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CNN Live Event/Special

Attack On Democracy: The January 6th Hearings. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired June 21, 2022 - 15:00   ET


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Let's play a part of that conversation.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So look, all I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more that we have because we want to say.


SCHIFF: Mr. Secretary, was the president here asking you for exactly what he wanted, one more vote than his opponent?

BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, (R) GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: What I knew is that we didn't have any votes to find. We've continued to look. We investigated like I just shared the numbers with you, there were no votes to find. That was an accurate count that had been certified. And as our general counsel said, there was no shredding of ballots.

SCHIFF: Mr. Secretary, after making this request, the President then goes back to the danger of having you deny these allegations of fraud. Let's listen to that part of the clip.


TRUMP: And I watched you this morning and you said, "Well, there was no criminality," but I mean, all of this stuff is very dangerous stuff. When you talk about no criminality, I think it's very dangerous for you to say that.

SCHIFF: Secretary Raffensperger, you wrote about this in your book and you said, quote, "I felt then and still believe today that this was a threat." Others obviously thought so too, because some of Trump's more radical followers have responded as if it was their duty to carry out this threat. Please tell us what you, your wife, even your daughter-in-law experienced regarding threats from Trump's more radical followers.

RAFFENSPERGER: Well, after the election, my email, my cell phone was doxxed and so I was getting texts all over the country. And then eventually, my wife started getting the texts and hers typically came in as sexualized text, which were disgusting.

You have to understand that Trish and I, we met in high school, we've been married over 40 years now and so they started going after her, I think, just to partly put pressure on me, "Why don't you just quit and walk away?" And so that happened. And then some people broke into my daughter-in-law's home and - my son has passed and she's a widow and she has two kids and so we're very concerned about her safety also.

SCHIFF: And Mr. Secretary, why didn't you just quit and walk away?

RAFFENSPERGER: Because I knew that we had followed the law, we had followed the Constitution and I think sometimes moments require you to stand up and just take the shots, you're doing your job and that's all we did. We just followed the law we, we followed the Constitution. And 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.

SCHIFF: During the remainder of the call, the foreign president continued to press you to find the remaining votes that would ensure his victory in Georgia. Let's listen to a little more.


TRUMP: But why wouldn't you want to find the right answer, Brad, instead of keep saying that the numbers are right.

So look, can you get together tomorrow, and Brad, we just want the truth. It's simple. And everyone's going to look very good if the truth comes out. It's okay. It'll take a little while, but, let the truth come out.

RAFFENSPERGER: Mr. President ...

TRUMP: And the truth - the real truth is I won by 400,000 votes, at least. So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.


SCHIFF: Four days after the president's call, Secretary Raffensperger, was January 6th. The president whipped up the crowd in front of the Ellipse once again promoting the allegation that Secretary Raffensperger, President's own attorney general, had told him was false. Here he is on the Ellipse.


TRUMP: In Fulton County, republican poll Watchers were rejected in some cases, physically from the room under the false pretense of a pipe burst. Water main burst, everybody leave. Which we now know was a total lie. Then election officials pull boxes, Democrats and suitcases of ballots out from under a table. You all saw it on television, totally fraudulent. And illegally scanned them for nearly two hours totally unsupervised. Tens of thousands of votes, as that coincided with a mysterious vote dump of up to 100,000 votes for Joe Biden, almost none for Trump. Oh, that sounds fair. That was at 1:34 am.


SCHIFF: Mr. Secretary, Mr. Sterling, I want to thank you for your service to the State of Georgia and to the country. Speaker Bowers, likewise, I want to thank you for your service to the State of Arizona and to the country you have served not only your home states but our nation and our democracy.


Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): Thank you, Mr. Schiff. I thank the witnesses for joining us today. You're now dismissed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The three Republican election officials have been dismissed from their testimony. Now we're going to hear from a witness named Wandrea ArShaye Moss, nicknamed Shaye Moss. She and her mother were accused falsely of election fraud in Georgia and their family was besieged with threats, and all sorts of horrors unleashed upon them in this campaign of lies.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And I mean, she's really just one of many that were singled out by Trump and his allies in videos, in tweets, by name on some of these phone calls. And the allegations against them were completely invented and made up and they were subjected to really horrible threats, but also racist threats that were directed at them because they were black. They were working in Fulton County and the accusation was a blanket accusation that there was ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's listen in.

