he was within a half percent, excuse me, could ask for a recount. and then we recounted them again through the scanner, so we got remarkably the same count. three counts all remarkably close, which showed that president trump did come up short. >> nevenevertheless, the presid and his allies began making numerous false allegations of voter fraud, false allegations that you and mr. sterling among others had to address. mr. sterling, thank you also for being here today. following the 2020 election, in addition to your normal duties, i understand that you became a sports person to try to combat disinformation about the election and the danger it was creating for election officials, among others. in a december 1 press