Committee also expected to probe Trump’s pressure on officials in crucial states to corruptly reverse his election defeat
At its fourth hearing on Tuesday, the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack is anticipated to reveal that Donald Trump and his top advisers organized the scheme to send fake slates of electors in an effort to re-elect him to the White House.
In the weeks and months after the 2020 election, the panel is anticipated to look into Trump’s campaign to compel top officials in seven key battleground states to corruptly reverse his loss to Joe Biden.
The select committee is expected to focus heavily on the fake elector’s plot during the afternoon session, which has played a big role in its almost year-long probe into Trump’s attempt to overturn election results at the state level.
The panel will show how Trump’s unlawful tactic of having his vice president, Mike Pence, refuse to certify Biden’s win in key states and award him a second term was based on the fake elector’s scheme, which may have been illegal.
If the 2020 election cycle had been like any other, any post-election period controversy would have ended when the electoral college convened on 14 December 2020 and Democratic electors attested to Biden’s victory over Trump.
However, in seven battleground states, after approved Democratic electors met at statehouses to formally choose Biden as president, illegitimate Republican electors came, claiming they had come to name Trump as president instead.
Trump voters were turned away. Despite this, they proceeded to sign false election certificates claiming to be “duly elected and qualified” electors certifying Trump as the winner of their state’s presidential election.
The fake elector’s strategy was devised in an attempt to create “dueling” slates of electors that Pence could use to claim the election was in dispute and refuse to certify Biden’s victory at the congressional certification on January 6th.
The select committee will also reveal that the false election certificates were partly manufactured by the Trump White House and that Trump and his top advisers, including former chief of staff Mark Meadows, coordinated the entire fake elector scam.
“We will show evidence of the president’s involvement in this scheme,” congressman Adam Schiff, the select committee member leading the hearing alongside the panel’s chairman, Bennie Thompson, and vice-chair, Liz Cheney, said on NYTimes on Sunday.
Members of Trump’s legal team argue that this is a distorted image of the scheme, claiming that the so-called alternate slates were put together and signed in case states re-certified their election results for Trump and they needed to be forwarded to Congress straight away.
But that explanation is difficult to reconcile given that Trump lawyer John Eastman admitted in a 19 December 2020 letter that uncertified Trump slates were “dead on arrival,” but still pushed Pence to reject Biden’s slates despite the fact that Trump slates were still unlicensed.
The fake elector’s plan is important since it has the potential to be illegal. The Justice Department is looking into whether the Republicans who signed up to be Trump’s electors should be charged with falsifying voting documents, mail fraud, or conspiracy to defraud the United States.
If Trump was a part of the plan and the Justice Department pursues a case, the former US president might face criminal charges as well. At least one federal grand jury in Washington is looking into the scheme, as well as the involvement of key Trump campaign lawyers like Rudy Giuliani.
According to a committee aide who previewed the meeting on a conference call, the select committee would pay careful attention to Trump’s pressure campaign on senior Republican state officials in the weeks and months following the election.
The panel plans to look into Trump’s now-famous 2 January 2021 call with Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger – who will testify live at the session – in which Trump asked him to “find” votes to make him win the election.
“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said during the conversation, a tape of which was obtained by the Washington Post and House investigators working for the select committee.
Using evidence from Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, the select committee will explain Trump urging other state authorities to investigate election fraud claims that his own White House and campaign lawyers knew were false.
In addition, the panel will hear from Shaye Moss, a Fulton County, Georgia election worker who was falsely accused by Giuliani and others of smuggling in “suitcases” of ballots for Biden — a conspiracy theory debunked by election officials.