THOMPSON: I now (inaudible) our witness this afternoon, Wandrea "Shaye" Moss. Ms. Moss worked in the department of registration and elections in Fulton County, Georgia from 2017 until 2022. In her job, Ms. Moss handle voter applications and absentee ballot requests and also help to process the vote count for several elections.

In December 2020, Ms. Moss and her mother, Ms. Ruby Freeman became the target of nasty lies spread by President Trump and his allies as they sought to overturn the election results in Georgia. Ms. Moss and her mother, Ms. Freeman, are two of the unsung heroes in this country, doing the hard work of keeping our democracy functioning for every American.

Ms. Moss, welcome. Thank you for your service and I thank you for being here today. I will now swear you in, please stand.

Do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?


THOMPSON: Thank you. Please be seated.

Let the record reflect that the witness answered in the affirmative.

Ms. Moss, thank you very much for being here today. I understand that you are here along with your mother today. Would you like to introduce your mama?

Hi, ma'am.

Ms. Moss, today we will be asking you about some of the threats that you receive following the 2020 election. Since you've been an election worker for over 10 years. I want to ask you in your decade of service, had you ever experienced threats like these before?

MOSS: (Inaudible) ...

THOMPSON: Don't be nervous, just - I understand. So - and I want to make sure that the record reflects that you've done it for quite a while and you've never received a threat and your answer was no. Thank you.

Pursuant to Section 5(c)(8) of the House Resolution 503, the Chair recognizes the gentleman from California, Mr. Schiff, for questions.

SCHIFF: Good afternoon, Ms. Moss, thank you for being here. I understand that you are employed by the Fulton County Registration and Elections Department for more than 10 years and I understand that you love them job. Please tell us what made you so fond of the work that you did.


MOSS: Well, I've always been told by my grandmother how important it is to vote and how people before me, a lot of people, older people in my family did not have that right, so what I loved most about my job were the older voters, younger people could usually do everything from their phone or go online, but the older voters like to call, they like to talk to you, they like to get my card, they like to know that every election I'm here. And like even college students, a lot of parents trusting me to make sure their child does not have to drive home, they'll get an absentee ballot, they can vote and I really found pleasure in that.

I like being the one that - if someone can't navigate my voter page or they want a new precinct card, and they don't have a copy machine or computer, all of that, I could put it in the mail for them. I was excited always about sending out all the absentee ballots for the elderly, disabled people. I even remember driving to - in hospital to give someone her absentee application. That's what I love the most.

SCHIFF: So you really enjoyed helping people vote, and participate, and that was something - the right to vote that your grandmother taught you was precious.

MOSS: Yes.

SCHIFF: Well, I know the events that we're here to talk about today are incredibly difficult to relive. Your proud service as an election worker took a dramatic turn on the day that Rudy Giuliani publicized the video of you and your mother counting ballots on election night. President Trump, Rudy Giuliani and others claimed on the basis of this video that you and your mother were somehow involved in a plot to kick out observers, bring suitcases of false ballots for Biden into the arena and then run them through the machines multiple times. None of that was true, was it?

MOSS: None of it.

SCHIFF: I'd like to show you some of the statements that Rudy Giuliani made in a second hearing before the Georgia state legislators. A week after that video clip from State Farm Arena was first circulated by Mr. Giuliani and President Trump. I want to advise viewers that these statements are completely false and also deeply disturbing.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: Tape earlier in the day of Ruby Freeman and Shaye Freeman Moss and one of the gentlemen quite obviously surreptitiously passing around USB ports as if they're vials of heroin or cocaine. I mean, it's obvious to anyone who's a criminal investigator or prosecutor, they are engaged in surreptitious illegal activity again that day and after a week ago they're still walking around Georgia lying.

Shouldn't have been - they shouldn't have been questioned already. Their places of work, their homes should have been searched for evidence of balance, evidence of USB ports, for evidence of voter fraud.


SCHIFF: That video was from Rudy Giuliani's appearance at a Georgia State Senate hearing on December 10. How did you become aware, how did you first become aware that Rudy Giuliani, president's lawyer, was accusing you and your mother of a crime?

MOSS: I was at work like always an the former chief, Mr. Jones, asked me to come to his office. And when I went to his office, the former director, Mr. Barron (ph), was in there and they showed me a video on their computer. It was just like a very short clip of us working at State Farm and it had someone on the video like talking over the video just saying that we were doing things that we weren't supposed to do just lying throughout the video and that's when I first found out about it.


SCHIFF: And were there social media posts that they showed you responding to those false claims?

MOSS: Well, when I saw the video, of course, the first thing that I said was like, why are they doing this? What's going on? And they just told me that Trump and his allies were not satisfied with the outcome of the election and they were getting a lot of threats and being harassed online and asked me have I been receiving anything and I need to check on my mom.

And I told them - I was like, "Where? Where have they - where have you been getting these threats? I don't believe I have any." And Mr. Jones told me like they're attacking his Facebook and I don't really use Facebook, I have one, so I went to the Facebook app and I'm just kind of panicky at this point, because this has never happened to me and my mom is involved. And I'm like her only child, so I'm just asking, like, where are the messages? All I see are the feeds. Like, how do you get to the messages? And he said, it's another icon on your phone that says messenger. And I went to that icon and there was just a lot of horrible things there.

SCHIFF: And those horrible things, do they include threats?

MOSS: Yes. A lot of threats, wishing death upon me, telling me that I'll be in jail with my mother and saying things like be glad it's 2020 and not 1920.

SCHIFF: Were a lot of these threats and vile comments racist in nature?

MOSS: A lot of them were racist. A lot of them were just hateful. Yes, sir.

SCHIFF: In one of the videos we just watched, Mr. Giuliani accused you and your mother of passing some sort of USB drive to each other. What was your mom actually handing you on that video?

MOSS: A ginger mint.

SCHIFF: It wasn't just Rudy Giuliani. We heard President Trump make these false allegations repeatedly during his call with Secretary Raffensperger. Let's listen to a portion of what he had to say about you and your mother.


TRUMP: We had at least 18,000, that's on tape, we had them counted very painstakingly, 18,000 voters having to do with the Ruby Freeman, that's - she's a vote scammer, a professional vote scammer and hustler.


SCHIFF: Donald Trump attacked you and your mother using her name 18 times on that call, 18 times. Ms. Moss, can you describe what you experienced listening to former President Trump attack you and your mother in a call with the Georgia Secretary of State?

MOSS: I felt horrible. I felt like it was all my fault. Like if I would have never decided to be an elections worker, like I could have done anything else. But that's what I decided to do and now people are lying and spreading rumors and lies and attacking my mom. I'm her only child going to my grandmother's house. I'm her only grandchild and my kid is just - I felt so bad. I felt bad for my mom and I felt horrible for picking this job and being the one that always wants to help and always there. Never miss not one election. I just felt like it was my fault for putting my family in this situation.

SCHIFF: Ma'am, it wasn't your fault. Your mother was kind enough to come speak with us earlier. Let's listen to her story and her words.


RUBY FREEMAN, FORMER FULTON COUNTY, GA ELECTION WORKER: My name is Ruby Freeman. I've always believed that when God says that he'll make your name great, but this is not the way it was supposed to be. I could have never imagined the events that followed the presidential election 2020.

Through my entire professional life, I was Lady Ruby. My community in Georgia, where I was born, and I lived my whole life, knew me as Lady Ruby.


I built my own business around that name LaRuby's Unique Treasures, a pop up shop, catering to ladies with unique fashions. I wore a shirt that proudly proclaim that I love and I am Lady Ruby. Actually, I had that shirt on - I had that shirt in ever color. I wore that shirt on Election Day 2020. I haven't worn it since and, and I'll never wear it again.

Now, I won't even introduce myself by my name anymore. I get nervous when I bump into someone I know in the grocery store, who says my name. I'm worried about who's listening. I get nervous when I have to give my name for food orders. I'm always concerned of who's around me. I've lost my name and I've lost my reputation, I've lost my sense of security, all because a group of people starting with number 45 and his ally, Rudy Giuliani, decided to scapegoat me and my daughter, Shaye, to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen.


SCHIFF: Ms. Moss, how is this experience of being targeted by the former president and his allies affected your life.

MOSS: This turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card. I don't transfer calls. I don't want anyone knowing my name. I don't want to go anywhere with my mom, because she might yell my name out over the grocery aisle or something. I don't go to the grocery store at all. I haven't been anywhere at all.

I've gained about 60 pounds. I just don't do nothing anymore. I don't want to go anywhere. I second guess everything that I do. This affected my life in a major way, in every way all because of lies of me doing my job, same thing I've been doing forever.

SCHIFF: Your mother also told the Select Committee about how she had to leave her own home for her safety and go into hiding after the FBI told her that it would not be safe for her there before January 6th and until the inauguration. Let's listen to a clip of her story in her own words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FREEMAN: Around the week of January 6, the FBI informed me that I

needed to leave my home for safety and I left my home for safety around that time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Understood. How long did you stay out - did you remain outside of your home for your own safety?

FREEMAN: I stayed away from my home for approximately two months. It was horrible. I felt homeless I felt - I can't believe I can't believe this person has caused this much damage to me and my family to have to leave my home that I've lived there for 21 years. And I'm having to have my neighbor's watch out for me and have to go and stay with somebody. It was hard. It was horrible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that your conversation with the FBI about needing to leave your home for your own safety or perhaps recommending it. If you remember, was there a specific threat that prompted that or was it the accumulation of a threat that you had perceived.

FREEMAN: What prompted it was getting ready to January 6 was about to come and they did not want me to be at home because of all the threats and everything that I had gotten. They didn't want me to be there in fear of the people would come into my home and I had a lot of that, so they didn't want me to be there. Just in case something happened. I asked, "How long am I going to have to be at home?" They said, "At least until the inauguration."



SCHIFF: Ms. Moss, I understand that people once showed up at your grandmother's house. Tell us about that experience.

MOSS: I received a call from my grandmother. This woman is my everything. I've never even heard her or seen her cry ever in my life and she called me screaming at the top of her lungs, like, "Shaye. Shaye. Oh, my gosh. Shaye." Just freaking me out saying that there are people at her home and they knocked on the door. And, of course, she opened it and seeing who was there, who it was and they just started pushing their way through, claiming that they were coming in to make a citizen's arrest. They needed to find me and my mom. They knew we were there and she was just screaming and didn't know what to do.

And I wasn't there, so I just felt so helpless and so horrible for her and she just screamed. And I told her to close the door, don't open the door for anyone. She's a 70 something, I will say, old woman and she doesn't like having restrictions. She wants to answer the door. She likes to get her steps and walking around the neighborhood an I had to tell her like, you can't do that. You have to be safe. She would tell me that at night people would just continuously send pizzas over and over to her home, and they were expecting her to pay for these large amounts of pizzas. And she went through a lot that she didn't have to - once again, it made me just feel so horrible.

SCHIFF: In addition to the personal impact this experience has had on you and your family, one of the things that I find most disturbing is how these lies discourage longtime election workers from continuing to do this important work. Tell us if you would have the other election workers shown in that State Farm Arena video and their supervisors. How many are still election workers in Fulton County?

MOSS: There is no permanent election worker or supervisor in that video that's still there.

SCHIFF: And did you end up leaving your position as well?

MOSS: Yes, I left.

SCHIFF: Ms. Moss, I want to thank you for coming in to speak with us and thank you for your service to our democracy. What we have just played is a truly horrible and appalling sample, but just a sample of the things that were said about you and your mother following the election.

Want to say I'm very sorry, I think, we all are for what you've gone through and tragically you're not alone. Other election workers around the country have also been the subject of lies and threats. No election workers should be subjected to such heinous treatment just for doing their job.

With your permission, I would like to give your mother the last word.

MOSS: Yes.

SCHIFF: We're just going to play the tape.


FREEMAN: There is nowhere I feel safe, nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the President of the United States to target you? The President of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one. But he targeted me, Lady Ruby, a small business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen who stand up to help Fulton County run an election in the middle of the pandemic.


SCHIFF: Thank you, Ms. Moss. Thank you, Ms. Freeman or as America now knows her, Lady Ruby, for your service to Fulton County, Georgia, our country and our democracy. Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

THOMPSON: Thank you, Mr. Schiff. Ms. Moss?

MOSS: Yes.

THOMPSON: I want to thank you for sharing with us the very troubling story of what you and your mother experienced. The harassment of election workers like you simply for doing your duty as public servants poses a threat to democratic process.